Case study 1:

Transforming company from a start-up  R & D function into an international manufacturer and supplier. 

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SITUATION

The company had been trading successfully for approximately 4 years. Its novel design's and technology had won the attention of some major subsea equipment manufacturers and military contractors such as QinetiQ and Atlas Electronik. The challenge for the client was realising its potential in becoming a multi-million pound business and was struggling to transition from an R & D company into a manufacturer, capable of meeting the needs to international defence contractors.

CONTRIBUTION

Took over on the responsibility for managing the company’s main technology development projects and transition the company into an international manufacturer. 

  • Using internally generated cash only, designed, constructed and commissioned a new production facility with an emphasis on workflow design and asset utilisation.
     

  • Ensured all new products were being designed for manufacture using common design philosophy.
     

  • Ensured that designs were in clear alignment with client performance requirements and international standards.
     

  • Reduced the range of products under development and focused on growth products with significant proven market demand.
     

  • Developed manufacturing processes, procedures and work packs for products entering manufacturing phase.

  • Implemented an inventory management and Kanban system to ensure reliable availability of critical raw materials and assess utilisation and waste.
     

  • Improved operational data availability to facilitate more effective management decision making.
     

  • Designed and implemented a strict stage gate quality checking and test process.
     

  • Developed and executed custom verification programmes.
     

  • Re-configured specialist test equipment and through novel design, developed a semi-automated test system which was suitable for use by non-specialist personnel.
     

  • Recruited, trained and transformed a team of engineers and semi-skilled technicians into a high performance manufacturing team delivering a product range that until previously could only be produced by very highly skilled and experienced personnel. This was achieved through custom designing a training and competency scheme, team development and personal coaching.
     

  • Created a pre-production team to Engineer products for mass manufacture.
     

  • Developed and maintained an agile supply chain, and vendor management system managing key relationships and performance to meet very challenging and unique requirements. Were possible, non-core activities were outsourced.
     

  • Implemented visual metrics and dashboards to help both staff and customers understand progress and provide confidence for on-time deliveries. 

RESULT
 

  • The company was transformed from a bespoke R & D company into an international manufacturing company, capable of delivering to some of Europe’s most discerning defence contractors in volume.
     

  • The enhanced capability was regarded by international customers as being best in class and resulted in several new contract wins from major defence contractors. These new orders were delivered whilst retaining core customers in the Subsea Oil & Gas market.
     

  • Combining with the Implementation of new tooling and control techniques, throughput was increased by over 50%, per person, per month whilst improving yield and reducing material costs.
     

  • Decryption of the resident bespoke manufacturing techniques into robust, easy to follow, staged production processes resulted in less skilled personnel being capable of producing completed products. Production costs were reduced by 45%.
     

  • The new testing processes, coupled with rigorous quality control methodologies reduced the failure rate at the final test stage from being in excess of 10% down to 3%.
     

  • A culture of collaboration between R&D, Engineering and Operations was ingrained which led to more effective co-operation, openness and resulted in the development of a common design philosophy, massively reducing complexity and assembly & test times. 

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