Sales volumes had been gradually declining over a 10 year period and our analysis showed that there was an increase in the product range during this time. This had led to smaller batch sizes introducing inefficiencies within the manufacturing process. In addition, the plant capacity (resourcing and running the equipment 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year) had not been based on the declining output, therefore, compounding the inefficiency.
The current workforce was struggling to fully resource the shift rosters with a number of recent retirees not able to be replaced. The business recognised this issue and was looking for solutions.
Bourton began reviewing the detailed data including the run rates for each product and calculated the overall maximum capacity to base resourcing schedules on.
‘Back to the Floor’ sessions and stakeholder interviews were carried out to understand the planning, scheduling, OEE, quality, organisational structures, reward schemes, KPI’s, rostering, operating costs, etc.
A range of solutions was developed; reducing working weeks to reflect actual demand, restructuring of shift teams, reducing changeovers, introducing production monitoring and control (LDMS*) to support the teams deliver against KPI’s, reducing unplanned downtime and improving the start-up process.
We were delighted with the benefits delivered. Salary savings achieved by moving from four shift managers and 50 staff to five shift managers and 45 staff gave us much more flexibility.
We were also pleased that Bourton allowed the team to challenge the report.
Extra benefits from the analysis such as perceived tonnage rates, improved our start-ups and using our own people which has also reduced our contract labour bill.
The biggest change though is in culture – the organisation is now much more willing to consider a change.
We should’ve done this years ago!