TUPELO – Eight Day-Brite employees leave today for Morocco to represent their plant in their parent company’s international quality improvement competition.
The trip to Marrakech, a former imperial city in Morocco, is paid for by Day-Brite and parent company Philips Group. The Tupelo workers will compete against a dozen other teams from countries such as Poland, Germany, India, China and Brazil.
Team members are David Cook (team leader), Wanda Davis, Renika Franks, David Lee, Shelia Moss, Carlton Plunk, Sharon Rye and Ronnie Shuler.
The competition is for Philips employees and focuses on improvements to the facility, the workers or the products. About 21,000 employees and 3,800 teams competed globally in Philips’ QIC program.
The Day-Brite team secured a spot in the international competition with its improvements to the Attune light fixture. Improvements included reducing the weight from 24 pounds to 14 pounds.
Rye, who oversees the competition at the plant level along with serving on the team, said the changes were suggested after two of the team members went home every day worn out from lifting the fixtures. So, they found a way to reduce the weight and in the process saved Philips’ $676,310. The change also reduced carbon emissions by the equivalent of 386 cars.
Once in Morocco, the team knows they will compete, but much of the trip remains a mystery until they arrive, Rye said. They expect they’ll get to see some local flavor, perhaps camel rides and belly dancers, but they aren’t sure what’s on the schedule.
“We all want to see the town and ride the Marrakech Express from Casablanca,” Rye said. “I don’t know really what to expect, but it’ll be grand.”
This is the first year Day-Brite has competed, since it wasn’t part of Philips Group before.
So far, the results have been good. Two Tupelo teams competed in the North American competition in Cancun, with the Attune team winning first and the other team placing second.
“I’m so proud of them,” Rye said. “There’s a lot of good people who work here. It’s awesome to be able to take your people out of their work environment and say ‘Show what you’ve done and what you’ve learned.’ It’s been fun … It’s not something you get to do at every factory.”
Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal