In November 2019 HFL Consulting was acquired by SLR, a global leader in environmental and advisory solutions.

SLR has a team of over 1800 professionals delivering advice and support from a network of offices across Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Canada, the USA and Latin America. Our expanded service offering means we can provide a unique blend of leadership, management, consulting, engineering and training services to businesses of all sizes across the process and allied industries. We can draw on many more ‘in house’ skills and services, including process, civil and structural engineering, environmental permitting and compliance, air quality, flood risk, ecology, acoustics and wastewater treatment.

HFL Consulting (now part of SLR)

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The Challenge

Lean implementation programme

The first stage of the Marley Plumbing and Drainage lean implementation programme was to identify where waste could be removed from the overall production system and then to develop an ongoing lean implementation plan for improvement.

The key findings of the VSM activity were the plant operated with:

  • High levels of finished goods stock and work in progress
  • Excessive product lead times
  • Large production batch quantities
  • Unpredictable planning process
  • Opportunity to improve OTIF performance

Utilising our unique hands on approach to knowledge transfer, the lean implementation team at Lenham undertook Value Stream Mapping activity for a number of specific value streams.

The Solution

  • 01
  • 02
  • 03
  • 04

Lean Implementation Plan

In order to address these key issues the team, led throughout by our consultants, developed a lean implementation plan to improve flexibility and reduce working capital

Changeover Time

Reduce Changeover time to allow for small batch manufacture

Pull Based Production System

The site lean implementation team were then tasked with developing a production system which would enable a significant reduction in working capital, and a rollout plan to apply the approach to other key value streams across the business

Key Value Stream

Roll out the approach to other key value streams across the business

Key Services

Business Diagnostics

Lean Thinking

A Value Stream Mapping exercise gave those involved a better understanding of the process and highlighted potential opportunities for improvement.

Lean Tools & Techniques

Improved Flexibility

Changeover reduction techniques employed to improve flexibility and allow for small batch manufacture

Supply Chain & Planning

Working Capital Reduction

Development and implementation of a pull based production system enabled working capital to be reduced, and provided a model for other key value streams within the business

The Results

The site lean implementation team developed a production system which enabled a significant reduction in working capital

The first stage of this process resulted in simplification of the warehousing and dispatch activity used to service both retail and trade based customers. Using our lean expertise, the team then developed a production system that scheduled production based on products dispatched from this central warehouse.

In order to minimise downtime an optimum production campaign was developed which eventually gave the facility a standard production plan. This plan enabled volume products to be made weekly and products with limited customer requirements to be made fortnightly or monthly as demanded. The plan also enabled time to be set aside for maintenance and operational improvements to be made on equipment which was traditionally highly utilised.

Initially the production system was set up using a traditional T-Card based system to visually display production loading. This has since been superseded by a visual computer system which displays production requirements at point of manufacture.

  1. 01
    Implemented a pull system
  2. 02
    Reduced inventory by 80%
  3. 03
    Increased stock turns from 4 to 21
  4. 04
    Increased productivity by 22%
  5. 05
    Reduced distance travelled by 40%

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