Almost every Friday morning at 8am for the past year and a half, Andres Contreras sat down with the Sustainergy team to help them improve operations, learn co-op principles and increase their understanding on how to run an efficient worker co-op company. As the team met with him their final time last month, the workers reminisced about all of the great projects they had worked on together. Some of the highlights include learning and implementing 5s and LEAN business practices which helped them become more efficient, improve safety, and reduce direct expenses.
For example, there were many issues with space management in the truck and the warehouse. Andres was critical to help them use the 5S system to organize and standardize both of these spaces. They even held fun competitions to see which worker team could come up with the best continuous improvement project. One of the winning projects included coming up with a way to attach a ladder to the outside of the truck so that it could be accessed more easily and safely.
He also helped implement customer satisfaction criteria and supported the CEO to help him stay focused on performing critical tasks like hiring processes. CEO Flequer Vera states, “While we are really happy for Andres and the new adventures he will have as he returns home to Venezuela, he will be sorely missed and hard to replace. We wish to thank him for all he did to help worker ownership grow and thrive in Cincinnati. Buenas suerte con todo!!”