Cross-training and change management help keep forklift manufacturer The Raymond Corp. focused on the customer’s needs.
Founded in 1922, The Raymond Corporation has been manufacturing material handling equipment for nearly a century, with its headquarters based in the small town of Greene, N.Y. More recently, in 2000 the company was acquired by Japanese vehicle manufacturer Toyota. Not only did Toyota have a complementary line of lift trucks to Raymond’s, but the two companies already shared a common customer-first focus.
Michael Field joined Raymond in 2004, shortly after the Toyota acquisition, as vice president of engineering, moving up the ranks to president of operations and engineering, and last year, to CEO. So he was very much involved with the implementation of the Toyota Production System, the parent company’s well-known lean methodology, which began in 2007. Raymond’s continuous improvement journey reached a noteworthy peak in 2015, when the company’s Greene plant was named an IndustryWeek Best Plant. Some noteworthy accomplishments at the time included reducing the in-plant defect rate by 75% over the previous three years; achieving an on-time delivery rate of 99%; and increasing labor productivity by more than 13% over the previous three years.
IndustryWeek sat down with Michael Field at the recent MODEX 2016 show in Atlanta to learn more about his philosophy of running a company whose products are instrumental in making the supply chain of other companies move rapidly and efficiently.