31st January 2023
Helping to navigate fluctuations in demand and improving sustainability throughout the supply chain, Clair Richardson explains why ARC’s ongoing investment strategy is crucial to meet the challenging needs of the industry.
In an industry impacted by so many changing influences, agility and the ability to adapt to market forces are important ingredients for success.
For us here at ARC this means constantly improving our production and operations, ensuring that our products are produced more sustainably and our processes are not only well planned but can be reactive and easily changed. If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that business can change over night and we want to ensure that we are well prepared for any challenges that arise.
Tackling both of these issues head on, recently, we have begun to improve our production facility, replacing machinery that is coming to the end of its useful life as well as installing new planning systems that control workflow. The benefits of this investment have been instant. We have seen vast improvements to our manufacturing efficiency – new machines have meant fewer breakdowns and less downtime – so production has run to schedule and targeted deliveries met. The modern machinery is also more energy efficient to run and the requirement for fewer engineer call outs has meant less CO2 emissions pumped into the atmosphere.
Investment into new planning and production tools has also proved successful. Previously, when orders were received, they would be manually added to the order system and then again to a production schedule. At the start of each shift team leaders would then be given a list of products required that day and left to organise the order of processing themselves. The new software automates and optimises the manufacturing schedule automatically. Lumping products together in batches it has reduced the number of change overs required, saving valuable production time.
Put together, these two recent investments alone have proved to be hugely successful and in just two months we have seen lead times reduce from an extended status of 6-7 days, down to just 2-4 days.
From these two changes alone, it is evident that continuing to make considered investments in production and throughout our operational departments will continue to improve our agility and performance. As the business continues along its path of growth, investment will have a key part in preserving profitability and optimising efficiency.