Quality Aluminum Products

Success with The Center

QUALITY ALUMINUM PRODUCTS: Incorrect Shipments Spark A Business Transformation

The Center provided us with very successful training in the past, so we knew they would be the best fit to help transform our business. They did not disappoint.
-- Eric Clark, Plant Manager

With more than 60 years of experience in the buildings products industry, the Clark family founded Quality Aluminum Products (www.qualityaluminum.com) in 1990 to provide specialty aluminum products to customers. Quality Aluminum Products (QAP) now manufactures a wide range of aluminum products, including siding, soffit and fascia, roof edges and moldings, colored coil stock and gutters and accessories. With locations in both Flat Rock and Hastings, Michigan, QAP employs 117.


QAP was experiencing issues regarding incorrect shipments. Either their product was not being received or the incorrect product was received but not returned. In the previous year, QAP lost $600,000 to credits given for incorrect deliveries. They also paid $90,000 to expedite replacement items to customers. With demand expected to increase, QAP needed to improve their business practices or risk losing even more revenue, and customers, to faulty shipments. By targeting their overall operational excellence, they hoped to transform their business and see improvements in sales, product throughput, quality and customer satisfaction.


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After working with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) in the past, QAP knew they would have the tools necessary to make their transformation successful. Following QAP’s completion of a Transformation Planner and operational assessment, The Center developed an improvement plan to reduce the number of order errors. QAP’s action plan included:

• 5S/Visual Management Flow Kaizen to make for a safer, cleaner and more organized work environment. Through the reorganization, workers immediately realized the improvements were necessary and are now striving to maintain their clean work environment.

• Quick changeover event for the slitter area, which ultimately reduced the entire process from 28 minutes to 10.5 minutes. This helped QAP save 200 minutes a day, gaining three hours of run time every day.

• Business metrics implementation to track performance and better monitor all business issues. This allowed QAP to reach a 50% reduction in costs, saving $460,000 overall.

The Center provided additional consulting in lean manufacturing, value stream mapping, and sales and marketing planning and sales processing. Through these initiatives, QAP successfully implemented case reporting on delivery issues to capture all costs and sources of error, initiated a “5-alarm fire” procedure for reaction to mis-pulled items, and established standard work for shipping operations. To maintain an environment of continuous improvement and operational excellence, QAP continues to utilize the skills they gained from their training with The Center.


  • Retained Sales: $2,100,000
  • Cost Savings: $460,000
  • Retained Jobs: 5
  • New Investment: $20,000
  • On-Time Delivery Improvement of 8% over a six-month period, up to 98.9%