Business needs

Eurovia Surfacing Ltd. (Eurovia) approached Penmark to undertake a full value stream analysis to improve information flow and identify ways to improve operational efficiency within the surfacing gangs at their Isle of Wight depot. They also required demonstrable evidence showing how they use Lean Methodology principles to serve as case studies for future tender submissions. Finally, Eurovia wanted to create an operational roadmap for future opportunities to present to senior management and leave a legacy for future development.

Penmark’s approach

Penmark began their extensive review of the surfacing operation with a two-week field observation involving key members of the operations team. At the same time, meetings were arranged with senior management and representatives from clients and key suppliers to ascertain the current state of the supply chain, its challenges and opportunities. This approach ensured transparency and co-operation from Eurovia’s operations team and their key external stakeholders (including their client). It fostered a collaborative approach and a joint goal to instigate positive operational change.

Following this initial exercise, Eurovia’s operations supervisory team were invited to take part in a Kaizen event, intended to seek out and discuss ways to improve efficiency and reduce waste. The team were introduced to the Lean concepts and tools being used in the process and how they were being applied. Following this, everyone in the meeting worked together to create and challenge a process map of the current state of surfacing operations. Value and non-value adding activities were identified and opportunities to reduce wastage were collated, ready for further discussion.

The team then focused on the operation’s current challenges and identified their potential cause and effect by creating an Ishikawa diagram. This helped them to focus on means of improving profitability that could be directly linked to the productivity of the operation. Using concepts from the Critical Path process planning method, a Process Map was formalised using the data recorded during the initial observation stage. This led to a simple value stream map that the team used to identify opportunities for improvement that were then ranked in order of how difficult they would be to implement.

Finally, a ‘five whys’ analysis was undertaken, which identified the root causes for time wasted, such as delays in the arrival of materials, site inefficiencies, lack of lorries being supplied by the production plant and so forth. This was supported by a facilitated discussion session with key suppliers to support the work achieved in the Kaizen event and Process Mapping.

Opportunities implemented

The results of the analysis described above were reviewed with Eurovia’s senior management. The extensive array of opportunities uncovered through the Lean exercise were presented and four ‘quick wins’ were chosen to be implemented first. They were each chosen for their ease of implementation as compared to estimated operational improvement impact. They were also identified as being the four most effective ways to build a platform from which even larger efficiency opportunities could spring in the future.

The opportunities were:

Rescheduling of machinery fuelling and preparation timetabling

Alignment of surfacing material programmed across two night gangs

Implementation of a daily production meeting with key supply chain stakeholders

Rescheduling of pre-shift gang briefings

The outcome

Penmark was delighted to measure and report the following key operational improvement highlights:

– Reduction of 18.3 man hours waiting time per 24-hour period caused by equipment unavailability, equating to a saving of £50,752 per year

– Offset cost reduction of £11,546 per year impacted by waiting times and charges of lorries at site due to equipment downtime

– Average increase of 51.2 additional tonnes of surface material laid per gang, representing an impressive 102t (18%) increase in amount of material laid

– Reduction of 64% wasted time for crews waiting for material to arrive on site achieved through improved co-ordination of programmed surface material and the removal of change over times at the production plant

– Formal communication platform established for night crews and their key supply chain partners

– Material quality reporting improved from 0% to 100% in just one week by implementing daily production meetings with a pre-set agenda

– 40 hours per week removed from window of opportunity for laying surface material per night to be reinvested into value added activities by rescheduling pre-shift briefings

– Long-term operational improvement plan created and presented to senior management with 40 separate opportunities identified that had a cumulative value exceeding £1.4m

Client Testimonials

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what our clients say:

Business Improvement Manager, Eurovia UK

“Penmark have met and exceeded their obligations as set out in the assignment brief and deliverables. They were proactive and highly responsive from the start, getting closely involved with the inner workings of the operation across all shifts. The Penmark team produced an extensive array of operational opportunities that all had achievable, tangible commercial outcomes linked to them.

Communication was continuous and transparent throughout the process and Penmark regularly acted on their own initiative to observe and map the current state and identify multiple waste streams. They engaged well across all levels of the management and operations teams, as well as with key supply chain partners, which enabled them to assess opportunities fully and to understand their impact. This provided the senior management team at Eurovia with a comprehensive rationale and a compelling case for the changes being proposed.

In addition to identifying potential benefits and operational efficiencies, Penmark effectively oversaw the implementation of several improvement initiatives, using tried and tested Lean tools and techniques. This has helped Eurovia move further towards embedding a Lean culture across the whole organisation by demonstrating its many tangible benefits over the short term. The initiatives put in place will be monitored and sustained, leaving a positive lasting impact on Eurovia’s operations and a lasting legacy for the high quality work undertaken by Penmark.”