Highland Metals has benefited from improved workflow, increased productivity and a potential value added figure worth upwards of £50,000.
The tight space available at the Cumbernauld site was found to be restricting product flow and it was clear that new thinking was required to raise efficiency and improve workflow at the plant.
Director Robin Steel noted: "We initially saw scope for using SMAS at our Cumbernauld location and later took advantage of the service at our Elgin plant too.
Highland Metals offers a 'one-stop shop' for galvanised corrosion protection and powder-coated finishes.
They have two bases - a factory in Elgin, which operates under 'Highland Galvanizers' and another site in Cumbernauld which uses the 'Highland Colour Coaters' name.
How SMAS helped
Following an initial review, SMAS were contracted to work alongside Highland Metal's management team.
At Elgin, the main focus of the work was identifying areas of waste within the plant. A number of workshops were conducted with selected shop floor workers to assess this and identify areas for improvement.
The process was mapped and all areas of Lean waste identified, complete with value-add and non-value add activities and action plans developed.
The project team gained new skills and the confidence to make changes based on structured problem solving - this developed the notion of 'ownership' within the workforce.
A bottleneck within the organisation - the galvanising bath - was remedied by focused training which led to the creation of hourly performance targets.
A large area of the Cumbernauld stockyard was cleared as part of the 5S exercise. This brought the benefits of increased steel storage capability and improved flow throughout the business.
Robin explained: "The involvement of SMAS was an opportunity to demonstrate to our production staff some of the newer business techniques that are required to remain competitive in today’s tough economic climate."
He continued: "The initiatives used throughout the plant focus heavily on waste management and demonstrated there should be 'no excuse' for equipment not being available.
"SMAS also demonstrated the ease with which productivity can be increased, which in turn focused our production staff on the need to reduce waste and improve efficiency."
So would Robin recommend SMAS to other companies? "Yes. It is an inexpensive way to have an initial review carried out and also that subsequent work, should it be contracted for, is carried out by very experienced and capable practitioners.
"A key advantage of SMAS is they help engender a confidence in the client company and any advice being provided is entirely objective."
Director Robin Steel:
"The benefits have led to better service for our customers who have tried our competition but recognise the superior service we provide."
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