Innovation is a way of life for Halewood's Paint Shop team. Last year, they saved enough paint to paint the Eiffel Tower (four times over!), this year they tripled the number of themes they took to the Innovation Challenge, and now they are putting innovations on the map all year round.
We caught up with Dave Buxton, Paint Maintenance Manager, and Colin Smith, Paint ME Facilities Manager, who, are about to open the Innovation Hub in Paint. It will be the one-stop shop for innovations and improvement ideas, whether that’s TIC, Kaizens or the Innovation Challenge, it’s the place to come to be inspired.
Dave and Colin didn’t want the Innovation Challenge to be a moment in time, they wanted it to become a way of life, so the teams could be constantly thinking about Innovations, new ideas and improvements.
The Innovation Hub will be interactive, with videos, ways to share ideas and inspiration from previous winners.
Dave and Colin really want the people who do processes every day to have the opportunity to share their ideas. Their philosophy is, “the simplest ideas are often the best – what’s yours?”
They have a post box in the Hub where everyone can post their ideas, no matter how big or small, and every week Dave and Colin plan to speak to those people about their ideas to see how they can progress it, or what they can do differently. They are encouraging teams to do their five minute briefs in the Hub so that it can be a discussion point and hopefully inspire people to share their ideas.
Dave told us: “When someone has done a process hundreds of times it’s inevitable that they will have made small adjustments to improve it, and that’s what we want to hear about.”
Dave and Colin both attended the Innovation Challenge this year with their teams, and were pleased to see the event was even bigger than ever, with suppliers showcasing their ideas, games to take part in, and the opportunity to see new ideas they wouldn’t normally be able to see.
They know the Innovation Challenge is important to JLR, with Colin telling us: “It’s about sharing best practice, getting value for money, and giving people a platform to share their ideas.
“When I give my daughter LEGO blocks to build with, and I say build a house, she builds the tallest house she can, there are no limitations, and that’s what the Innovation Challenge gives you, building blocks to build as high as you can – the sky is the limit when it comes to new ideas and improvements.”
We can’t wait to see what the Paint Shop team comes up with next – they’ve promised there are some great ideas in the pipeline and with their Innovation Hub the sky really is the limit.