From the start of our Lean journey, we have worked closely with senior management and consultants from Simply Lean.
Originally, our decision to use Simply Lean as our Lean mentors was based on a raft of positive references from other businesses, and the perceived benefit of working with a local business. Simply Lean have demonstrated they are a world class authority on Lean, and we are convinced our early successes along the journey have been driven by the professional support and guidance they have offered our people, from day 1.
If continuous improvement and Lean concepts are on your business horizon, and they should be, talk to Simply Lean as early as possible – you’ll not regret it.
I engaged the services of Simply Lean Business Solutions to support the introduction of Lean Manufacturing Principles to Kaituna Sawmill, a Nelson Forests owned and operated company. Their on-going site visits and guidance of our ‘Lean Journey’ has resulted in rapid adoption of Lean Principles across business functions. Key to the success of our Lean Journey is the ability of Simply Lean Business Solutions to tune into the individual needs of our company and apply new and refresher training at the appropriate times.
Nelson Forests Management
When we look back at the photos of our pre-Lean days it certainly reminds us how far we have come in 2.5 years. The journey that Simply Lean have guided us on has been challenging but equally rewarding. Lean Thinking has created much more structure in each week to manage the business more effectively. The skills our staff now have and the tools we use will help us keep the momentum going……..the Journey never ends.
It is now 11 months since we initiated the Simply Lean programme and found this programme to be challenging but very positive with clear and rewarding directives. We now have a tidy, efficient workplace, a significant increase in enthusiasm and dedication form within the workforce. An attitude of ‘ownership’ has developed amongst the team with less stress good leadership and a focus on skills development.
Since Simply Lean’s engagement we have changed considerably as an organisation. Not only have we increased our manufacturing capacity and flexibility, we have also moved into larger premises to capitalise on the growth of the company. Through the application of many of the Lean tools such as 5S, Visual Controls, Capacity Planning and Process Measurement, and Staff Development we now have a very different culture focussed Continuous Improvement.
Through the introduction of Lean Thinking we have improved productivity in our warehouse operation by 9%, reduced peak turnaround times on orders by 50% and we are on the way to reduce stock holding by 30%. However, the true benefit has been the change in the way staff and management look at how they go about their work. This new culture for continuous small improvements is leading to large gains on the bottom line.
With Simply Lean we have improved our business in so many dimensions, it seems almost unbelievable. Using traditional measures, the financial fundamentals of the business have improved significantly with a 40% growth in revenues, and an even better improvement in profits. In addition, the performance we have delivered for our customers, the partnership which is developing with our staff, and the entire foundations of the business have been dramatically improved. I saw it written once about lean thinking, that if done well, “….your competitors will never catch you”, this has certainly come true in our case, and I would encourage any other business contemplating the move, to “jump right on in”, as I believe you will never look back.”