Inaugural award goes to local plant for its ideas
CHILLICOTHE – Ideas have always been a hallmark of productivity, and when those ideas come from and are implemented by those on the front lines in the workplace, it can be seen as something special.
It certainly was seen that way by corporate officials with Commercial Vehicles Group Inc. (CVG) Tuesday as they visited their Chamber Drive plant to present the facility’s flooring cell with the inaugural 2017 President’s Award. During the presentation, employees were repeatedly praised for bringing ideas to improve such things as efficiency or safety to the attention of management — an average of 600 approved suggestions annually from the roughly 100 employees of the plant — and then for successfully implementing them once approved.
“I think the big thing is, one, the voice of the people, and two, and Pat (Miller, CEO of CVG) talks about this a lot, is (creating) a great place to work,” said Chillicothe Plant Manager Ron Gray. “Something that says they can make it their own, that says their ideas are being valued. It’s just not come in, and we tell you what to do every day, it’s listening to their ideas and understanding, and it makes them feel they’re a part of what’s going on here.”
That type of approach is key to the overall success of the company as a whole, said Miller, who along with CVG Divisional Vice President Dale McKillop and Vice President for Continuous Improvement Jack Feng were in Chillicothe to make the presentation.
“Ron talked a lot about the engagement and the ownership, but it also is about self-preservation,” Miller said. “This is about job security because the more we drive our productivity up and lower our costs, the better we can compete to win business and drive the business — it’s taking control of your own environment.”
To receive the award, Feng said the Chillicothe facility was evaluated alongside the roughly 300 other Lean Value Stream sites around the world through a rigorous process that looked at several factors tied to production, cost, delivery, product quality, and safety. At the end of the process, the local plant was one of just two award recipients, the other being in Shanghai, China.
CVG’s Chillicothe plant produces interior trim for the heavy-duty trucking industry. Its flooring cell employees, all sporting new President’s Award shirts, took a break from their duties to be individually recognized with certificates and gift cards by the corporate management team and watch the unveiling of a banner of recognition above the shop floor.
In addition to the presentations to the employees of the plant, Gray said the decision was made to invite a couple of community organizations that will be receiving donations from CVG. The Mighty Children’s Museum and Paper City mentoring program were selected, and each received a $1,000 donation. Courtney Lewis, with the museum being created downtown behind the Paper City coffee shop, said work is ongoing on exhibits inside the structure as organizers continue their pursuit of the remaining $40,000 or so still needed to hit their fundraising goal and that the hope is for an opening date sometime this fall.
“We just picked a couple (organizations). Obviously, there could have probably been many (to choose from),” Gray said. “We know they’re trying to get the museum off the ground here and the thing they’re doing with teens here through the Paper City (program) we thought would be worthy of that.”
From Chillicothe Gazette | April 11, 2017