Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 126

South

Desert Tech LLC

bility," he says. "It's not just another
gimmick or another tool.
"Every day [for them] is plan, do,
check and act," he says. "We're looking for people that have that type of
background. They're going to provide
a lot better, quicker input on how we
can improve output."
But finding qualified people can be
a challenge, Luna admits. "It has been
for a number of years," he says, noting
that Utah has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States.
Desert Tech's robust training programs for its production personnel
will help mitigate and overcome
those obstacles, he asserts. "We need
to be training and preparing backups," he says.
desert tech has implemented
kanban across its business with
an objective to significantly
reduce inventory.

our design and product launch efforts," Luna explains. He also notes
that the company has seen improvements "at the back end in terms of
customer satisfaction."
Desert Tech has placed greater
importance on listening to customers, Luna says. "[We're] taking that
feedback all the way to the front line
and making sure that all employees
have an appreciation for servicing
the customer," he says. "They know
their responsibility in meeting the
needs of the customer not only from
a quality standpoint but from a delivery standpoint."
Thanks to these changes, "Our
products are well vetted out by the
time they hit a prototype phase," he
says. "The ability to do a proper analysis up front will ensure that we mitigate risks and the products are going
to be really functional."
Desert Tech has seen lead times im126

manufacturing-today.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

prove as well. "When I got here, our
lead time to deliver a product was 45
to 60 days," Luna recalls. "Now, we're
turning products over in two to three
working days. That's been a significant drop in serving the customers,
and we're seeing [more] confidence in
the field with the customers."

Recruiting Experts
Luna's initiatives include hiring more
employees with backgrounds in lean.
"That type of effort has been significant in the last six months," he says,
noting that the company hired associates for its design, sustainment,
and manufacturing and engineering
departments. "We're probably up 600
percent in terms of investment in personnel in those areas."
When recruiting, Desert Tech looks
for those "who have exposure to kaizen and understand that process improvement is part of their responsi-

The Lifeblood
Desert Tech strongly values its relationships with suppliers. "The suppliers are the lifeblood of our business,"
Luna declares. "We need to ensure
that we're communicating properly
with our suppliers, especially from a
technical standpoint."

"the ability to value-stream out our
processes and optimize those value-added steps are critical."
As part of this focus, the company
implemented a new purchasing and
supplier management team. "Over
the last six months, we've brought in
industry experts to build our supplier
base to make sure we have the right
base that can [make] on-time deliveries as well as [provide] quality."
Desert Tech also has developed
kanban efforts with its suppliers.
"They've been supportive of that," he
says. "We're spending more time with


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 3
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