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Lean principles yield huge improvement for Spanbild

28 June 2013

Lean principles yield huge improvement for Spanbild

Spanbild, a local market leader in the design, manufacture and construction of residential, rural and commercial buildings, today announced results of a project to apply lean principles throughout their manufacturing plants.

Since the start of the year, the company has reduced waste by 44% and increased efficiency by 17.8%, while continuing to grow overall volumes.

The lean manufacturing principles focus on reducing waste such as time, excess inventory and defects. Spanbild named their lean programme ValueBild, emphasising the company’s focus on eliminating anything that doesn’t add value to customers.

Support was provided by NZTE who helped co-fund the initial stages and specialist-training provider, the Improve Group, who helped set-up the ValueBild programme.

The process began with training delivered to senior management before being rolled out to all manufacturing staff at the Waterloo Road plant in Christchurch. The training programme created buy-in and understanding across the company, providing employees with the tools to identify and reduce waste. Employees were then able to drive continual improvement by applying the skills in their own area.

“Over the past 18 months we have launched a number of initiatives as part of the ValueBild programme to improve productivity and efficiency,” said Spanbild CEO, Peter Jensen.

“We have been steadily gaining momentum but the latest figures show significant improvements in the year-to-date.

“We have managed to eliminate a number of steps that add no value by reducing defects, waiting, distance travelled by staff, inventory, over-production, and other wasteful activities.

“Our timber area is an excellent example with the team increasing productivity by 20% without increasing labour hours.

“This process is about empowering our people on the front line to work in a way they think is best to deliver high-quality products more efficiently.

“Our commitment to improved efficiency has been further highlighted by recent investment in capital equipment.

“As a result, we have delivered outstanding results for our business and better outcomes for our customers.

“This is an ongoing programme and we remain focused on our goal to use lean thinking as a way of improving all aspects of what we deliver.”

The ValueBild programme is also being implemented in Spanbild’s Brisbane plant and the company remains committed to ongoing improvement with each key area of waste reviewed and refined to make further gains.

Spanbild is a New Zealand owned family business. Spanbild and the Group’s brands have built up an excellent reputation in the construction industry. From rural, commercial and industrial developments to extensive housing developments, Spanbild also delivers a broad range of sheds and garages to suit the average family.

Group brands:
• Versatile
• Totalspan
• Ideal
• Spanbilt
• Portabuild

ENDS

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