Company: 5N Plus
Client Brief: Following acquisition by Canadian based producer of speciality metals and chemical products, the £100m, 100 employee long established business based in Belgium was undergoing significant re-organisation and integration to meet demands of the parent company and its International customer base.
Challenge: To establish site control, improve business operating performance and champion cross-functional team development.
How we addressed it: Established clear accountability through meaningful job descriptions linked to challenging targets, established visual management/performance reporting, developed and directed improved working practices, led project management and process development teams. Instigated departmental budget ownership, site employee appraisals and championed £3m investment programme.
Outcomes: Improved Health, Safety and Quality awareness through increased surveillance/housekeeping campaigns. Reduced Inventory levels, implemented innovative production processes, achieved 60% process efficiency gain across critical product supply chain, eliminated £38k of external storage costs. Achieved savings against unit labour hours through improved manpower utilisation.
Client Brief: Operating from a UK base in the North West, this rapidly growing £6m annual sales business operated with 45 employees. Unimaq managed and enjoyed a global reputation for innovative design, development and delivery of high value specialist machinery into its chosen markets. The business also offers an after sales maintenance, repair and refurbishment service. Recognising the need to upgrade systems, operating practices and employee skills, the organisation required support to drive the changes necessary to improve company performance and customer credibility. A new ERP system had been purchased, but was suffering from implementation delays and was now well behind schedule.
Challenge: Complete ERP implementation integrating all business functions. Improve skill levels and build efficiency through knowledge transfer. Establish accurate stock identification, stock holding levels, eliminating obsolete/redundant stock and improve team working. Obtain quality management system registration through BSI.
How we addressed it: Resourced, planned and championed ERP implementation programme including bills of material, development of standard work instructions. Upgraded stores and purchasing organisation, actioned stock identification documented purchasing procedures and tightened stock movement controls. Championed company-wide NVQ based training programme in liaison with local college. Redesigned quality management system and audit process in line with ISO9001 (2008). Designed performance indicators, implemented daily workshop team reviews.
Outcomes: Improved design, BOM integrity, stock control and supply chain performance. Increased build and operator training efficiency, quality performance and capacity utilisation through formalised product build methods and process routing. Completed NVQ, BIT training across the business. Developed continuous improvement team working visual management KPI’s and formalised management reporting. Developed quality management system, achieved ISO 9001 (2008) registration.
Company: Caparo – Bomet – Poland
Client Brief: Following acquisition by a UK based Engineering group, the brief was to direct the turnaround of a failing manufacturing business based in North West Poland. The task included major refurbishment and restructuring to reposition the business as a world class producer of forgings and fabricated parts supplying into the highly competitive global market. With the decline in the Baltic shipbuilding sector, the company had moved to supply the Eastern European railway rolling stock sector but struggled with low margins and cyclic demand.
Challenge: Leadership/Project management of a £6m investment in buildings, machinery and working capital in a largely Polish speaking community, upgrade systems, increase design/process capability, increased flexibility/efficiency of working practices, need to develop new markets, improve management skills and supply chain performance.
How we addressed it: Established project plan, appointed local champions to manage implementation, timing and tracking for each project. Recruited and trained senior management team, negotiated new supply agreements for steel and other key materials/services, implemented group financial controls and reporting systems. Rationalised organisation structure reducing headcount from 260 to 125, embedded continuous improvement culture. Promoted re-modelled facilities/capabilities through customer/supplier open day.
Outcomes: Completed major refurbishment and plant investment programme, strengthened leadership systems, upgraded working practices achieving competitive operating performance, reduced operating costs by £1.1m. Increased sales by 22%, doubled gross margin, integrated £2 million+ new product supply business servicing European automotive, oil and gas sector customers, gained ISO 9001/TS16949 registration.
Company: Barton Aluminium (Caparo Subsidiary)
Client Brief: Following the loss of the businesses’ most profitable customer, representing 30% of business, this West Midlands supplier of aluminium castings urgently required support to refocus activities.
Challenge: As a major automotive OEM supplier of engine and chassis components, challenges arose in the form of quality, cost and delivery performance issues across the three distinct types of casting process. An integration of additional business was also required, preferably on a new site and potential sale of existing site for housing.
How we addressed it: Introduced and coached multifunctional process improvement teams for each of the three foundries and a common finishing team, defined framework of activity and metrics/KPI’s including safety, quality, productivity, capacity constraints, cost reduction and work place organisation. Leaders managed individual projects and key performance data was reviewed weekly by senior management. Championed value stream mapping programme applied across supply chain to improve lead times/reduce inventory for key product group. Integrated new products/equipment transferred from a failing competitor, negotiated cost reduction for products, project managed the business transfer and integration of two company acquisitions, organised the auction for disposal of surplus equipment prior to sale of site.
Outcomes: VSM benefits included doubling of stock turns, 15% increase in productivity and resulted in customer led KANBAN. Improved gross margin, customer service level, halved employee absence. Enhanced market opportunities through upgrade/rationalisation of plant and extended capability realised through on time and in budget site transfer/integration project.
Company: MGI Coutier
Client Brief: Recently established UK subsidiary of £200m. privately owned French, tier 1 automotive supplier of plastic injection moulded components servicing an International customer base.
Challenge: Develop site operations reporting to French based Divisional Director, improve leadership, productivity and customer performance. Introduce financial and operating controls, manage new product development, extend on-site process capability, champion growth in sales and site profitability.
How we addressed it: Agreed business plan, recruited and trained management team, targeted and monitored lean based improvement programme, championed product/process developments interfaced with customer launch programmes, created centre of product excellence. Developed quality management systems, achieved TS16949 registration.
Outcomes: Profit turnaround, doubled sales to £8.6m; Introduced 12 new products, reduced working capital by £700k., increased sales per employee by 38%, halved quality costs, improved customer ppm from 400 to 80 and scrap from 9% to 2.8%.