Constant Improvement – The RYCO Project

Posted on: December 14th, 2020 by Lukas Voss | No Comments

CITY is always looking to innovate and improve how we operate to benefit our customers and employees.


The newly installed RYCO system improved several aspects of daily plant workflow and also changed the way the plant looks and how the depots will operate in the future.


The conclusion of the RYCO project marks a major expansion for all of CITY's depot locations.

“We more than doubled our capacity in soil storage and we think this will allow us to better handle growth and better deal with the service to our customers.” – Colin Wetlaufer, CITY’s President


As CITY’s President Colin Wetlaufer is focused on the future, he said this project was necessary for the company’s future growth.


“The RYCO project created more space and capacity, not only to handle current soil but all future growth,” Colin said.


According to Colin, CITY’s plant functions as a big funnel. It’s essential to have more capacity as garments enter the process, to make sure the bottleneck is the very last step and not along the middle. One of the past issues was CITY’s plant had that process upside-down, with the chokepoint being the soil dock.


“Everything happens on the same day,” Luis Portillo, CITY’s Director of Operations said. “Our employees have everything ready on the ceiling and ready to be washed. Everything you need for the washroom is ready so we can be fast and more efficient for our customers.”


For Luis, being more efficient is a key part of the expansion.


“We more than doubled our capacity in soil storage,” Colin said. “We think this will allow us to better handle growth and better deal with the service to our customers.”


A major driver in getting the RYCO project done was CITY’s overall growth, including running more business out of the company’s depots in Polk City, Minnesota, and Cedar Rapids. The garment storage layout and route loading area were designed for service out of step vans and a couple of years ago CITY started making the move towards straight trucks with a semi, shuttling garments to each depot. The RYCO railing system will also help improve the workflow for Route Service Representatives.


“It’s making things easier in garment assembly, faster and better for our Route Service Representatives,” Colin said. “It’s easier to sort and quicker to load and unload.”


Dakota Gipper is CITY’s plant manager. He is seeing first-hand how the RYCO project improves the experience for CITY’s employees and ensures that CITY can serve more customers, while not losing any quality in the process.


“Our production team is working smarter not harder,” Dakota said. “We already work fast and efficiently, but we want to be better, and RYCO is helping us. With mats, for example, you don’t have one basket, you have 12 full slings and work non-stop.”


Katie Buhman who is a team captain on CITY’s assembly production team said the project has directly impacted her and her team.



“Everything goes on a trolley from final assembly all the way to the trucks,” Katie said. “We don’t have to load anything in cars anymore. It’s awesome!”


CITY’s Polk City Depot was the first location to receive the update, and the team has already seen improvements in its operation


The goal of the RYCO project is to make CITY a better overall company, make it easier for current employees, and provide a better service to our customers.


“It’s just a complete game-changer,” Colin said.


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