CMI completes Mercury Marine cost reduction project

NEENAH, Wis. – Custom Marine Inc. has become the first Mercury Marine supplier to complete a joint manufacturing cost reduction project under Mercury’s Lean Six Sigma program, the companies said in a press release Tuesday.

Lean Six Sigma is a continuous improvement method manufacturers use to focus on increasing product quality, enhancing customer satisfaction and optimizing manufacturing processes while reducing materials waste and costs. The project encompassed everything from product design to manufacturing, focusing on reducing the overall costs of manufacturing high-performance marine exhaust systems designed for application on Mercury Racing stern drive products, according to the company.

Chris Morth, CMI plant manager, was designated project coordinator, which required him to put into practice the skills and principles of the Lean Six Sigma performance improvement model he studied in the Green Belt training program. Through his direct involvement in this project, Morth became one of the first persons employed by a supplier to receive certification as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Mercury Marine.

“We are extremely pleased to be the first supplier to Mercury Marine that has successfully completed a project utilizing Mercury’s Lean Six Sigma processes,” said Joe Zelinski, CMI president. “Achieving this milestone also represents an extension of our overall commitment to improving quality and processes as an ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturer.”

Mercury Marine began implementing the Lean Six Sigma principles more than four years ago. To date, Mercury Marine has completed nearly 1,300 projects utilizing the Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement process.

“We are pleased to have successfully completed our first supply-side Lean Six Sigma project with Custom Marine because it enables us to extend the reach of our Lean Six Sigma initiative beyond our doorstep,” said Mark Marchello, Lean Six Sigma master black belt and program manager at Mercury Racing. “Completing projects of this magnitude requires a huge commitment, from both the supplier and Mercury, as well as dedicated project coordinators like Chris, who was one of the first people outside Mercury Marine to receive Green Belt certification under this program.

“By working closely with our suppliers to apply the Lean Six Sigma principles within their processes, as well as certifying Green Belts with in those organizations, we can keep the momentum going by creating a lean supply chain that ensures delivery of the highest quality products possible,” Marchello continued. “As a result, we can continue to build upon a sound foundation that delivers continuous improvement and efficiencies, which help to offset the impact of rising materials costs, and drives overall customer satisfaction.”

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