Success Stories

Engine Rebuilders Recognize Increased Sales and Production through Marketing, Lean Tools and Quick & Easy Kaizen

Engine Rebuilders

Engine Rebuilders is located in Oakes, N.D., and employs 20 people. Their primary business is the rebuilding of engines for skid steer loaders. They support all makes of skid steers such as Bobcat, New Holland and Gehl. The majority of their customers are in the Midwest, but they do ship engines to the east and west coasts. Their primary sales channel is to sell through skid steer dealerships, but they will also sell directly to end users.

Needed to Improve Efficiencies and Productivity

Engine Rebuilders has seen steady growth in their business as the overall skid steer market has grown. This year marks their 30th anniversary and while they have seen steady growth, Doug Sitzler, co-owner, was looking for avenues to improve efficiency and productivity. He knew they could do better. In 1990, Engine Rebuilders produced 500 engines annually and in the mid-1990s, they climbed to around 600 engines annually and leveled off for a few years.

Quick & Easy Kaizen, Lean Tools, Marketing

In an effort to inject new ideas into their organization, Engine Rebuilders took advantage of a number of general training sessions on Lean Manufacturing and Industrial Marketing sponsored by Impact Dakota. They were one of the first businesses to attend sessions first offered in North Dakota in 1999. Doug and his team were able to apply many of the concepts introduced in these training sessions to their business. Impact Dakota has provided additional insights through plant visits and self-administered assessments, but the improvements made were really driven by the Engine Rebuilders staff based on the training provided by Impact Dakota.

After attending the training, Doug and his son, Tim, created a presentation and shared their new knowledge with all employees. The employees were enthused. One major change was the organization of the shop. Now it is a visual organization and materials are easy to find. Everything is clean and in place. Also, employees are involved and feel they are a part of the team. A new bonus system is in place to reward employees for their ideas and efforts.

Increases in Production, Sales and Employee Morale

  • Increased production from 901 engines in 2000 to 1031 engines in 2001.
  • Increased sales from 789 engines in 1998 to 1031 engines in 2001.
  • Encouraged a sense of teamwork.

"I have really appreciated the Impact Dakota training sessions. Lean Manufacturing gave us very good ideas for organization and productivity. I look forward to more sessions in our area. Industrial Marketing definitely opened our eyes to what we weren't doing in marketing. Now we understand where we need to go.

Impact Dakota has made a difference in our business. The information I took from the sessions has sure helped improve our production and sales numbers."

-- Doug Sitzler, Engine Rebuilders

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