Capacity Planning


6 Week Series: Maintaining Internal Controls

Week 1: Capacity Planning

As manufacturers, we often face tight delivery expectations and spacial constraints within our facilities. This poses the absolute need for strict capacity planning and attention to fluctuating resources, such a raw material and workforce availability. At Bowman Tool we involve all relevant department managers in the process of capacity planning. From warehousing to purchasing strategies BTM is always seeking the most efficient and cost effective course of action.

Maintaining an accurate view of building and equipment capacity allows us to throttle our business activities appropriately. When done properly, capacity planning allows manufacturers to reduce unnecessary overtime, improve delivery performance, and relieves warehousing congestion. When customer demand increases, so does the need for Internal Control.


Week 2: Effective Processes

Manufacturing is all about effective processes and procedures. Streamlining each piece of the manufacturing pipeline is what truly manages the flow of work from the first contact with the Customer all the way through to Production and Shipping of finished goods. At Bowman Tool we have mapped each step of the manufacturing process from the inside out. This allows us to assign roles, divide labor, catch discrepancies, and continuously improve without constantly “putting out fires” in areas that were unmonitored. Like any business, these processes are ever-evolving to the standards and requirements of the Customer.

The obvious advantage to maintaining Effective Proccess Management is the basic clarity of expectations and requirements for each stage. However, a closer look shows that Effective Processes also allow us to:

  • Identify goals and objectives
  • Identify critical success factors
  • Understand key performance drivers
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in procedures
  • Benchmark against past performance

Bowman Tool also greatly benefits from an intense Quality Management System in accordance with ISO 9001:2008. ISO not only allows our company to standardize our quality practices but also shows our Customers that we take continuous improvement and meeting the requirements of our customers very seriously.


Week 3: Sunrise Meeting

One of the most important pieces of our ongoing improvement efforts begins with daily team meetings with the BTM leaders. First there is a sunrise meeting among the department heads where the most pressing issues are discussed and plans are made. Then Operator meetings on the shop floor are led by our Team Leads in which supplier and material issues, scrap and efficiency rates, new product introduction, quality control, and preventative maintenance are discussed with Operators to ensure transparency and understanding throughout the facility.

BTM stresses communication at all levels of the manufacturing process. We strive to provide the highest level of Customer Service by developing a lasting working relationship founded on trust and the reliability of open communication. BTM management stresses the importance of this team-led approach as it brings the different departments together in the shared objective of meeting and exceeding Customer expectations.


Week 4: ERP

Like many manufacturing companies, Bowman Tool utilizes a Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to plan the requirements throughout the facility. Financial Management, Supply Chain, Production, Scheduling, Product Data, Service, Human Capital, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management are all areas we are able to monitor through the ERP. With this we are able to confidently make daily operation decisions as well as monitor long-term planning and utilization of resources. By making strategic choices based on the data collected and analyzed in the ERP system we are able to reduce downtime, increase productivity, and continue to focus on our Customers.

Week 5: Continuous Improvement

We at BTM take improvement very seriously. So seriously that it is a part of our Quality Policy Statement:

“BTM Delivers Superior Products to Customers by Adhering to Standards of Quality, Integrity, and

Excellence with an emphasis on Continuous Process Improvement.”

This statement is visible throughout or facility and is upheld by all of our employees. Our management team meets weekly in a Quality Improvement Initiative meeting to discuss ideas and designate resources to improvement areas. Our Quality Initiative focuses on the Continuous Improvement of efficiencies, internal processes and procedures, product quality, employee development, and general work flow for our operators. From these meetings we are able to allocate attention to the matters at hand and determine the best course of Change Management.


Week 6: Change Management

It is rare that any form continuous improvement works perfectly the first time around. Many ideas take ongoing finessing and molding to form the desired result. This is essentially why Change Management is extremely important. When an idea for change is proposed in our Quality Initiative meeting, it is then worked with interdepartmentally until a solution is found. The solution is then brought back to the table and reexamined for further opportunities for improvement. Many revisions may be made before the change has met the needs and satisfaction of the team. We involve Quality, Production, Shipping/Receiving, Engineering, and HR to evolve these changes into something that serves the company as a whole and where all aspects of the situation are evaluated. This is one of the many reasons why Bowman Tool excels in production manufacturing.


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