Case Studies


CASE STUDIES



Luxury Yacht Builder, UK


Background & Challenge


With a 2+ year order book and huge market demand for their product, our client is in an envious position. However, in the last 24 months, they have hit their "glass ceiling" which is restricting their ability to meet the demand of the market. They have also been struggling to make a margin on their products due to low productivity, high scrap rates and vast amounts of rework. 


Solution


  • Engagement with stakeholders to identify the key bottlenecks within production flow 
  • Value Stream Map the bottleneck processes to identify improvement opportunities
  • Introduce Visual Management for key production metrics
  • Implementation of 5S workplace organisation
  • Shift from batch production to single piece flow
  • Shift from a push system to a pull system


Implementation approach


A senior Lean Practitioner was mobilised to implement the solution. All affected front-line blue collar staff spent 0.5 days involved in a lean simulation to improve their understanding of the changes that were to be introduced.

The Lean Practitioner worked with the Section Leads, Production Leads, Production Manager and operatives to implement the solution. This ensured that changes to process were owned by the Production Team


Results (small moulds facility)


  • 40% uplift in Productivity
  • 300% increase in production capacity
  • 70% reduction in rework
  • Simplification of processes, reducing the mobilisation time for new operatives by more than 50%
  • Component lead times reduced from >24 hours to <2 hours
  • Enabled the potential for future innovation, thanks to the implementation of a production line



Privately-owned Major Constructor, UK and GmbH


Background & Challenge


As part of a major construction company, our client were well positioned to provide Natural Stone products to a high-profile construction project at Hyde Park, in the heart of central London. However, poor factory productivity and serious quality issues were causing significant impact to construction progress.


Solution


  • Value Stream Map the production facility to identify improvement opportunities
  • Introduce Visual Management for key production metrics
  • Train the workforce on 5S and introduce throughout the factory
  • Address the process bottlenecks
  • Apply SMED principles for quick changeover between product lines
  • Shift from push to pull through the introduction of Kanban
  • Move responsibility for quality away from inspectors towards the factory workers


Implementation approach


Due to the time scales and risk involved, our client requested that a Senior Lean Practitioner was deployed full-time, initially for 3 months, extending to 12 months in total. During this time, graduate Construction Engineers were seconded from the UK headquarters for 3 month periods to gain experience of Lean deployment.


Results


  • Safety – from 6 reportable accidents in the previous 12 months to no reportable accidents in the following 12 months
  • £250k capital cost avoidance
  • Throughput increased by 120% (from 150m2 to 330m2 per week) with just 18% increase in people
  • Scrap rates of >50% reduced to <5%
  • Typical lead times reduced from 8-10 weeks to 2-3 weeks




Precision Engineering Company, UK (Manufacturing)


Background & Challenge


A key product in our client's range is a sub-sea gate valve, precision engineered from high-quality materials. However, lead times were failing to meet customer expectations. The rapid decline of customer numbers was posing a real threat to the existence of the business. New investors identified the threat early on and moved quickly to address the situation.


Solution


  • Produce a current state value stream map of the process, highlighting areas of waste and opportunities to address
  • Design a future-state value stream map, removing major areas of waste and calculating the impact to key lean metrics
  • Develop an action plan to achieve the future state in a controlled way, whilst mitigating identifiable risks and continuing to deliver on commitments to customers


Implementation approach


Our client requested that the activity be led by an experienced Lean Practitioner to ensure that the immediate opportunities were realised in the shortest timeframe possible. Throughout the process, the leadership team were briefed on a daily basis on the change being implemented. The Lean Practitioner was full-time for 6 months.


Results


  • Lead times for gate valves were reduced from 51.8 days (with 0.8% value added time) to 5.1 days (with 8.7% value added time)
  • Value Stream WIP reduced from £635.6k to £62.5k, leading to significant increase in the value of the company
  • Headcount required to deliver the same capacity reduced from 9 FTE to 7 FTE






Highways Operations & Maintenance JV, UK (M25)


Background & Challenge


In 2009, our client was awarded an unprecedented 30 year contract worth £6.2 billion, to Design, Build, Finance & Operate the M25 network. This contract shifts all risk to the joint venture, creating a need to think and act differently in order to maximise the opportunity this type of arrangement offers. However, with a management team and blue-collar work force familiar with an industry rife with inefficiencies, this challenge is predominantly one of cultural change.


Solution


  • Create clear line of sight between the Highways Agency’s vision and the performance expectations of the work force
  • Establish a Critical Mass of Lean expertise within the organisation, sufficient to affect a cultural shift and change in mind set from that of a blame culture to an organisation of solution deliverers


Implementation approach


  • Organisational Effectiveness Model (OEM) used to develop strategic intent for the business and prioritise areas for improvement
  • Plan to deliver 4 waves of Lean Practitioner training (totalling 40 practitioners); as of June 2014, 2 waves completed and accreditation of 17 practitioners achieved
  • Lean Leadership training completed for all senior leadership team members
  • Ongoing mentoring of Leaders and Practitioners throughout and beyond their training
  • Business Improvement strategy (5 year plan) established; business case for “engine room” of resource signed off


Results


  • Clear strategic intent for the organisation has been defined (OEM – vision, purpose, strategies, etc)
  • £1.7 million of improvement value identified through the Lean Practitioner’s “development” projects and a conservative estimate of £6 million net cash benefit expected over the next 5 years
  • Plan to realise £800k of the value as bottom line savings (£350k realised to date)
  • Relationship with Highways Agency has shifted from one of conflict to one of strategic partnering; the Highways Agency have commenced an OEM review in partnership with our client, with a clear mandate to maximise road user/tax payer value


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