Case Study: Aaron Equipment

COSi taught our team a straightforward and very effective approach to improving sales growth and profit margins by engaging our people. We have lowered our operating costs, have boosted employee attitude, and developed a much more efficient operation as a result.



Alan Cohen, President

Company Overview:

For more than 75 years, Aaron Equipment has been recognized as a leading provider of new, used, and reconditioned process equipment and asset management services to the chemical, plastics, pharmaceutical, food, mining and related industries. Aaron Equipment provides its customers with quality equipment, dependable service and competitive prices.

As specialists in equipment procurement, Aaron’s sales and support staff also advises its clients on the availability of equipment from single machines to large plants and processes. This equipment is available on an 'as is' basis or the equipment can be reconditioned by its skilled mechanics. Aaron Equipment is conveniently headquartered near Chicago’s O’Hare airport in Bensenville, IL.

Challenges:

  • Inaccurate Inventory data and pricing
  • Disorganized and inefficient production shop
  • Incomplete communication between buyers & the sales team
  • QC on inbound/outbound freight
  • Missing customer shipment deadlines
  • Sales orders incomplete/Incorrect and/or missing information
  • Core product inventory shortages
  • Tool crib and shop inventory outages
  • No testing and prepping of incoming used equipment for stock
  • Controlling freight expenses
  • No customer prequalification

The COSi Solution:

The challenges listed were identified by employees of Aaron Equipment that were assigned to a COSi cross functional team. Given the wide array, the decision was made to focus on the ones that would have an immediate positive impact on the operations of the company, and in return, on customer satisfaction.

To address the shop related challenges, COSi taught and coached the employees how to implement the 5-S methodology. A number of 5-S teams were launched and the solutions were promptly implemented throughout the shop.

New standard operating procedures were written and implemented to improve the accuracy of customers’ request information, engineering requirements, proposal generation, and order entry process.

Customer complaints due to incomplete shipments and damages caused during transit had been a consistent problem due to the variety of equipment and the lack of established procedures in the packing/shipping departments. A COSi coached action team identified the root causes and implemented a number of procedures to insure customer satisfaction.


Key Business Results:
  • Greatly enhanced the accuracy of inventory data
  • Significantly improved the shop productivity
  • Safer shop environment reduced insurance premiums
  • Faster customer RFQ response times
  • Bid quality and accuracy greatly improved
  • On-time shipment performance increased by 50%
  • Sales increased by $10 million in the following 18 months
  • Customer satisfaction improved sharply strengthening retention rates
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