Global provider of materials handling equipment wanted to implement business improvement to assure class-leading service levels to customers

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The Business

A multi-billion pound global provider of materials handling equipment. The company's core business is the provision of consistent, class-leading service levels to customers, in every area of the business from sales and parts, to its service and support departments

Their needs

The client wanted to look at business processes in a more disciplined manner to identify failings and address root causes. Six Sigma had been successfully introduced in other parts of the group and we were chosen as the external partner to establish the deployment and subsequent internalisation of Lean and Six Sigma improvement methodologies in the UK operation.
In order to meet ambitious profit and cash flow targets, key improvements needed to be made in:

• Reducing parts spend in the service contract base
• Improving equipment reliability
• Exploiting existing expertise within a structured Six Sigma framework to reduce waste and eliminate root causes of recurring issues
• Ensuring adherence to best working practices 
• Improving service levels by ensuring large-scale change initiatives were embedded in the culture

How we helped

Over a 2 year period we worked with management to plan and engage staff in an approach which led to a number of improvement activities. These included leading 2 factory redesign workshops and the management of the resulting improvement implementation; running a series of Lean improvement activities within 3 client sites; and the building of internal capability in Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in staff from 5 facilities. 
All internal practitioners were coached and mentored and projects reviewed until they had met the agreed certification criteria. Internal managers were then selected and under Paloma's continued guidance and mentorship became responsible for all future lean and Six Sigma activities.

Benefits achieved

The client now has a sustainable programme with effective internal Lean and Six Sigma leaders and practitioners to complement their sophisticated deployment planning model. The results of the factory redesigns were showcased successfully with the company's investment analysts.
18 projects were completed providing a bottom line 8-fold return on investment, on subjects including:

• Reduce hydraulic hose-related breakdowns
• Reduced waste in service kits
• Reduced percentage of new unit warranty claims
• Reduced average days to bill customers
• Reduce volume of spare parts returned to warehouse by service engineers
• Reduce cycle time for estimators to receive service sheets

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