ABOUT MARTIN DOOR MANUFACTURING INC.:
Martin Door Manufacturing builds high quality, long-lasting garage doors for homes and businesses around the globe. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company has almost 100 employees. Martin Doors prides itself on the fact that it doesn’t cut corners or scrimp on hardware for the world’s best garage door. With its build- to-order manufacturing processes, clients choose the materials (glass, aluminum, copper, wood), finish, color, and design, and Martin Doors engineers every single component of the door system with longevity in mind. Founded in 1936, Martin Doors are now sold in 93 countries.
Following the economic downturn that impacted the building industry beginning in 2007, Martin Doors began a transformation process to adapt to the new marketplace, making improving service and quality its top priority. Mike Martin, the company’s Quality Control Officer, approached the Utah Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a NIST MEP affiliate, for assistance in identifying and implementing process improvements.
MEP CENTER’S ROLE:
MEP recommended a continuous improvement program for Martin Doors and Six Sigma classes for Mike. MEP encouraged Mike to see mistakes as a result of poor processes rather than poor performance and helped him identify core problems though the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) method. The method is often referred to as the Deming Cycle, named after W. Edwards Deming, who believed the key to production quality was having clearly defined, repeatable processes. The four phases in PDCA are: Plan—identify and analyze the problem; Do—develop and test a potential solution; Check—measure how effective the test solution was, and analyze whether it could be improved; and finally, Act—implement the improved solution.
After achieving the level of “Green Belt,” Mike went on to finish the “Black Belt” Six Sigma level. The journey from green belt to black belt was strenuous, but Mike exhibited drive and determination in completing the course. He identified over 60 process change recommendations for Martin Doors and began motivating employees to implement them in the plant. Within six months, Martin Doors had greatly reduced projection damage issues, engineering issues, factory floor issues and shipping mistakes.