The Ashland Branch of Whayne Supply Company is the first Caterpillar dealer to be awarded a 5-Star Rating for controlling contamination in parts and work areas. The Cat program rates dealers on a score of one star to five stars, with five stars being the highest rating.
Dirt is the silent enemy of heavy machinery. It can accelerate wear in many of the machine’s systems, and can cause failure in critical hydraulic cylinders. Once dirt contaminates a system it must be cleaned out, either at repair sites in the field or in the shop — adding to repair time and expense.
This is why Cat created the Caterpillar Contamination Control Compliance Program in September 2000 and encouraged its dealers nationwide to participate. The intensive evaluation covers 20 areas including the main shop and specific component rebuild areas — and Cat inspectors can show up at a dealer anytime, unannounced.
In Ashland, the program began in the Whayne earthmoving shop under direction of Tony Ellis, service foreman. “Our earthmoving shop only had four people in it. If we could get the program to work there, we believed we could implement it in other areas,” Ellis said.
After several meetings and the exchange of ideas and suggestions, cleanliness and order in the shop became the rule rather than the exception. The shop floor was cleaned and remained clean throughout the workday. Tools not in use were picked-up and stored. Fluid spills were quickly cleaned. Workbenches and work in progress were covered between shifts to keep them dirt-free. Shelves were dusted. Caps and plugs were used on hoses and open lines. Parts were wrapped, bagged and stored. Lids were kept on open containers. And, individuals were given responsibility for specific areas in the shop.
“The men took pride in their work, the quality improved and the number of jobs that had to be re-worked because of contamination dropped,” said Ellis. “Once they saw everyone was serious about the program, things began to happen throughout the branch in every area,” he said.
But the program was not an instant success, improving over time after several Caterpillar inspections.
After the first inspection, the Ashland branch scored too low to receive a rating. Cat inspectors returned in May of 2001 and awarded the branch with an impressive 3-Star Rating, at that time the highest nationwide. On another visit the branch had improved enough to receive a 4-Star Rating, and this past March it received the rating of 5-Stars, a rating unequalled by any other Cat dealer in North America.
“This was a team effort,” said Dan Frailly, Whayne manager of technical services. “One individual could have never done what these guys pulled together to do. It’s a very impressive achievement, worthy of the recognition Cat has given them.”
The branch was presented a plaque in recognition of its achievement by Caterpillar representatives and Whayne Supply management. “You have set the standard for all Whayne branches,” said Monty Boyd, Whayne’s vice president, East Operations during the presentation ceremony.
According to Frailly, the current goal is to improve the Cat ratings to at least a 3-Star level at all Whayne Supply locations throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and in each of the company’s Power Rebuild Centers.
“Thanks to Ashland’s hard work and exceptional performance, we have an excellent model to follow at our other branches,” said Frailly.
For more information, call 502/774-4441. CEG