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More Safestyle challenges and achievements in July

More Safestyle challenges and achievements in July Another month has passed and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Safestyle Manufacturing for their efforts in an excellent first half of the year. Now's the time to build on the great start and push on further to improve ourselves across all areas of the business. We’ve recently seen a number of commodity price increases that should only increase our focus on the 'War on Waste' (WoW). We all need to be looking to continuously improve across all business functions, always with the aim of getting things right, first time, every time. By learning from any issues and working together across the organisation we’ll be able to make permanent fixes and improvements that will help us continue to grow in the market place.

On the Engineering side, the automatic saw purchased to cut sills or "cills" has now been commissioned and has been integrated into the ancillaries department of the PVC factory; this has enhanced window sill manufacture and is delivering accurate square cuts every time. Next month will see the installation of a state-of-the-art new type of welder which has two swivelling heads that can be set independently at different angles. This will speed up the production of welded sills, especially bays, and also speed up the manufacture of certain shaped windows. This will replace the current similar equipment in the sills area and eventually the Arches area. The new assets form part of the full re-layout of the area, which will eventually combine Arches and sills together.

A cross functional team has been established which, over the last few months, has started to benchmark PVC machine manufacturers with a view to replace older assets within the PVC factory. This project will, amongst other innovations, look to replace manual operations with fully automatic welding and cleaning machines.

On the Technical & Quality side, a continued focus on driving through improvements and removing waste from both factories is still our single highest priority. Improving our capabilities at cellular level and upping internal communication throughout cannot fail to give a stepped improvement from where we are currently, however that does not mean in way we are in a bad place now! We have continually improved week on week, month on month, year on year and based on some benchmarking exercises we've carried out, we're already years ahead of most of the industry (recently we visited a factory of a similar size and scale to us, but they were rejecting more in a day than we get in a week).

However, we can never rest on our laurels, we must continue to drive on, challenge each other and more importantly ourselves, to continually improve. We ask ourselves: what can we do better today than we did yesterday? What is out there in terms of innovation? If nothing, then back to basics and go again…

In July we planned a "Kaizen Event" which concentrates on data capture communications and control processes, to ensure that everyone in operations is fully aware of all issues and performance status through hourly check sheets, comprehensive shift handover sheets and quarterly short interval management (SIM) meetings. The operational managers lead syndicate teams in completely overhauling the internal communication tools we use and, based on this data, the correct production decisions can be made at the earliest point in time to protect customer service, waste and costs. These will be redone and the process embedded to give us/anyone at a glance an exact picture of where we are terms of performance, quality and engineering.

In terms of the "outside world", now it's two out of "the three" out of the way - meaning the Jubilee and football. Nobody really thought that the football was going to be much of an issue, but the last of the three that could disrupt us is the Olympics - but if everything goes as smoothly as the other two, we should be OK!

Since the last bulletin we’ve had a number of new starters, therefore a big welcome goes out to Gary Marsden (Foreman), Tony Hirst (Engineer), Gary Johnson (Foreman) and Ian Cotton (Engineer) who have recently joined our Safestyle Manufacturing team. We wish them every success in their new roles!

A big well done goes to our most recent apprentices who have successfully completed their 3-month probationary period and are certainly proving themselves as vital members of the team. Well done to Jay Broadbent, Thomas Cordingley and Kingsley Ruddy in the Factory and Beth Tattersley in the Remakes Office. Keep it up!

Finally, a charity news update and a big THANK YOU to everyone who has given generously and sponsored the Safestyle UK National 3 Peaks Charity Challenge. So far we have raised nearly £5,000 for our four chosen charities: Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, NSPCC, RSPCA and Cancer Research UK. It was a truly incredible experience and an amazing achievement for all who accomplished the challenge of climbing the 3 highest peaks in 24 hours – Scotland's Ben Nevis, England's Scafell Pike, and Snowdon in Wales. Who's up for the next one?!

30 July 2012

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