Since 2018, Daman Products has achieved 36% growth in manufacturing capacity. Capitalizing on the strong economy in our related customer industries certainly drives the force of the momentum. However, the ability to manage people and resources through this growth attributes to how our team has been able to sustain it.
At Daman, our primary growth strategies have centered around:
developing market share through unwavering and deeper account-level distributor relationships,
increasing labor capacity through improvements in recruiting, training and retention,
new product and service line extensions, including collaborative partnerships with other manufacturers for integrated solutions, and
accentuated and long work hours by the our team to meet delivery lead times.
While executing on these fronts, we are also in the midst of completing the implementation of new capital investments including a recent Cell E upgrade and an upcoming thermal deburring machine, which will both improve quality and increase operational throughput. These efforts will also increase capacity later this year and into 2020.
The real secret to success is our dedication to continuous improvement in recruiting efforts. “Our recruiting process is in a constant state of change assessing how it can be improved,” states Dave Mischler, President of Daman Products. “We’ve done a better job in the past year of identifying promising people during the screening and interview processes.”
When new employees join our team, they are offered more support through the administration of an on-boarding process that includes many individuals across several teams. This new process allows a new team member to better acclimate to Daman’s culture as they experience team engagement that extends beyond the departments to which they are assigned.
Training has been a higher priority for the past couple years as our leadership recognizes the need to grow our newest employees into fully-functioning team members as quickly as possible. Programs such as Train the Trainer and Building Trust offer employees a common language on how to communicate information to one another, as well as how to voice concerns when things are not going as expected. Daman leadership believes programs that develop communication skills and a deeper level of understanding individual personality preferences equips the team with confidence and capacity for trust. This, in turn, provides a greater sense of autonomy as our employees transfer knowledge to one another.
In all, measuring performance is the proof of success. During the past year, in the midst of strong growth, 2018 was a record low year for internal scrap rates. The rates have been under two percent the past two years, half of what they were in years prior.
In 2018, production efficiency, measured as sales per machine hour, increased six percent from the previous year. At the same time, labor utilization improved by two percent and quality standards have maintained 99.96% accuracy in spite of the longer labor hours worked per team member. These quality and capacity improvements can be directly attributed to the focus on training and developing people, while making the right investments in capital expenditures and forms of automation.
While timely valve delivery continues to be an industry-wide challenge, we have gained business by shortening lead times. Our expedited services increased 235% in 2017 and 264% in 2018 for an overall increase of 621% over two years. As Daman continues to be referenced as the vendor of choice, our team continues to strive for distributors to see us as being easy to work with. This has especially held true as Daman’s Account Management Team has matured within the past two years and has owned a more dominant field presence within their territories to better meet distributors’ immediate needs.
At Daman, our strategies for future growth continue to focus on growing with distributors even as the overall industry slows by excelling through continuous improvement and problem solving in the following areas:
Increased market share by forming additional distributor partnerships.
Continued market share growth in existing distributor partnerships by developing relationships with current non-Daman account managers at these accounts.
Continued capital investments.
Continued launch of new products and services.
More frequent and effective marketing communications of all new products and services.
Increased valve partnerships that solve distributor problems. We have just scratched the surface with integrated solutions and will continue to lean out internal processes in order to become a world class provider.