Metal 7 improves productivity through partnership with Createch
Metal 7, a world-renowned company in the mining industry, called on Createch’s expertise to carry out a complete diagnosis of its manufacturing and administrative activities.
The aim was to increase production while maintaining exemplary competitiveness to meet the growing demand, and reduce delays.
Find out how our Performance team specialists handled this exciting challenge brilliantly!
Metal 7: a global player
Proud member of Groupe M7, Metal 7, based in Sept-Îles on the North Coast, is a Quebec company specializing in the design and manufacture of high-performance products and equipment for the international mining industry. Its flagship product, Triple Decks, is recognized worldwide as the reference product in this field.
Thanks to its innovative solutions, Metal 7 has acquired a key role in an ultra-competitive niche market. Its competitors, with multi-billion-dollar sales, regularly use its products to satisfy their own customers.
“It’s our spirit of innovation that keeps us in this hyper-competitive market”, explains François Chevarie, Vice President of Operations and Head of Digital Transformation at Groupe M7.
Founded in 1974, the company has undergone a remarkable evolution, marked by strategic acquisitions, to form, with Enduride, Megatraction and Cast 7, the current Groupe M7, still bearing the “7” in tribute to Sept-Îles, the cradle of the company nearly 50 years ago.
Groupe M7 currently employs over 200 people, half of whom work at Metal 7. The company has something extremely precious: a very high level of commitment!
The Partnership with Createch: The Key to Success
Before November 2021, Metal 7 faced a major challenge: increasing its production capacity to meet growing demand. A new plant seemed to be the obvious solution, representing an investment of several tens of millions of dollars, but François Chevarie, after consulting the management team, recommended and made the wise decision to carry out an operational diagnosis using external experts. That’s when Metal 7 chose Createch!
Our team, with the ideal skills to meet Metal 7’s needs, has demonstrated common values that established our partnership.
“Createch experts quickly understand our processes, and we get the impression that they’re working for us”, says François Chevarie.
The diagnosis focused on the analysis of processes and systems, manufacturing operations, the daily management system and the skills assessment, all in line with Lean and Agile operational best practices.
In just a few weeks, it became clear that the expansion was unnecessary!
Indeed, the following elements spoke for themselves:
- Low Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in some sectors; from 12% to 15%.
- Lack of planning and procurement processes and tools.
- Use of push flow instead of pull flow.
- Lack of visibility on project progress and friction between departments due to erroneous data.
“We used to invest in square footage and equipment. Today, we are investing in processes and skills, with significant results”, sums up François Chevarie.
A customized improvement program
Following the analysis carried out by Createch's experts, we suggested a series of operational and organizational changes in the form of an Improvement Program. For example, roll production planning and scheduling, implementation of the Lean-Agile approach and the Jira system, and a daily management system (DMS) supported by Damasix.
Thanks to these projects, the company now makes smarter business decisions and benefits from reduced “Time to Market”, as well as improved information flow and greater visibility between departments.
With regard to Createch-Metal 7 project management, project reviews held every 2 weeks enabled Metal 7 teams and management to understand the gains obtained, prioritize actions and mobilize teams around the changes made.
This rigorous monitoring enabled us to successfully carry out the project.
Following Createch’s intervention, Metal 7 realized that its internal production capacity could be improved by investing in its processes.
Createch’s diagnosis and the implementation of concrete actions have also enabled Metal 7 to achieve significant savings. The company can now manufacture hundreds of thousands of additional rolls annually without investing in new machinery or hiring more staff. A 30% increase in manufacturing capacity without significant investment was achieved in just a few months.
This means that Metal 7 has several years before it needs to consider expansion.
A partnership without limits
Building on the success of the process optimization and operational performance project, Groupe M7 has decided to develop similar initiatives within its other business units, such as Enduride and Cast 7, located in Minnesota. Furthermore, Jira is in high demand by other business units to optimize team dynamics and provide a global view of services.
Thanks to Createch’s network, Groupe M7 continues to explore new and innovative opportunities, keeping in touch with other partners.
“For me, Createch is like having our own in-house engineering company”, says François Chevarie.