Get to Know Our Third Party Resources: An Interview with Larry Bouvier of Fuss and O'Niell Manufacturing Solutions

Posted by Simone Erskine on Aug 26, 2019 1:24:10 PM

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Who is Fuss & O’Neill?

Fuss and O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions provides mentoring, training, and engineering services for industrial and municipal clients to help them achieve safer, more cost effective productivity. In a recent interview with Larry Bouvier, Vice President and Partner at Fuss & O’Neill, IMEC got a deeper look into how they work with manufacturers and set themselves apart from the competition – one of many reasons they are one of IMEC’s top Third Party Resource partners. 

Bouvier is in charge of the Maintenance Excellence Business Unit where he leads a team of several people who are engaged with industrial and municipal clients. The team helps to develop better asset maintenance programs through training, workshops, consulting, and physically developing the programs and systems themselves.

Lending a Helping Hand

When it comes to helping clients, the experts at Fuss and O’Neill are not afraid to get down to the nitty gritty with clients and assess their current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT analysis is followed by a litmus test of sorts; Fuss & O’Neill walks the shop floor with clients to confirm that what the client is saying is the day-to-day reality. This allows them to dig into the details of what drives those issues and identify ethical actions that fold into the larger strategy of problem solving and process improvement. By getting a clear understanding of the client’s culture, they can determine a good method to work with them – usually a blend of mentoring (one on one or small groups) as well as training and workshops, including many demos of “this is how it works.” They then pilot processes and coach employee teams through them, and provide a method that works within their organizational framework to sustain process improvements through auditing and continuous improvement. This is the big difference between Fuss & O’Neill and other companies - they don’t just tell clients what to do, they go in side by side and show them how various solutions work in the industrial environment.

Client successes

A large Aerospace manufacturer in New England had a maintenance team that was retiring and was primarily reactive. Once new leadership took over, they realized they had to transition from reactive breakdown maintenance to proactive maintenance. Over the course of 8 years, Fuss & O’Neill helped the manufacturer turn around their maintenance program to the point where they virtually eliminated unplanned failures and now have full blown preventative, predictive, and proactive maintenance program. The company is a facilities and manufacturing service group, so they operate a lot on market feedback. With the help of Fuss & O’Neill, positive market feedback rose from low 20% to high 80% over the course of the years - positive costs in uptime, equipment performance, and positive perceptions across the company.

Other successes include a large Brass company that worked with Fuss & O’Neill for 7-8 years, who has seen consistent improvements in maintenance cost of 10-15% each year and are progressively getting better and better. A lumber client saturated their entire organization, which consists of 3 mills, with total productive manufacturing and saw 30-35% increase in production of lumber over the course of the last 3 years. Lastly, a Chicago-based chocolate manufacturer engaged Fuss & O’Neill for about 4 years, and through maintenance process improvements on individual pieces of equipment, they were able to increase capacity 10-fold – they went from producing 200lbs per hour to over 2000lbs per hour in a few key areas.

Why Partner with IMEC?

In the words of Bouvier, “IMEC puts me in front of clients where I get to do fun things. I love this stuff! I am passionate about this work. We get into a lot of mid-sized clients – some who are hurting pretty badly, some who are going from good to great. We meet lots of engaged clients who are willing to embrace new approaches and believe their strengths are in their people.” Partners like Fuss & O’Neill enjoy they fact that IMEC gets them in front of people who understand that leadership, culture and attitude is a big part of growth and they embrace new processes and new technologies. “We get a lot of folks that we really like to work with in good traditional industries and that have enough motivation that they can not only hear what we are saying but they are willing to put in their share of the work to achieve the goals.”

“Typically when dealing with IMEC, the regional managers are very engaged; they give a great amount of details and we work together as a team on it. I get a lot of good operational recon with good context – that’s another reason I like working with IMEC. Unlike some organizations, regional managers here provide a good idea of the situation and show you the bigger picture. IMEC really sets clients up to succeed and I’d like to be a part of that success”

A Word to Clients…

According to Bouvier, clients have to be very, very in tuned to a few things – training, industry 4.0 / IOT, and proactivity:

  • Training – With the silver tsunami of retiring maintenance and technical professionals, industrial clients need to be in tuned to how they’re going to develop the next generation technicians.
  • Industry 4.0 and the internet of things – Be very involved in understanding the ability for automated sensors and the internet to be able to gather data that allows better diagnostics equipment conditions, which can greatly improve maintenance effectiveness.
  • Be proactive instead of reactive – Understand that regardless of how well established you are, your competition is becoming more proactive and the old idea of fix it when it breaks is a great recipe for quickly going out of business. The solution to that is not as difficult as people think – unless you are building a rocket, it’s not rocket science. It’s something that anyone can easily do.

To learn more about Fuss and O'Neill or serve as a third party resource with IMEC, email info@imec.org or call 888-806-4632!
Simone Erskine

Written by Simone Erskine

Topics: fuss & o'neill, lean, maintenance, operations, safety, advanced manufacturing, continuous improvement, cost effective, productivity, Industry 4.0, third party resources

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