A Lean Decision

MARKET SIGNS
Faster, better, thinner, cheaper. Faster, better, thinner, cheaper. Faster, better, thinner, cheaper. This mantra can be heard around the world as Adult Incontinence (AI) manufactures adapt to an evolving underpad market, one of the key products within the AI market. Underpads are flat absorbent pads used to protect bed linen and chairs. They are made of absorbent material with a fluid-proof backing and may be disposable or reusable. In response to the market, manufactures are rolling out updates and modifications to high speed lines to make products as thin and efficient as ever. At the same time, there are added value trends to consider such as higher absorbency levels (achieved by replacing existing tissue material with a higher absorbent fluff pulp), faster fluid acquisition, as well as efforts to decrease the amount of fluff pulp used to cut costs and create thinner products. Attends Healthcare Products is a great example of a manufacturing company that is following these trends by introducing a new high speed underpad line to effectively compete in the AI market and capture a larger market share.

THE ISSUE
Today, Attends manufactures two types of underpads, layered and fluff, together both make up close to 30% of their business. However, Attends still remains uncompetitive in the Underpad market with only 15% of the market share. Attends was set on finding the key reasons behind the problems and what kind of decisions would need to be made to fix them. After some extensive research and analysis, Attends found that the key reasons behind their lack of market competitiveness and position was the inefficiencies in several supply chain areas. Specifically, in the use of too many materials, too much material, the high costs of raw materia ...
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