Lean Manufacturing at Ritherdons
Back in the early 1990s Ritherdon & Co began a cultural change programme to move more responsibility for work place improvement towards the teams on the shop floor. This later became the Lean Improvement Programme, with team leaders being trained in the lean process philosophies to start improving the flow of work through the factory.
5S auditing was introduced to tidy up and de-clutter all work areas (including the offices). Then, by minimising set-up times, times between operations and many other efficiency measures, production moved from a mass, batch-and-queue system to smaller batches, driven by customer demand.
So successful was our Lean Programme that Ritherdon & Co staff were asked to do several presentations at events run by the Manufacturing Advisory Service in 2008. MAS have also been filming a follow-up video at Ritherdons which can be viewed here.
There have clearly been many benefits to Ritherdons in developing our new production systems over the last couple of decades. However, as the lean philosophy is based on the requirements of our customers, it has also made us much more responsive to our customers’ needs and we can give our customers much shorter lead times.
Also we have always been happy to share with other companies what we discovered along the way, so please get in touch if you want to meet up and chat about the lessons we learned about implementing lean processes.