General Motors

General Motors

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The Phoenix Group Helps GM Drive 50% Reduction in Scrap & 35% Throughput Improvement


General Motors is a global automotive company united by a single purpose: to earn customers for life. GM is driven to define and lead the future of personal mobility, and they utilize a network of manufacturing and fabrication plants across the globe to produce better, safer, and higher value cars, trucks, and crossovers. The Phoenix Group works with multiple GM plants, but this case study focuses on a specific plant that specializes in the metal fabrication of parts for the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon lines of mid-sized pickup trucks.


This GM metal fabrication facility was experiencing three main challenges:

  • High scrap rates, salvage costs, and manpower costs for correcting defects
  • Dies returning from maintenance without any discernable improvement, which led to press downtime due to the poor workmanship
  • The highly anticipated launch of the new Canyon and Colorado lines

In addition to facing issues due to increasing scrap rates and poor workmanship, this plant required a cultural overhaul due to the shift from commercial vehicles to retail vehicles, resulting in pressure to adopt new skills required for maintaining new quality standards. The plant also had excessive individual specialization among the die makers, creating a lack of flexibility that inhibited growth and change.

The Phoenix Difference

The Phoenix Group was called upon to help this GM plant remedy their issues and prepare for the anticipated launch of the Canyon and Colorado trucks. Equipped with a proven strategy, Phoenix spearheaded the complete development of a new formability process with focus on data-driven problem solving.

“Phoenix got to work immediately, integrating seamlessly into our team and supporting overall business goals. They rolled up their sleeves and helped wherever they could, regardless of whether it was truly within scope. I don’t see that very often.”- Jason Stern Operations Manager, GM Wentzville Assembly Plant

With nearly 30 years of process consulting and outsourcing experience in the automotive industry, The Phoenix Group understands the challenges of working in UAW environments and takes a shoulder-to-shoulder approach to building trust, implementing best practices, and improving performance and quality. Not only does Phoenix focus on skill development for lab analysts and die makers, but also works with plant and group leadership to help them install and operate a system that is proven to drive lasting results.

The Phoenix Group delivered a cost effective plan in a lean manufacturing environment to aid in achieving business results and integrated deeply into the plant to drive the cultural change and develop highly skilled employees, even with the difficult and technically-lacking team members. Phoenix’s unique training model ensured that both Phoenix staff and the plant leadership were aligned to jointly achieve end goals.


Not only did The Phoenix Group quickly develop the trust that allowed plant management to focus on other areas, but we also produced tangible results including:

  • 50% Reduction in Scrap
  • 35% Throughput Improvement
  • Significant Reduction in Overtime Costs

“I highly recommend Phoenix because they drive results. Phoenix supported a 35% throughput improvement, and a significant reduction in overtime, scrap, and salvage costs.”- Jason Stern Operations Manager, GM Wentzville Assembly Plant

In addition to providing immediate tangible results, we strive to build long-term partnerships with our customers and drive lasting change within their organizations. If you’re experiencing similar challenges as those listed above, we recommend a consultation with a Phoenix consultant. Click here to request a consultation with an automotive expert from the Phoenix team.

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