Lean specialists help firm to win accolades

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The expertise of Lean business specialists Fedden USP helped a firm win three prizes at the Best Factory Awards in London.

Gosport-based Fedden USP was called in by Siemens Magnet Technology to improve the company’s productivity.

As a result, Siemens won the overall Factory of the Year prize and also scooped the People & Skills Development Award and Best Engineering Plant Award.

Operations manager, Frazer Mackay firmly believes that Lean working gave the company the edge over its competitors on the night.

To win the Factory of the Year award, the company had to demonstrate improved performance across the board and had to undergo a major redevelopment of the 
plant’s entire manufacturing area.

Neil Fedden said: ‘It was a real privilege to engage with the Siemens team who had already embraced the Lean enterprise culture and made significant improvements in the operation when we arrived on site.

‘We have been able to embed the principles more thoroughly and support the team during their increased learning and understanding phases, prior to implementation of a further step in advancing their Lean culture and enhanced improvement activity.’

who, in partnership with MIT Skills, has been undertaking the LEAN Business Improvement Techniques (BITS) NVQ Level 2 and 3 programmes at the factory over

the last four years. Over 200 (>95%) of the employees on the shop floor volunteered to be

trained in NVQ Level 2, Level 3 or a one day lean appreciation course. This learning is backed

up by the company’s structured approach called Lean Improvement Projects, which ensures that everyone’s training is applied on a routine basis.

Fedden has managed to change the way of thinking at Siemens and now everyone contributes ideas for improvements, as Mackay explains: “Continuous improvement is embedded in everyone’s day job, it is considered to be business-as-usual, not something special and everyone is well aware that if we stand still, we will fall behind”.

The results of Lean working in 2014 speak for themselves: 268 ideas from employees were

implemented, yielding more than £1.3m in operational savings and more than 11,900

production hours saved.

Mackay added: “Winning the awards is a fantastic achievement for Siemens Magnet Technology and earlier in the year, we also achieved ‘World Class’ status from a Global Lean assessment, so as you can imagine, we are thrilled with all these accolades. Embedding and thinking lean in our daily working lives required a cultural shift and throughout our journey we have been fortunate to work in partnership with Neil Fedden and the team at Fedden USP and MIT Skills, who understand our specific demands and tailored the training accordingly. We already have a cohort of trainees lined up for the next NVQ2 and NVQ3 courses and through Fedden USP have now started to deliver training in the offices”.