2022 Assembly Plant of the Year: Continuous Improvement Culture Thrives at Brose
The complex world inside a car door or under a seat is Brose’s domain. The $7 billion Tier One supplier does business with just about every automaker in the world. Customers include legacy firms ranging from Audi to Volkswagen, in addition to startup electric vehicle manufacturers such as Lucid and Rivian. One of Brose Group’s most important facilities is its 18-year-old assembly plant in Vance, AL, which generates more than $400 million in annual revenue. The 302,000-square-foot factory is strategically located between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, near Daimler’s sprawling Mercedes-Benz assembly plant that produces sport utility vehicles.
“During the last three years, we have conducted numerous process improvements and implemented procedures to reduce our plant costs and improve our overall quality,” says Jim Barbaretta, plant manager. “We have improved productivity and production costs by 25 percent over the last four years. “We also improved our productivity by 14 percent and have achieved an average continuous improvement savings of more than $2 million annually,” adds Barbaretta.