Jeremy Praud, Managing Director
Amajor frozen seafood processing company, located near a fishing port in North Yorkshire, was beginning to cement its presence in the UK food service and retail sector with an annual turnover of £15 million. However, a few inefficiencies in production planning and raw material yields kept it from reaching the projected sales growth.
Interestingly, the company began witnessing a change after implementing a continuous improvement (CI) program with a unique ‘see-try-do’ approach. Initially, a detailed diagnosis of the company’s plant and its planning process was conducted, and based on the results, three workshops were scheduled with the production line teams. Each of the workshops focused on solving the different problems that were limiting the yield. In no time, the output from the production line went from 600kg per hour to over 750kg per hour. Their yield improved by almost five percent, not to mention the increase in sales and margin.
The architect behind this impressive and transformative CI program was LI Europe—a manufacturing consulting firm empowering factories to become better, faster, and more productive through operational and improvement support. The above instance is but one of the many success stories that the company has penned over the years. For the last 18 years, LI Europe has worked with production teams at over 110 manufacturing sites, identifying more than £125 million in annualised improvements, and facilitating over £40 million in annualised benefits. By driving up the productivity of its clients’ existing production lines and workforce, the company has enabled them to effectively overcome their labor shortage challenges and achieve their projected sales and margins.
Paving the Way for Rapid Improvement and Sustainability
Although LI Europe’s CI programs are based on ‘lean manufacturing’ and ‘six sigma’ methodologies (among others), the company does not implement them as is. “We understand that many of the popular improvement models were initially tailored to match the needs of the industries where it originated,” says Jeremy Praud, managing director of LI Europe.
The company’s unique ‘seetry do’ collaboration method focuses on first understanding the unique requirements of manufacturing plants
“For instance, lean manufacturing had its roots in the automotive sector whereas six sigma started in the electronics manufacturing domain.So, instead of implementing as is, we believe in combining the best-fit strategies from these improvement models and tailoring them to our clients’ specific industries.These methodologies from capital-intensive industries might not yield the best results for labor-intensive industries, such as food manufacturing or FMCG. So, instead of implementing as is, we believe in combining the best-fit strategies from these improvement models and tailoring them to our clients’ specific industries.”
This is precisely why LI Europe takes the operational nuances of organisations into consideration when implementing lean manufacturing and six sigma models through its CI programs. The company’s unique ‘see-try-do’ collaboration method focuses on first understanding the specific requirements of manufacturing plants. “The way we go about this is by launching an onsite survey to identify the shortcomings and improvement opportunities in the manufacturing line of our clients,” explains Praud. Based on the diagnosis, LI Europe—together with the client— develops an appropriate CI model and outlines tailored training programs and workshops. The shop floor operators are trained on how to fulfill their objectives faster, motivate their workers, and standardise processes across shifts based on lean, six sigma, and other improvement models. Along with enhancing the workforce and operations, LI Europe also leverages a customised total productive maintenance (TPM) strategy to recover any performance losses that the clients’ manufacturing line might have. Once the production plant begins operating as per the CI model, it won’t take long for them to witness an increase in productivity. In fact, empowered by its unique collaboration method, the company has achieved 99.8 percent technical reliability, saving its clients hundreds of millions of Euros.
Owing to such impressive accomplishments and contributions to the manufacturing sector, LI Europe stands at the helm of the CI landscape. In order to further optimise the outcomes of its CI programs, LI Europe aims to inculcate its clients’ workforces with effective continuous improvement strategies and foster their upskilling through sustainable training. The company is especially intent on moving the needle in the FMCG sector and helping them align the lean and six sigma methodologies to their requirements. Moving ahead with this undeterred momentum, LI Europe is definitely poised to establish its position at the helm of the industry!