Relocating the company
The company had to be fully relocated to a green-field site and capacity also had to be increased. A plan of action was needed.
The client is a manufacturer of bespoke furniture and had operated successfully from the same site for many years. This type of business is linked to the fortunes of the general UK economy and during a previous boom, the owners had acquired a piece of land in a better location when prices were favourable. The plan was to develop the land and relocate the business to the new site, but unfortunately, there was a severe downturn in trade and the scheme was put on hold.
At the time of the consultancy project, no progress had been made, but the existing site was leased and the new landlord was asking for a substantial increase in rent. This brought the focus back onto the relocation agenda. In addition, the existing factory was being run very inefficiently:
Materials and WIP were scattered around and simply placed where space was available.
There was no real flow of products.
An excessive amount of scrap material was being hoarded and stored in unsuitable locations.
The directors didn’t want to replicate the poor practices in the new factory, so the terms of reference covered:
Examining all existing processes and recommending how the manufacturing side of business could be improved.
Taking (literally) a “green field” site and developing the most efficient layout.
Specifying a plan for the relocation to allow for all eventualities and to provide a logical programme that management could follow.
The proposed site was actually 10% smaller than the original one and there was also a requirement to allow for 20% more capacity per shift. This meant space utilisation had to be improved by 33%.
The project was delivered on time and budget; and the building work started within a couple of months. One year later, the entire company had relocated to the new site. In addition to the better use of space, labour productivity was also improved by around 8% due to changes in operating methods and processes.
The project was part-funded by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and the reference given to the MAS Manager by the Joint MD was:
JOINT MD - "Really knowledgeable guy, we learnt a lot from Jeff and have a structured plan for moving forward, will definitely engage with him in the future.”