Dayton Business Jounal 4.28.11

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Dayton Business Jounal 4.28.11

  1. 1. reases local manufacturingtst APRIL 29, 2011 dayton.bizjournals.com d a ion PDI increases local manufacturing an- the in Springboro firm postsport 20% revenue boostcare BY JOE COGLIANOand DBJ STAFF REPORTERmes omn it About a year ago, Lou Vilardo faced a dilemma. ion The president of PDI Commu- but o in nication Systems Inc. wanted toncy, bring more manufacturing work under the roof of the company’s the s of 70,000-square-foot plant in Spring- boro, but had run out of space. hin PDI makes personal televisions, the ran support arm assemblies and mounts 90s for health care facilities — such as hospitals, dialysis and oncology care naway facilities and nursing homes — and Vilardo pictured a better bottom line fall,now by scaling back on the production it in outsourced. just His first thought was to build an JOE COGLIANO DBJ line Smart Changes: Lou Vilardo, president of Springboro-based PDI Communication . addition or lease other buildingssted around town, but Vilardo’s advisory System stands in front of the company’s movable televisions, which areCOGLIANO DBJ JOE used in d to board suggested he go in another health care facilities. Vilardo reconfigured his facility the company’s movable televi- Smart Changes: Lou Vilardo, president of Springboro-based PDI Communication System stands in front of last year to bring more manu-y to direction: launch a new efficiency, facturing under his roof. sions, which are used in health care facilities. Vilardo reconfigured his facility last year to bring more manufacturing under his roof. nce or lean, campaign. we make stuff, we don’t want to be a ware- went on a mission to tear apart and So, Vilardo hired Mason-based Definity PDI COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS arly house distributor.” involve reconfiguring Partners last springPDIput PDI under a This would rebuild the way to operates.cost microscope and develop an initiative that Contact: Lou Vilardo, president om the production floor and training would be sustainable. the project last A different approach Since completing Address: 40 Greenwood Lane, Springboro 45066s to all levels of management to work fall, he Partners is a business of PDI’s Definity said about half improve- Phone: (800) 628-9870ed. Web: pdiarm.com smarter. gone through lean initiatives ment firm. now comes from products PDI had revenue Business: Personal television and related arm assem-here in the past, but those were relatively small For starters, Definity helped PDI revamp or “You probably have the space manufactured in Springboro, com- projects and the outcomes never really blies for health care facilitiesurer, took hold.your four walls, you just don’t pared with 20 percent just apage 9 within See PDI few know it,” the board told Vilardo, an years ago. The company’s bottom year, compared to 2009, and Vilardo auto industry veteran who joined line also improved by more than 10 expects the company to match rev- TH THE the company in the late 1990s and percent. SHARKS enue this year. rvice in Internet Age takes new wave of concern became sole owner in 2007. In terms of revenue, the company At the same time, PDI saved mon- Vilardo took the advice and posted a 20 percent increase last ey since an addition project couldomers this lesson the hard way is United Airlines. agent outside the plane. But that per- And Carroll’s experience with Unitedss the In March 2008, Dave Carroll and his band, son claimed to have no authority and as he sought restitution is a horror story
  2. 2. PDI: Company may add additional lines for production at its Springboro facilityhave run nearly $1 million while the company — with 95 employees plus ity, said it is common for manufac-lean campaign cost about $300,000, as many as 20 temps working at any turing companies to start on leanincluding everything from consult- time — had higher-level manag- initiatives that don’t take holding fees to new concrete floors to ers who were micromanaging the because they only focus on one partsupport equipment that had to be operation and floor supervisors who of the equation — processes.moved. spent too much of their time work- “They never really work on chang- “So we can do the assembly ing on the assembly line. ing people’s mindset,” Kuhn said.work here and compete fairly well To fix the issue, “That’s really what prevents yourwith China or Korea,” Vilardo said. several top man- false starts is really changing the“We’re a manufacturer, we make agers at PDI were attitude of the people.”stuff, we don’t want to be a ware- schooled in how to PDI’s roots trace back to a con-house distributor.” train middle man- tract machine shop called Precision agers on being more Industries. In late 1980s, Preci-A different approach effective supervi- sion Industries started making arm sors. This produced mounts for a client and migrated PDI had gone through lean ini- a ripple effect that Jay Kuhn into putting modified consumer-tiatives in the past, but those were cut the need for top managers to brand televisions on the end of therelatively small projects and the micromanage and floor supervi- arms. Over time, PDI morphed intooutcomes never really took hold. sors to perform the work of their the main business and began pro- So, Vilardo hired Mason-based operators. ducing its own televisions as well asDefinity Partners last spring to put PDI also launched a daily huddle, bigger sets beyond the arm-mountedPDI under a microscope and devel- 10- to 15-minute morning meetings, models.op an initiative that would be sus- where individual departments could The company sells its product totainable. gather to discuss everything from health care facilities through dis- Definity Partners is a business what went well — and what didn’t tributors.improvement firm. go well — the previous day, plus Precision Industries still exists, but For starters, Definity helped PDI worker ideas. much of its work is done for PDI.revamp work areas and production Since completing the initiative, PDI’s future looks bright. Vilar-lines, boosting efficiency while Vilardo said PDI is producing 50 do looks to add more produc-opening up 5,000 square feet for percent more televisions with the tion in Springboro, such as a newmuch-needed storage space and same number of workers. arm-mounted TV with computing2,500 square feet for new products “We’ve always had great people, options and two private label prod-lines. we just needed to do some things ucts, which could spur the need for Then, it went about changing the differently,” Vilardo said. “Any another six employees.way PDI employees think about time you give people the freedom to As a result, he may soon be facingtheir jobs. think about what they’re doing and the need for more space. Vilardo said his people worked improve their work environment, “At least for now, I know we’rehard, but admits PDI wasn’t very that’s a good thing.” getting the most out of what weefficient before the project. The Jay Kuhn, president of Defin- have,” Vilardo said. Reprinted for web use with permission from Dayton Business Journal. ©2011, all rights reserved. Reprinted exclusively by Scoop ReprintSource 1-800-767-3263.

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