Established in 1953, Magna Design has been manufacturing furniture for over half a century. They specialize in modular case goods, desking systems, conference room furniture, and healthcare case goods. Their ownership has changed over the years. Most recently, they were acquired by Watson Furniture in 2009 and sold to new ownership in 2015.
Magna needed to transitions from large batch sizes to small-lot “just-in-time” production in order to better meet the needs of their customers while eliminating defects and other wastes in their process flow.
Rework in most machining processes and centers (broken edges and excessive inventory)
Long production runs on customer orders
Large batch sizes dictated by engineering and machine constraints
After forging consensus on the current state with ownership and management, they established concrete goals to improve the business. The operation coordinated their work to minimize machine downtime. They implemented a preventive maintenance system to eliminate the root cause of errors and rework. Finally they revised they entire layout of their workplace to ensure the safest reduction of handling and transportation time.
Meanwhile, they reduced their batch sizes by implementing a “just-in-time” schedule to use and produce based on the actual needs of the shipping department and ultimately their customers. This formed the business strategy to manufacture in reverse order of the logistic needs to make sure that all furniture that was loaded first into the truck was systematically manufactured based on the drop sequence location of the truck for the end customer.
With their new scheduling system, manufacturing system, and re-layout of the factories, they were able to dramatically lower batch sizes and rework at the same time. This freed up people in the finish area who were then moved into more value-added assembly work. The reallocation of team members further enhanced flow and their ability to deliver quality products to their customers without overproduction or excess buffer stock.
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