inspirepac 'lean' on MAS to reach £24m sales target

inspirepac's dedication to the total integration of lean has helped the manufacturer increase efficiency, remove bottlenecks, improve output and nearly double its turnover in less than five years
 Martin Brown & Peter Holden, both inspirepac  Annual turnover for this year rose to £24m

An industry leader in high quality printed corrugated packaging, inspirepac has introduced a number of next practice techniques thanks to support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), freeing up capacity to embark on a major sales drive.

Annual turnover for this year rose to £24m, almost double that of 2008, as plant Director, Martin Brown explained:

“We had tried to embark on lean a few months before, but it didn’t quite work out as we didn’t have the complete buy-in of all the staff.

“The decision was made to bring in MAS to help us with this project. We needed someone who wasn’t involved in the business to take a more holistic and strategic view of what we were doing.

“It started with a complete business review, which developed an action plan for us to follow. John Ransford, our advisor then worked with us to implement the lean business tools and importantly train a number of key team leaders who would act as the driving force for the project.

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Brown continued:

“This had the desired effect in securing the complete buy-in of the staff and there’s a new culture present within the business. Original equipment effectiveness is up by 50 percent and the flow of communication – starting in the offices at the point of order – has improved dramatically.

“The biggest win for the business is empowerment; lean is not led by managers, or isolated to just production but also includes teams led from each aspect of the business from accounts to customer services, design to transport.”

Part of the Logson Group, inspirepac employs 125 people and manufactures a wide range of printed corrugated products, including retail ready, conventional and decorative, gift and promotional packaging, for a range of local and national blue chip companies.

Brown added:

“The purpose of a blended team enables them to accelerate the development of their lean skills and knowledge, to inspire them to take the right steps to a well-supported change process and uphold improvements within inspirepac.

“We want to make sure we continually improve and are looking at the next area of lean we can introduce...I think this will focus on total preventative maintenance in order to reduce downtime and waste.”

MAS’ John Ransford picked up the story:

“The company had all the necessary skills to be successful; they just needed a clear strategy and way of making sure everyone in the offices and the shopfloor embraced the lean culture.

“Being able to effectively cope with an additional £11m of business tells you what inspirepac has achieved. The recent lean open day (attended by 12 firms) was a chance to showcase that so other manufacturers can embrace it.”

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