Therma-Tru prides itself on being a leader of innovation, introducing the first fiberglass doors on the market that look as beautiful as wood but boast more durability and security. In 2003, Therma-Tru became part of the Fortune Brands Home & Security family, and in 2009, Therma-Tru and Fypon, the brand name leader in the urethane millwork space, merged to bring their complementary products to market together. Increased demand for doors during Covid-19 coupled with delays in supply chain and shipping were forcing weekend shifts and driving employees away. Employees were tolerant of some overtime, but very unhappy with constant OT and unpredictable weekend work.
INDUSTRY: Fiberglass and Steel Door Manufacturing
EMPLOYEES: approx. 5000
REVENUES: $ 265.5 million
HEADQUARTERS: Maumee, OH
Therma-Tru hired Coleman Consulting Group to design a solution to address the excessive overtime and high turnover at warehouse/distribution centers in Indiana. Management interviews, observations, and real time data were used to identify opportunities. The team identified that shift overlaps, aisle congestion, equipment shortages, and idle time were negatively affecting productivity and leading to high levels of overtime. Fluctuating volumes for each shift meant that workers could be idle or overwhelmed. Operational changes implemented to deal with Covid-19 issues caused significant staffing problems. On paper, Therma-Tru was running 8-hour shifts Monday through Friday, but many shifts stretched to 10 hours, and employees were working most Saturdays to keep up. Things had become so negative that tenured employees started quitting, and new hires were turning over at more than 50%.
The changes at Therma-Tru reduced historically high turnover to manageable levels. While overtime is still
available to those who want it, system changes in the workflow and better alignment of people to the work eliminated the need to force everyone to work all the time. With demand for Therma-Tru's popular doors at an
all-time high, the implemented solutions are designed to keep a pulse on unpredictability, supply chain issues,
and labor shortages. Idle time was reduced, shift overlaps were eliminated, coverage for live loads was increased and a more predictable schedule allows for a better work-life balance. Multiple solutions for the distribution
center mean more employee choices. Employees, including new hires, are given the option of longer shifts
but with more days off.
Working with the management team, CCG developed options that met the Business Needs and employees weighed in on what was important to them. They did like the model of longer shifts for more days off, but they really needed more predictability to take advantage of the bigger break periods. Moving the shifts to an earlier start time also had a dramatic effect on the alignment of people with the work. Now there were more people available during the peak periods of the day and less on-site when work slowed down. An additional scheduling option was added for employees to work 4 days/10-hour shifts, allowing for more consecutive time off.