This long established English sweets manufacturer, now owned by a large American cooperation, had started a performance improvement initiative in one of their three factories on the site. Having already made a £1M capital investment in improvement of one production line in one of the factories, all three factories had been given the opportunity from corporate to compete for additional capital investment.
WBS were asked to assist in proving that a business case existed for further capital investment with a payback of 2 years.
WBS were asked to complete an independent initial review and evaluation of the top level targets and feedback the potential feasibility of the targeted case already outlined by the client.
The target of the exercise was to focus on the initial scale of the business case and identify any other savings beyond labour.
The assessment focussed on:
- Process flows and definitions, layouts, technology, engineering
- Productivity, waste, downtime, quality
- Planning, scheduling, (impact on labour and material planning)
- People, management and organisation
- Energy management
- Conditioning time
The deliverable of the exercise was a viewpoint on current state (including layout, flows, distance travelled by product and by people) and an initial viewpoint on potential change
opportunities, the size of the prize as well as ideas for further investigation.
The Assessment Findings
The assessment identified change and improvement opportunities:
- Reduce in-process complexity
- Reduce conveyor length (only 2.67% of distance travelled was value add)
- Reduce distance travelled by labour through re-design of the line layout
- Reduce MHE requirement by approx. 50%
- Reduce number of touch points by increased automation
- Reduce waste through adherence to process, schedule and quality standards (potential to save £100k+ per year in labour cost alone)
- Improve accessibility for clean-down, maintenance, and changeovers
- Reduce energy waste
Current Line Layout
Suggested New Line Layout
The initial assessment concluded that a business case existed to invest in achieving further savings and productivity improvements. To produce a well supported and robust business case that would pass corporate scrutiny WBS recommended that the client proceeded with the following steps:
- Detailed SKU analysis
- Detailed WIP calculation
- Further development of concept designs and options
- Detailed benefits and activity analysis
- Assessment of facility constraints and requirements
- Workshops to define final solution for implementation
- Detailed cost analysis and budget development incl. vendor quotes
- Finalisation and submission of business case
- Development of project plan and implementation time frame