Manufacturing capacity improvement
This privately owned manufacturing company was experiencing considerable growth and was on target to improve sales by 30% year-on-year over a period of 4 years. However, the facility was rapidly becoming overloaded, overtime was endemic and productivity was suffering. Key staff were struggling to cope, morale was falling and customers were being let-down. As a result, we were asked to undertake a complete review of operations and to recommend how the position could be improved. The initial focus was on overcoming the short-term capacity issues, however a longer term growth strategy was also required.
The project was undertaken using Six Sigma methodology and Lean principles. It commenced with the derivation of a set of current performance-related metrics that measured the main aspects of the business. These were particularly revealing and what become clear at the outset was that although there were pockets of excellence, many areas of the company were underperforming. Essentially, there was no real correlation between production requirements and resources - both raw material and manpower.
In-house staff were fully involved throughout and their day-to-day frustrations were highlighted.
The project was delivered on time and within budget. The initial report highlighted more than 50 recommendations that were used to formulate a prioritised action plan for the client's staff to follow. A member of management was tasked with implementing the findings and the project paid for itself on the first recommendation alone! Savings were based on an improvement in productivity of c10% and were conservatively projected to be c£60,000 per annum, although in reality, the figure is likely to exceed £100,000. More importantly, the improved productivity generated additional output that was used to remove the backlog of orders over a two month period.