Creating a Lean Culture

Client

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is a New Zealand farmer owned co-operative that manufactures and supplies fertilisers to enable farmers to achieve soil and animal nutrition productivity with a minimal environmental footprint.

Ballance has three main manufacturing sites which supply four distribution hubs which in turn supply 34 service centres and multiple consignment stores across the country.

Challenge

Ballance in its current form was created in 2001 but was historically made up of a number of regional fertiliser businesses. These operations had a range of experience in implementing continuous improvement systems including ISO 9001, TPM, QCDSM, and 5S. As a result, the approach was fragmented and whilst there were pockets of strong performance, this was not consistent across all operations. Productivity People was asked to assist with the creation and implementation of a company-wide Lean Management System.

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Ballance Agri nutrients

60% Increase in Production Output

Client

Stabicraft manufactures aluminium boats with airtight chambered hulls that have become market leaders because of their stability in the water, safety features, and all-round durability. The company was founded by Paul Adams in 1987 in Invercargill and has grown to become a company employing over 100 people.

Challenge

As a result of increasing demand, the factory was struggling to achieve the required output of boats. The resulting long lead times had customers having to wait for their order for several months.

Approach

The first step was to undertake a gap analysis to identify bottlenecks in the process and also to identify opportunities to improve best practices. The gap analysis highlighted finishing as the current bottleneck and the first step was to introduce Visual Planning and KPI’s together with developing the Team Leadership capability.

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Stabicraft
Stabicraft

Achieved 98% accuracy in first pass for payment process

Client

The Ministry of Education ECE Operational Funding team of around 12 people is responsible for administering the funding to all early childhood education services in New Zealand and pay out between $650M to $700M per funding period.

Challenge

There were several related issues identified initially:

The payment process had become very complex, with many manually intensive steps. This unnecessarily increased the risk of payment errors. There had been a high turnover of experienced staff, which combined with a lack of adequate handover resulted in a loss of institutional knowledge. On top of that, the documentation outlining the process had become outdated. There had been an increasing number of reactive ad hoc fixes which added to the manually intensive process and increased the chance of further human error.

Approach

To maximise value for MoE without sacrificing a significant amount of time for an incredibly busy team, we opted for a one day workshop to train the Funding Team in Structured Problem Solving, followed by a follow up day several weeks later to provide additional support.

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Ministry of Education

38% Increase in Plan Attainment

Client

A pharmaceutical production facility that manufactures vaccines for both the export and domestic markets

Challenge

The key concern Productivity People was asked to address was that the internal measure of Plan Attainment was sitting below 70%. This low rate was directly impacting customer service.

The low Plan Attainment score had also internal downsides of high inventory levels of both Work in Progress and Finished Goods, as well as a significant amount of internal rework. It won’t come as a surprise that these issues were impacting on the morale and engagement of the team.

Approach

The highly regulated nature of pharmaceutical manufacturing creates a specific challenge of integrating the Production and Quality functions.

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Case studies

Identified a $500k Cost Reduction in Six Weeks

Client

Sequal is a saw mill that is unique in that it supplies custom-cut Radiata pine lumber – producing exactly to the customer’s needs. Sequal is based in Kawerau, on the edge of the largest Radiata Pine plantation in the Southern Hemisphere, with access to relatively inexpensive geothermal energy and close proximity to Tauranga port, Sequal has the distinct competitive advantage required to compete in a global market of lumber suppliers.

Challenge

Sequal was experiencing high levels of operational downtime, low log recovery, and high material losses, which resulted in low operational productivity. Line balancing issues also existed with bottlenecks in several areas of the plant.

Approach

After an initial gap analysis, Sequal focussed on strategy deployment to build a business case for Sequal as a world class organisation. This was followed by an organisation-wide introduction of DMS and the development of improved business systems though continuous improvement. Training and coaching sessions ensured buy-in and capability development of staff.

 

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Sequal Lumber
Sequal Lumber