This week, Team Talks speaks to the dynamic duo from the CAR (Customer Acceptance and Release) area, who are doing a ‘wheelie’ good job in driving Refocus home at Halewood.
And it’s all to do with- yes you guessed it- wheels. Repairing damaged ones to be precise, which would have otherwise been scrapped, costing our business hundreds of thousands of pounds a year- as well as driving up our Cost Per Unit and carbon footprint.
Dave Houghton and John Quane first came up with their idea last year and even formed a TIC circle to drive this cost efficiency measure further- which they presented to the judging panel at June’s local TIC convention, at Halewood.
Dave Houghton, production worker in the CAR area, said: “Back in 2020, John and I were asked to clear 50 wheels from the Condor Area which were due to be scrapped. But when we inspected the wheels, we were confident we had the skills to repair them.
“We were able to fix 43 out of the 50 wheels, money which has all gone back into the business. This idea then became the focus of our TIC project and we have subsequently developed a new workflow process which prevents damaged wheels from getting scrapped. For the first time ever, wheels are being inspected to see if they can be repaired and if they can, they are being put back through our systems.”
John Quane, group leader in the CAR area, said: “So far this process has saved Halewood £120,000 a year but based on the current calculations by the end of 2021- this figure will be closer to £175,000.
“However, that only takes into account the immediate cost savings and there is so much more to this project and it’s developing all the time.
“Setting up the repair workflow process has significantly improved quality and made everything much simpler when it comes to damaged wheels. Before now, if the wheel was damaged, it would get scrapped without question and you could potentially wait up to two days for a replacement to come in. Now if the wheel is damaged and it’s repairable, Dave and I can do the rework in 20 minutes.”
Dave added: “We are continually looking at raising new Kaizens to take the project to the next level. So, for instance there may be occasions where we can’t repair the wheels to an acceptable customer standard but rather than scrap them- we could safely use them for pool cars on site- so we have lots to go at here!”
Sean O Donnell, Production Leader for the CAR area, said: “Driving down our Cost Per Unit- so reducing the cost of building our vehicles in plant- is key to delivering Refocus and Dave and John are a shining example of this in action!
“By adopting a responsible spend mindset and challenging the existing damaged wheels’ process, they have delivered significant savings for our business. This all goes a long way to ensure Halewood remains competitive as a plant of choice.
“I’m proud of how they have embraced raising Kaizens and have come out of their comfort zones by taking part in TIC - so they thoroughly deserve this recognition for their excellent work.”
We must all work together to Halewood involved in continuous improvement is a key way that associates can make a difference and play their part in Refocus.