This summer marks a year since Denholm Rees & O’Donnell and C E Edwards embarked on a development programme supported by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS). The purpose of this was to identify and act upon areas for improvement within the business. While the process uncovered no need for dramatic reform – rather assuring the management team at both companies that they were firmly on the right track – it instigated a number of smaller changes from which clear benefits are already being seen.
MAS formed part of the Business Growth Service, which, until towards the end of last year, was a Government-backed initiative providing expert support to businesses with potential to improve and grow. A development programme seemed the perfect fit at the right time for Denholms and C E Edwards as they continued to work on a more integrated approach – see ‘Integrated process – The future for Denholms & C E Edwards’.
Small changes for a big difference
The programme assessed all aspects of operations on both the Denholms’ Aintree headquarters and C E Edwards’ base in Stoke, individually and overall. The organisation highlighted opportunities at every level, showing how a more cohesive management strategy across the two sites along with improvements to day-to-day procedures on the workshop floors could boost efficiency throughout.
The shop floors in Aintree and Stoke are the heart and soul of the companies – busy hubs of innovation and industry. The changes made as a result of this programme have seen the set-up in both locations streamlined to make optimum use of the available space and equipment. At Denholms’, alterations to the fabrication shop and the new dedicated goods inwards area enhance their efficiency and the smooth running of daily operations.
Delivering optimum capacity
Following careful consideration of the specialisms, client requirements and usage patterns at both sites, the decision was made to transfer some equipment from Aintree to Stoke, to increase relevant capabilities at C E Edwards and at the same time create space at the Denholms’ base. This has in turn allowed for the desired investment in additional high-end machinery, once again building on what the company can offer in performance and capacity. See ‘New investment increases capacity’.
Expert input from an outside perspective have encouraged the team at Denholms’ and C E Edwards to make relatively simple changes at the critical roots of operations, to the advantage of the business as a whole. The management has gained fresh insights that will enable them to regularly review the use of space, technology and other assets at both sites to maintain maximum efficiency and the best possible results.