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AFP Back On Track

AFP Inc. occupies a 90,000 square foot building in Whittier, California. The facility houses coil coating paint lines, slitters, rollforming and other manufacturing machinery.

Recently, AFP Inc. was challenged with the unexpected death of its founder and leader, Peter Suprunuk.  For two years since his passing, the existing management team attempted to run the company.  Since there was no formal succession or transition plan, the existing leadership team struggled.  Peter’s daughter, Diane Ireland, stepped into the CEO position knowing there were problems and that she needed leadership assistance.  I was brought in to fill the President position to help get the company get back on track while Diane and BOD’s continued the search for a permanent President.

Diane Ireland, CEO, AFP Inc.

A quick evaluation identified areas of opportunity for which solutions were implemented.  Updating the ERP system; the focus on excessive scrap, overtime, and customer returns; the formulation of departmental dashboards; the implementation of lean manufacturing principles; and the setup of the accounting system to provide cost accounting information helped to drive savings immediately and put the company back to profitable operations.

The key to the turnaround was the buy-in from the employees.  This was accomplished through the use of simple messages and symbols which were used to reinvigorate two of the company’s core values which had slowly faded over the two years since Peter had passed. Those values were identifying windows of opportunity and expecting excellence. Symbols, rewards systems, meeting structure, and dashboards were used to help visualize and bring to life these core values and goals for the employees. This set AFP on the path to better productivity by helping the employees to focus on only the most important aspects of the business.

Raul Casillas, New President of AFP Inc.

In the four months I was there I was pleased to have worked with the Diane, the BOD’s, and the new President Raul Casillas who was very appreciative.  The transition was completed in December of 2011 and the company continues down the path to success.

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