Project Profile: Davey Textile Solutions

Executive Summary

Davey Textile Solutions Inc. transformed their business from a distributor to a vertically integrated manufacturer, and the learning curve has been steep. From getting acquainted with new equipment to learning whole new processes and ways of working, Davey Textile Solutions continues to serve their clients and build capacity to provide more and better products.

In 2016, the company participated in GO Productivity’s Process & Systems Innovation Program. Lelia Lawson of Davey Textile Solutions joined the program’s tour to Ontario manufacturing companies and completed her training in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. The company is already seeing significant improvements in their business and can see that the future is bright.

The Client

Established as Davey Fabrics Inc. in 1986, Davey Textile Solutions Inc. offers solutions to the textile industry across Canada. Since the early 2000s, the business focus has shifted towards industrial safety products, 3M™ Scotchlite Reflective Materials, and 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation, serving industries including the petrochemical and energy sectors.

Davey Textile Solutions offers its services through a 25,000-sq. ft. warehouse in Edmonton, Alberta and a distribution warehouse in Houston, Texas, employing 19 staff primarily in Edmonton.

The company works to give back to industry and community by participating in several standards committees defining safety requirements in industrial applications. Davey has also committed resources to resolving large scale safety concerns in the petrochemical industry and supported the development of recycled products now being used in the industry.

The Challenge

Davey Textile Solutions took a strategic decision to transform themselves from a distributor to a vertically integrated manufacturer of safety textile products. The transition meant a significant change in the business and a steep learning curve for the company and its workforce on new equipment, processes, and practices.

From a time when a typical order was for 5,000 metres of fabric, Davey is now seeing orders of 100,000 metres, and larger orders are definitely possible.

The laminating process in the company’s production operation was labour intensive, time consuming, and could be tedious. Working with the raw materials from their supplier, 3M™, Davey would require three workers to operate the laminating of retroreflective material on to the fabric and items being produced.

The Objectives

Davey was looking to:

* improve the laminating process in their operation

* reduce the required number of operators for a single roll of retroreflective material

* expand the number of lines in production from one to four (and beyond)

* build their capacity to meet more frequent larger orders and continue the improvements into the future.

How GO Productivity helped

Lelia Lawson of Davey Textile Solution participated in GO Productivity’s Process & Systems Innovation Program in 2016, joining 17 other participants on a tour of manufacturers and facilities in Southern Ontario, and taking her training and certification in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Lelia’s participation in the tour and training connected her with likeminded colleagues from across industry and across Canada, and helped her to see what could be possible through the implementation of Lean Six Sigma in her own company’s facility.

GO Productivity’s team helped Lelia and her team through ongoing coaching and project support to identify and implement a Lean Six Sigma project that has already made significant positive impacts in the company and in the team.

What results were achieved?

Since February 2016, GO Productivity has worked with and supported the Davey team in realizing a 70% improvement in the productivity performance of the company’s laminating process.

The company is now successfully tackling orders 20 times larger than their previous typical orders, and the company now has their sights on both larger projects and orders, and in continuing to optimize the already improved processes.

Lelia says her company’s team are now happier and more positively engaged in their work, and productivity continues to improve.

Visit Davey Textiles here.

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