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IT has taken just five days to save a company £150,000 a year from its costs, and to change a decades-worth of working practices.

Gosport business consultancy Fedden USP spent five days in Street, Somerset, with footwear firm Cosyfeet.

Neil Fedden, principal consultant with lean business specialists Fedden USP, was called in to carry out a Lean Improvement Workshop.

Some of his work meant changing the way the firm has done things for the last 10 years to become more efficient and save money.

This focused on reviewing the amount of space the firm needs now and in the future, making sure it was holding the right amount of stock for its needs, and streamlining the way improvements can be made to the firm and removing any activities that were a waste of the firm’s time and resources.

It also reviewed the efficiencies and lead times of various supply chains to help reduce the amount of stock held.

Neil added: ‘Cosyfeet now has a number of staff who are able to identify and make improvements to business processes as part of their normal daily activities, which is a major ongoing benefit for the business.

‘They are challenging many activities that have been done the same way for the last 10 years.’

A number of improvements were introduced as a result of the five-day Lean Improvement Workshop, which Fedden USP ran in conjunction with SWMAS Ltd.

The biggest of those was a reduction in the amount of buildings needed for stock, enabling Cosyfeet to reduce the amount it spends on rent, as well as on heating, lighting and power.

That saving alone has saved the company £150,000 per year.

And the savings don’t stop there.

Packing efficiency was improved by 300 per cent, which has meant costs have been reduced and there are now fewer orders going out the door packed incorrectly.

Nick Brine, Cosyfeet’s operations director, said: ‘The benefits to the business have been substantial and during a period of decreased sales we have in fact seen our profits increase.

‘We are now looking to implement Lean across the rest of the business.’

Cosyfeet began in 1983 with the aim of making attractive, extra roomy footwear for swollen feet.

It now sells comfy socks and hosiery, and 9,000 health professionals now recommend Cosyfeet.

Fedden USP is based in Weevil Lane, Gosport.