Employee Empowerment and Incentives Lead to Increased Use of Reusables for Intek

How do you jump start employee engagement in reducing scrap and promoting the use of reusable containers? The right approach for one plastic extrusions manufacturer has been an innovative employee involvement and gainsharing approach, according to a recent report in Sustainable Plant.

Intek won the Andersen Corporation Supply Chain Award for decreases to electrical consumption and scrap material.

In 2009, Intek, based in Hastings, Minnesota, launched its Scrap Reduction Program, propelled by a committee of employees and the use of continuous improvement principles. Employees were further motivated to reduce waste. The company offered to share 50 percent of the actual cost savings with them. During the first year of the initiative, Intek reduced material scrap by 24 percent through recycling and reuse efforts, and each employee earned more than $1,000 in incentives.

The use of reusable packaging has also been extended to its own customers as well, with more of them now receiving products in reusables. One of Intek’s major customers, a manufacturer of windows and doors, now receives roughly 50 percent of its product from the plastics extruder in reusable packaging.


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