US Synthetic (USS), recent recipient of The Shingo Prize, is the leading provider of polycrystalline diamond cutter for oil and gas exploration. They also provide solutions for a variety of additional engineering challenges using the unique material properties of diamond. Because of US Synthetic’s constant innovation, quality and superior customer service; more of the world’s energy suppliers go to US Synthetic than any other PDC manufacturer.
“In 2008, The Shingo Prize qualification criteria became much more rigorous and focused on behaviors and principles across the enterprise, rather than just in operations,” said Bob Miller, executive director of The Shingo Prize. “US Synthetic is one in only a handful of companies to receive the prestigious award since the bar was raised. We congratulate US Synthetic for the culture and practices which qualify them for The Shingo Prize, and commend them for the world-class company and people we observed while evaluating their business.”
USS was founded in 1978 and has customers throughout the world. US Synthetic employs more than 650 people and are located in Orem, Utah. The company is part of the Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV). USS has also spent more than two decades perfecting its products to drill faster and last longer – in conditions that test the limits of the most durable drill equipment.
USS practices continuous improvement by focusing on delivering value to its customers and encouraging their employees to act and lead. They do this by making their employees responsible for problem solving and connecting them to their customers and vendors across organizational boundaries to deliver value. The creation of this performance culture is done by regular coaching and a dedicated training cell.
“Unlike companies that adopt continuous improvement programs to cut costs and regain a competitive financial position, US Synthetic started is Lean journey with a focus on enterprise excellence in serving our customers and delivering value through rapid customization, innovation, on-time delivery, and superior quality,” said Rob Galloway, president and CEO, US Synthetic. “Our lean efforts come from a desire to continually improve what we do, to engage the minds of all our people throughout the entire organization, to effectively deploy company strategy, and to stay ahead of our customers’ expectations form both a capacity and a technology perspective. We are grateful to have been awarded The Shingo Prize, and we view this award as a mile marker on our Lean journey, rather than the finish line.”
By creating this culture of improvement USS was able to make some major improvements. By replacing batch processing with flow cells, they were able to reduce flow time from 4-17 days to 15 minutes. Their revenues also grew by 23 percent annually, while maintaining the industry’s best lead times. Headcount also grew by 16 percent and building space by only 17 percent, over the same period.
USS also recognizes that a large part of its mission is to improve lives in the community and globally. The company and its employees donate regularly to local charitable efforts including food banks, high school scholarship programs, school drives, Sub for Santa, Habitat for Humanity and the Boy Scouts of America.
“This award is a compliment to our people and their attitude towards continuous improvement which aligns with our customers’ needs,” said Eric Pope, vice president of operations at USS. “Throughout US Synthetic, our people find ways to help our customers succeed in their jobs and with the products they make. Regardless of title or functional area, every US Synthetic employee works together to deliver the value our customers have come to expect from us,”
Additionally, US Synthetic employees actively teach principles of continuous improvement in their humanitarian service and in local businesses and schools.
“US Synthetic started its Lean journey with a focus on enterprise excellence in serving our customers and delivering value through rapid customization, innovation, on-time delivery, and superior quality.” – Rob Galloway, president and CEO, US Synthetic.