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Zahid Ayub and Essa Firooz stood proudly as their company steadily grew.
As president and vice president of ThermoFluid International - a 3-year-old, Arlington-based manufacturer of heat transfer equipment and systems - Ayub and Firooz saw sales jump from $100,000 in 1992 to more than $2.5 million in 1994. Sales for 1995 are expected to be even higher.
Despite the success, they still had a problem to contend with: inefficiency.
"In an operation like ours it's not easy to measure efficiency, but we could tell there was a problem because we were falling behind on jobs," Ayub said. "It was a small problem, but it was a problem that we felt we could fix and in the process make the company operate at an even higher level."
At first the problem was confronted by placing a shift manager in the production plant to personally supervise the employees. The way Ayub figured it, the presence of a manager would force employees to work a little harder and …