What’s the secret behind exceptional customer satisfaction?
When you’re part of the United Technologies Corp. (UTC) family, as is Carrier Transicold, the answer is a unique set of guiding principles that keep the organization focused on being the provider of choice for customers.
This disciplined approach is known throughout the organization as Achieving Competitive Excellence, or ACE, and Carrier Transicold’s Singapore container refrigeration unit manufacturing plant not only follows the program to the letter, but recently attained ACE Gold, the highest possible designation in the program.
ACE designations are well earned. While all business units within UTC strive to follow the program’s strict formula for success, the road to Gold is rigorous. In fact, the plant’s achievement marks the first time a Carrier manufacturing facility has achieved ACE Gold since UTC launched the program in 1996.
Carrier has been manufacturing container refrigeration systems in Singapore since 1993 and opened the present site in 2004, enabling the consolidation of its global container refrigeration unit manufacturing in one location. Without expanding the physical plant, the operation has increased capacity by 83 percent through space optimization, waste elimination initiatives and better layout planning to meet growing demand.
“The Singapore site is an excellent example of how a truly engaged organization can leverage ACE to deliver outstanding results for employees, the business and customers,” said John Papadopoulos, director, Global ACE for UTC.
Going for the Gold
Reaching the Qualifying, Bronze and Silver levels was challenge enough. But to achieve Gold, the entire organization worked to streamline manufacturing and business processes, while simultaneously ramping up production to meet growing demand, especially for the 2008 introduction of the PrimeLINE® unit.
“Gold seemed like a daunting task two years ago,” said Chiou Fun Sin, vice president, Global Container Refrigeration. “The strength of this team is their hunger for continuous improvement and strong focus on the customer.”
That focus resulted in a 24 percent increase in customer satisfaction, 100 percent on-time delivery, factory productivity improvements, improved quality and a host of other improvements in supply-chain management, manufacturing efficiency and safety.
The ACE Gold distinction tops off a continuum of plaudits won by Container Products Group operations over the last several years, including 13 Singapore National Safety Awards, the 2004 UTC Health & Safety Innovation Award, the 2006 UTC Robert F. Daniell Environmental Health & Safety Excellence Award, the Carrier President’s Award for Environmental Health & Safety in 2006, and the Carrier President’s Award for Operational Excellence in four out of the last six years.
The ACE Philosophy
ACE starts with customer feedback and challenges the organization to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction and business performance. In the process, the organization becomes more efficient and productive, and products continue to improve.
At its core, ACE is comprised of three fully integrated elements: culture, tools and competency levels. Culture is about creating a common framework for thinking that ensures business metrics are aligned with customer needs and expectations. Tools comprise 12 dynamic methods to improve processes in business and manufacturing. Competency is built through ACE training and certification, including best practices sharing and quality clinics.
ACE recognizes four levels of achievement: Qualifying, Bronze, Silver and Gold. But no matter what level is attained, the ultimate winner is the customer, who derives the benefit of purchasing world-class products, manufactured in accordance with the highest standards by a committed team of employees whose top concern is buyer satisfaction.
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