Past Entries in Resource Efficiency

2016 Innovation in Resource Efficiency Winner

Address: 891 S. Rockefeller Ave. Ontario, CA. 91761


Challenge internally and by the customer to continue to reduce pricing from year to year. Evaluated our operation and took the decision to perform a Kaizen Blitz in the receiving operation by eliminating non-value add activities in this operation. Change the receiving product process by removing unnecessary inventory and receiving product as it arrives. Combing processes/ operations by using new image scanning technology to combine box opening and data entry into one operation. Last using the employee’s creativity, automating container & batch creation and segregating product types for containerization. Receiving operation was broken down into three main steps to further evaluate opportunities.

Define and measure the problem

Receiving Area is one of the most ‘congested’ areas speaking of people working there, space to accommodate units and units received daily. In order to do so, we divide Receiving Operation in 3 main areas: Unpacking Inbound, Data Entry and Palletizing. Below are the objectives for each one.

  • Unpacking Inbound: This processes step receives the units physically from the incoming truck, stages the product in a gravity rack and then unloads to be received in the system by the next operation. Define the most efficient way to transport and process inbound pallets, units and recovery kits from the receiving dock to the Gravity Rack and then to the Box Opening area, following FIFO.
  • Data Entry: Receives the units into our Shop Floor System (Viper). Define the most efficient way to enter product data into the Viper shop floor system.  This will include product information from the box, units inside the box, access cards and information about the condition of these items based on initial inspection.  Also – define the most efficient way to transfer empty boxes to the baler conveyor and access cards into a container sorted by type of card.  Also including how to handle non-readable and scrap units.
  • Containerizing: Includes accommodate the units in pallets according to certain criteria. Define the most efficient way to palletize and transport units that have been received in the viper system to the Wrapping Machine, so that labor costs are reduced by 30%.

Analyze the data

We created 3 teams, one for each area (Unpacking Inbound, Data Entry, Palletizing). Each team went to the floor for a Gemba walk to see how the product was processed and review 7 Mudas in the operation.

Team reviewed the following:

  • Kaizen A4
  • Process Flow
  • Monthly Trends (Receiving Data)
  • Customer Requirements
  • Layout (Floor Space/Location, etc)
  • Throughput
  • Attached are the Process Flow Diagrams for each area and the general SIPOC used to analyze the process.

Identify Root Cause(s) / Opportunities

Unpacking Inbound:

  • Product receipt was only performed in the morning and will build a staging area (inventory) that would take up 3000 SQ FT.
  • Pallets were double handled, forklift operator would load gravity rack and would have to unload once receiving operation came in.
  • Transportation of Pallets from Staging area to the Line conveyor.

Data Entry:

  • Double handling, operator in data entry is touching the product for the second time after unpacking operator.
  • Scanning and capturing necessary / required information in Viper. Shop floor system, time in and out was time consuming to process as the unit in a regular Viper Screen would require to scan 5 bar codes and select each field individually, select a result, select a container and click “Save” button.


  • Pallets are not close enough and the location of the models was not the most efficient based on high runners.

Implement Solutions

These were the actions taken:

  • Gravity Rack removal and Management for inbound delivery with FedEx to keep the inventory out of the site until is needed.
  • JIT solution with FEDEX in receiving inbound material during work hour’s eliminating waste of building inventory.
  • Conveyors were relocated near to the docks and reconfigure due the data entry is now processed as part of the Box opening, reducing transportation of product.
  • Elimination of pallet transportation from the gravity rack to the Box Opening operation.
  • Combined Box Opening and Data Entry operations with new image scanners (Cognex cameras) were installed and Viper application was redesigned in order to eliminate manual scanning and operator interaction with the screen.
  • Improved Cycle time from 2.6 sec/unit to 1.9 sec/Unit
  • Release of 3,751 sqft.
  • Reduction of 12 DL (Due to this improvement additional business was awarded and the people were re-allocated a new area so no one lost there position).

2014 Winner
Company: the Safariland Group
Award Applied for: Innovation in Resource Efficiency

With rising energy costs and an air conditioned production facility, we were challenged to control energy costs with increased production and keep associates in a safe and comfortable environment during the months from June to September.  By participating in local programs made available by our electric company, The Safariland Group was able to minimize costs during these challenging times.

Energy conservation: During the 2013 year, The Safariland Group elected to participate in two programs offered by Southern California Edison;   The Summer Advantage Program (SAI) and the Time of Use Base Interruptible program (TOU-BIP).  As part of the SAI program, the site was called upon to reduce plant energy usage for 12 specific days when demand for energy was significantly increased due to hot weather.  During these 4-hour events (2 -6 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays),  from June to September, we were able to gain credits and savings by voluntarily reducing energy consumption  through  practices such as; adjusting  shift hours for high energy  use equipment (ovens, presses) , turning off all non-essential indoor/outdoor lighting and signage and office equipment not in use, safely raising cooling thermostat settings, reducing  or rescheduling  production during events, unplugging  battery chargers and using only pre-charged equipment during peak hours and charging  battery-operated equipment prior to peak hours.

The Safariland Group Ontario associates were made aware of these events 24 hours in advance and trained the entire site to maintain conservation efforts, even during normal operations. The site was successful in implementing operational changes, reducing consumption and capturing $12,000 savings.

By participating in the Time-of-Use Base Interruptible Program (Schedule TOU-BIP), The Safariland Group was able to reduce energy use during So Cal Edison system reliability events. During these times, we were supplied with a monitor and dedicated a phone line to enable So Cal Edison to notify us when an event was to occur and a service interruption was coming.  Events were limited to one per day, 10 per calendar month, up to six hours each for a maximum of 180 hours a calendar year.  For our participation, The Safariland Group was rewarded with $2,952 in bill credits.

View Past Entries
2013 Winner Nestle Waters North America (AKA Arrowhead Water)

  • Provides beverage bottling
  • Factory participates in “demand response” to reduce overload on SCE grid.
  • Factory installed wind turbines to reduce dependency on non-renewable energy.
  • Outcome: Curtailed power in August to reduce load on SCE Grid equal to 4000 households.
  • Outcome: Wind Turbines reduced dependency by 1/3; a reduction of 100K in a month.

2012 Winner Toyota’s North American Parts Center – California (NAPCC) recycling program consist of training that supports its recycling efforts.   Resource conservation is instilled into the company culture through this program.  Annually our Recycling team members conduct training for all associates that incorporate NAPCC Environmental Management Program and Storm Water Prevention.  Recycling efforts also include processes and standardized operating procedures to support the sustainment of our recycling program.   As a result of our recycling program, NAPCC has diverted 1,686,436 pounds of solid waste to landfill.   NAPCC reduced enough papers, cardboard and wood to avoid cutting 14,570 trees and reduced greenhouse gasses by 2,033,000 pounds, which is the same as not driving 450 average cars for a year.   The energy saved through NAPCC recycling efforts is also enough to power a 60W light bulb 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 11,270 years.

Solar panels were installed on our facility roof in 2008 and cover a service area of 242,000 sq. ft. equaled to 10,417 panels.   NAPCC solar panels has a total capacity of 2.1 megawatts.   Carbon footprint has been reduced by 7,037 tons.   During facility closures (weekends, holiday, etc.) NAPCC supplies 1 megawatt of power back to the grid.   NAPCC solar panels generate enough energy to power 308,395 homes a day.



  • Ventura Foods retrofitted its equipment to capture the biogas from its wastewater treatment system instead of just flaring it.  The biogas is then burned in a boiler to generate steam and provide the heat needed for another operation.  By replacing natural gas, the company saves $20,000 per year.  With the rebate from Southern California Gas Company, Ventura Foods will see its capital investment recovered in about a year.