IW Best Plants Profile - 1994

Since its June 1985 implementation at Continental General Tire's Mount Vernon facility, the STAR (Saving Time and Resources) gain-sharing program has elicited more than 11,000 suggestions from plant workers, resulting in $30 million in cost savings. The program also helped create more than 1,000 new jobs in nine years.

The STAR system keeps all employees at the 1994 Best Plants award winner focused on business objectives and eligible to share in cost savings on a monthly basis. It gives management and workers a joint opportunity to improve plant operations, solve problems, lower costs, reduce waste, and improve safety. It also allows employees to question management decisions.

"STAR," says plant manager Jim Dolwick, "gives us the structure to allow for information to flow upward, downward, and sideways. It's a chance for employees to participate in the management of the plant . . . and to share in the cost-saving fruits of their suggestions." Since mid-1985, employees have shared $20 million in plant performance bonuses based on a split of 70 percent for employees and 30 percent for the plant.

Much of the plant's success comes from its computer-aided hiring practices. Only one candidate in 100 makes it through the screening process. Once hired, the orientation program focuses not so much on what their jobs will be as on teamwork and the business challenges the plant faces. Employees cannot be fired without the advice and consent of a peer review process.than 1,000 new jobs in nine years.

The STAR system keeps all employees at the 1994 Best Plants award winner focused on business objectives and eligible to share in cost savings on a monthly basis. It gives management and workers a joint opportunity to improve plant operations, solve problems, lower costs, reduce waste, and improve safety. It also allows employees to question management decisions.

"STAR," says plant manager Jim Dolwick, "gives us the structure to allow for information to flow upward, downward, and sideways. It's a chance for employees to participate in the management of the plant . . . and to share in the cost-saving fruits of their suggestions." Since mid-1985, employees have shared $20 million in plant performance bonuses based on a split of 70 percent for employees and 30 percent for the plant.

Much of the plant's success comes from its computer-aided hiring practices. Only one candidate in 100 makes it through the screening process. Once hired, the orientation program focuses not so much on what their jobs will be as on teamwork and the business challenges the plant faces. Employees cannot be fired without the advice and consent of a peer review process.

Continental General Tire, Inc., Commercial Division
Contact: Frank Bruce, Logistics Industrial Engineering Manager
P.O. Box 1029, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
Employees: 2,000
Major products: Radial tires

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