Heritage Bathrooms are the premier quality bathroom solution providers based in the UK. The manufacturing of the pottery that forms the substance of their offering presented a number of challenges to the management of the business due to inconsistencies within the process. Lean Business Solutions Ltd (LBS) were asked to work with the company to enable a step-change in performance and to help bring about a hearts and minds change so that the business was open to continuous improvement methodologies.
“without the ability to improve our operational performance, the business faced a difficult future. The improvements that came from from LBS helped the company to identify areas of poor performance and most importantly, presented us with the tools to be able to deliver the step-change in performance.”
Brian Keeley, Heritage Bathrooms Divisional Director
Process & Achievements
Process: LBS, in conjunction with the Heritage Management Team, identified areas for improvement that the business had been unsuccessful in controlling. Re-works and Work in Progress levels were quickly identified as major areas of concern as was workplace organisation. LBS Director Phil Hanson established a number of training sessions firstly with management and then with teams across the shopfloor. The establishment of Lean champions helped to drive this improvement from ground up. Results and achievements were:
- WIP Stock reduced from 14,500 pieces to 1,500 – due to establishment of limits and locations
- FG Stock reduced from 4,500 pieces to 450 – due to improved relationships downstream
- Re-works reduced by 40% – due to improved product knowledge from Standard Operations
- Lead Time reduced from 3 months to 2 weeks –with improved customer confidence
- Floor Space improvements of 30% – due to reductions in wip, fg and raw material inventories
- Losses reduced by 50% – due to wip reductions and improved process flow
- Absenteeism down from 6.5% to 0.5 – due to greater employee involvement
Footnote & Achievements: When Heritage Bathrooms decided to place all of their manufacturing off-shore in late 2009 Lean Business Solutions were selected to assist in managing the process. Again the strategy was agreed through discussions with Phil Hanson and the Heritage Management Team. It involved the managers studying for the Manufacturing Masters City and Guilds Licentiateship Qualifications in Lean Manufacturing and Leading Organisational Change together with the whole workforce undertaking further Lean training organised by LBS. Achievements included 100 people trained and readied for new challenges, 5% absenteeism during the 12 month consultation period – due to positive culture, zero claims at end of the process – due to support structure provided by LBS and a number of people have taken promotions in their new roles – due to Licentiateship LCGI qualifications.