The team at Birch & Waite has been creating delicious food for more than 30 years and are an Australian manufacturing success story. “We work hard to ensure that we’re always offering the best possible products, but creating artisan products under the highest quality control procedures can come with an overhead”, said David Charles, General Manager of Birch & Waite.
To fuel growth into new market segments, Senior Management at Birch & Waite recognised the need to identify inefficiencies in their manufacturing processes. They engaged Corporate Partners to implement a Lean Manufacturing program throughout their business.
“We were thrilled to be able to introduce Birch & Waite to a variety of Lean Tools. These included 5S, Value Stream Mapping, Visual Workplace Management and Mini Business Teams”, said Ray Edwards, Managing Director of Corporate Partners. By working with Corporate Partners, Birch & Waite were able to transform their business. Productivity has increased significantly, and peak demand is now being met without the need for an additional night shift, which significantly improves profitability.
“Mini Business Teams and Value Stream Mapping form the cornerstone of successful business transformation. Teams are equipped with the tools and skills to develop and achieve their mini business targets”, said Edwards. The team approach truly engages employees in the business improvement process. It gets everyone pulling together to achieve workplace excellence. “Employees are more engaged and empowered now, and as a result our absenteeism has also gone down”, said Charles.
An important part of the program was a company-wide focus on safety that has resulted in a reduction in lost time from injuries and the company has saved an impressive $265,000 in workers compensation premiums. “The companies we work with are often surprised at the volume of savings they will achieve by implementing Lean processes. These savings are not just one off, they are on-going, and that’s why our programs usually pay for themselves in under 12 months”, said Edwards.
“The benefits to our business from implementing Lean Manufacturing through Corporate Partners have been significant. We have increased our production efficiency, and more importantly, this has been sustainable. We have been able to have a safer and more productive environment through our 5S training.
“Our company is now a much more agile and innovative organisation.This has been recognised with Birch & Waite being named in the BRW Magazine’s top 50 most innovative companies for 2014. This is a very pleasing achievement by our business and testament to the engagement and dedication of all our staff.
“We have been very pleased to work with Corporate Partners on our business improvement program, the business is now well positioned for further expansion. Our growth will be focused on offering our clients high-quality innovative products and customer-focused service”, said David Charles.