Years ago, Whirlpool Corporation made the very important decision to have one production standard for all of its plants worldwide, which led to the implementation of World Class Manufacturing (WCM). In the years since, the company has embedded the tools and methods of WCM into its global production system in every manufacturing facility. These tools allow for “best-in-class” product quality, competitive pricing, and reliable product delivery for consumers, while giving employees a safe and ergonomic work environment where they are engaged, contribute to continuous improvement, and are enabled to constantly learn and develop.
Implementation of WCM incorporates the use of regular, rigorous external audits to assess, drive and support the system. Whirlpool Corporation’s washing machine plant in Clyde, Ohio, is one of the facilities to be awarded bronze certification in its most recent audit.
“I told the team that I had imagined at Bronze we would be all done with improvements and it would be time to hit cruise control, but I think I just see more that we can do,” said Jason Ebert, plant lead for Whirlpool Clyde Operations.
There is indeed always room for continuous improvement under WCM, with plants advancing from the Bronze entry-level award to Silver, Gold, and finally “World Class” certifications, based on scoring in these audits. It isn’t just the plant leadership that takes part in the plant transformations under WCM either. Hourly employees also take pride in completing audit requirements and advancing through the certification levels.
“This audit is a great victory for the plant, but it also showed us what we can do to improve ourselves moving forward,” said Doug Paul, industrial engineering tech. at Whirlpool Clyde Operations. “The best is yet to come.”
Another Bronze awardee is Whirlpool Corp.’s dishwasher plant in Findlay, Ohio.
“We are a Bronze plant,” emphasized Kristin Day, Findlay plant lead. “It is evident in our WCM knowledge at all levels of the organization, our amazing shop floor and our plant results. Thank you Findlay team for your commitment to the WCM journey and your desire to win everyday.”
Katelyn McCoy, assembly area coordinator for Line 5, felt honored to be a part of this eighth WCM audit at her plant.
“I can honestly say that the amount of hard work and dedication exhibited by our entire team here at Whirlpool Findlay through this entire journey has been astonishing,” she said. “Our team has done amazing work embracing WCM Methodology, incorporating it into their every day jobs, putting it into action and creating great progress in the business. It is one thing to understand the methodology, but to then put it into action, and see the change and progress it can make—that is when things are really put into motion.”