Case Studies

Product development became a priority in order to stay ahead of the competition

Case Study 01: Freedman Seating

The Cycle of Success program has made major contributions to the Freedman Seating Company. As a result of COSi, we have engaged our people at all levels to identify and resolve many costly operational issues. Our corporate culture has developed an ownership mentality. COSi has equipped us with the tools to continuously improve.

Craig Freedman

Company Overview:

Freedman Seating Company is a family-owned-and-operated business committed to meeting the highest standards in the industry. FSC employs over 500 people and is one of the nation’s largest specialty seating manufacturers for buses, rails and trucks, amongst many other types of commercial vehicles.

FSC has become a leading supplier to the U.S. domestic bus and transportation industry. FSC supplies major OEMs, over 250 bus distributors, the federal government and many states and municipalities.


  • Stiff competition from overseas
  • Inconsistent manufacturing costs
  • High rate of employee turnover
  • Productivity challenges
  • Lack of future product design planning

The COSi Solution:

Craig Freedman attended a Cycle-of-Success introductory workshop in which he identified a number of operational opportunities that his business could implement to improve customer service and reduce operating costs. Within the first month of the COSi program, a cross-functional team identified over 140 improvement opportunities within the business. Opportunities were prioritized and a COSi Action Team was assembled to address each of the top thirty within the first twelve months. Opportunities included:

  • Employees not following established operating procedures
  • Inconsistent production output
  • No continuous improvement process in place
  • Insufficient customer focus
  • Poor product planning

Key Business Results:

  • Annual sales increased to record levels one year after implementing the COSi program
  • A continuous improvement process was implemented throughout all departments
  • Standard operating procedures were created, greatly improving production consistency, lowering manufacturing costs and facilitating training of new employees
  • Employee culture improved considerably, resulting in lower turnover rates
  • A customer feedback loop was created to continuously monitor customer satisfaction
  • Product development became a priority in order to stay ahead of the competition

Increased sales by $10 million in 18 months

Case Study 02: 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,

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.


  • Inaccurate inventory data and pricing
  • Disorganized and inefficient production shop
  • Incomplete communication between buyers and 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 who 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 shop-related challenges, COSi taught 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 the 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 procedures to ensure customer satisfaction.

Key Business Results:

  • Greatly enhanced the accuracy of inventory data
  • Significantly improved shop productivity
  • Reduced insurance premiums due to safer shop environment
  • Expedited customer RFQ response times
  • Improved bid quality and accuracy
  • Increased on-time shipment performance by 50%
  • Increased sales by $10 million in the following 18 months
  • Strengthened retention rates by sharply improving customer satisfaction

Doubled sales in 12 months

Case Study 03: AMS Earth Moving

COSi helped AMS turnaround at a time when our company was challenged by many critical issues. I believe that any business that wants to grow to the next level should go through the COSi program as it helped AMS immensely.

Julie Savitt

Company Overview:

AMS-Earth Movers is a sustainable, integrity-driven, progressive and highly capable construction hauling company and aggregate supplier. AMS exceeds expectations and accommodates every type of construction job by providing the necessary equipment, efficient logistics and fair market pricing. AMS emphasizes continuing education, certification and green practices in all facets of the business, including office and fleet operations, and utilizes recycled and agricultural by-products for construction.


  • Declining profit margins
  • Tight cash-flow
  • Customer attrition
  • Aggressive competition
  • Increasing operating costs

The COSi Solution:

The COSi methodology provided AMS owner Julie Savitt with a holistic approach to transforming her company into a high-growth contractor. A top priority for AMS was to manage cash-flow more efficiently. The COSi coaches and the AMS team applied the COSi methodology to implement a cash-flow management system that would improve the balance between accounts receivables and accounts payables.

In addition, AMS renegotiated payment and purchasing terms with vendors, reducing operating costs to below industry standards and further improving AMS’ profitability and bankability.

The many operational improvements implemented within the first 12 months provided customers with confidence that AMS would be a trustworthy partner for the long-haul. AMS reversed the customer attrition rate by providing superior service levels, higher flexibility and more competitive bids than its competitors. 

Key Business Results:

  • Able to secure an important new line of credit
  • Doubled sales within 12 months
  • Hired better qualified employees to provide higher value-added services
  • Signed a long-term agreement with a major general contractor within the Chicago area
  • Secured a new 20-acre raw material yard, providing AMS the ability to securely store equipment and material while reducing its operating expenses

Employee culture dramatically improved

Case Study 04: Domeny Tools

The COSi program is a game changing experience! Domeny Tools and Stamping now has the skills and knowledge to continually make big things happen.

Marge Domeny

Company Overview:

Domeny Tool & Stamping Company specializes in drawn metal stampings utilizing a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. Based in Wauconda, IL, Domeny Tool & Stamping Company has a highly experienced and creative staff of 35 that combines creativity and expertise with state-of-the-art technology to make the impossible possible.


  • Increased competition from low-labor-rate countries
  • Inconsistent quality output
  • Production inefficiencies
  • Key customer attrition
  • Cash-flow pressure
  • Rising raw material costs

The COSi Solution:

In the first month, COSi taught Domeny Tools to form a specialized team of employees that identified over 100 opportunities for profit improvement and sales growth. Applying the COSi program, Domeny Tools created action teams to prioritize and solve the most impactful opportunities, which resulted in $600,000 in profit improvement, and over $1 million in sales growth. Key elements included:

  • Inefficient shop layout
  • Long machine set-up times
  • Excess work-in-process & obsolete inventory levels
  • Excessive shipping errors
  • Production bottlenecks

Key Business Results:

  • Annual sales increased 35% as a result of improved quality, delivery and customer responsiveness
  • Profitability increased by $800,000
  • Machining capacity doubled, avoiding the need to invest in additional equipment and people
  • New competitive bids positioned Domeny Tools to compete aggressively with low-labor-rate countries
  • Employee culture dramatically improved as a result of implementing the COSi program


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