Lean Program Delivers Savings and a Collaborative Workforce

Challenge
This Perth-based company is a global manufacturer of heat exchangers and radiators. With the strength of the Australian dollar and limited ability to control export pricing, the company needed a systematic approach to reducing overall business costs. They planned to up-skill management and staff in Lean methodologies and to focus on improving the customer service offering with attention to quality and delivery.

Corporate Partners was brought in to provide training and Lean integration during a very busy period for the company. The company was midway through a building program, relocating whole departments while continuing to meet customer demand.

Excellent Outcomes at a Glance

  • Cost: Savings of $200,000 in reduced scrap and rework
  • People: Employees attained the Competitive Manufacturing Certificate
  • People: Teams empowered to identify, analyse and resolve improvement opportunities
Solution
Corporate Partners worked with all levels from management to the shop floor. They introduced Mini Business Teams and established internal customer-supplier relationships with agreed expectations. The teams were empowered and equipped with tools to identify, analyse and resolve problems that were affecting their ability to meet quality and delivery targets.

Wherever possible Corporate Partners conducted training in the relevant workspace. They aim to train teams while they are working and not instead of working. Corporate Partners provided a flexible training schedule covering all three shifts and helping the business cope with pressure points.

The multi-cultural workforce presented some challenges but employees willingly assisted in explaining concepts and documentation to team members.

Results
Selected staff are now equipped with Lean tools including 5S Processes and Value Stream Mapping. The Mini Business Teams are working towards justifiable and efficient outcomes, and they are collaborating effectively to achieve these outcomes.

The Corporate Partners program has engaged and recognised staff with the completion of the Competitive Manufacturing Certificate.

In the short term the Lean program delivered savings of $200,000 through the reduction of waste and rework. The continued application of Lean principles and processes is expected to realise further savings.