1POLCA—Simple Yet Highly Effective: A Tale of Two Companies

Although they were separated by half a continent and a major ocean, Alexandria Industries in Minnesota and Bosch Hinges in the Netherlands were facing exactly the same problems. Both companies produced a high variety of products in low volumes—Alexandria made aluminum extrusions, and Bosch manufactured specialty metal hinges—and both had long lead times of six to eight weeks. Despite having this large window of time, both organizations were struggling with late deliveries, which required daily expediting efforts in attempts to get jobs out on time. For several years the two companies had tried a plethora of manufacturing and control strategies but none had alleviated this ongoing ...

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