Shields Manufacturing has been in business for over 25 years and supports semiconductor, aerospace, and life sciences industries with CNC machined components and assemblies. The company maintains a 90,700 sq. foot facility in Tualatin Oregon housing office space, cleanrooms, manufacturing, integration and assembly, inspections, and a stocking facility. The company employs nearly 160 people and is dedicated to providing an engaging culture that has created a loyal workforce.
After the Shields team became aware of the People and Organizational Performance offerings that OMEP has expertise in, the Shields team recognized that a partnership with OMEP could help resolve some of the challenges they were facing. Shields had recently promoted middle management predominantly from within the organization. Being a new management team, Shields understood the necessity of providing professional development and processes to enable effective communication and performance of their management team.
OMEP started the process by providing confidential interviews to the management team and other associated staff members. The interviews generated and prioritized various themes or challenges that were hindering a cohesive team. Amongst them were identifying and improving several key processes, identifying clear team roles, and creating trust and transparency amongst the team. Additionally, there were departmental silos diminishing communication and creating redundancy.
OMEP instilled the management team with lean leadership principles, helping them to improve communication, and resolve conflict. The team participated in a Pro Scan assessment so that everyone understood their teammate’s values, working styles, and personality as well as gained a better understanding of themselves. This transparency was key to success in improving communications. OMEP assisted with recruitment for higher-level positions as identified through these exercises.
Additionally, OMEP provided strategic advisory to better align the senior leadership team’s decision-making responsibilities. This included forming a board and providing direction for board-level decision making and KPI tracking, as well as building team management dashboards.
With these new KPIs in place, clearer management structure, and more transparent communication, Shields focused on improving manufacturing processes. After conducting a value stream map exercise, the team was able to reduce redundancy, learn to problem solve as a team, and reduce quoting process lead time.
The board is now aligned in supporting ownership in their long-term strategic direction, including their desire to keep manufacturing local in Oregon, continue to provide regional jobs, and protect employee’s financial security through profit sharing. With these changes in place Shields Manufacturing was able to maintain employee headcount during a minor downturn, and is now growing rapidly. With plans for significant revenue growth, the company will likely grow to 200 employees in the next few years.
When working with OMEP I was especially impressed with the staff's integrity and professionalism. They have a culture of genuine concern for the manufacturing industry and employee fair treatment. It is rare to find this level of service from a consultant group as opposed to the all too common occurrence of companies being in business just for the money.