From 12 to 20 Boats per week within six months

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.

In addition, there was a need to increase stability and improve communication across the production work centres so a two-tier Daily Management System was implemented.

The next step was upskilling the whole team in Lean Manufacturing Practices, to enable them to understand the concepts of cellular manufacture and single piece flow. The training supports the empowerment of team members to develop and implement further improvements to their own work areas.

Result

The improvement resulted in lifting the throughput of the plant by 60% from an average of 12 boats per week to a sustainable production of 20 boats a week.

At the same time quality defects and rework reduced significantly and this had a positive impact on both cost and customer satisfaction.

The coupling of the functions in the factory also resulted in an increased velocity which meant that a boat that would have taken a week to produce before, was now customer ready within 2 days of starting production.