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Software upgrades, performance improvements and awards

Ready to go: part of our transport fleet at Safestyle ManufacturingThe holiday season is well and truly upon us at Safestyle Manufacturing, with what seems like a Bank Holiday every week. Several new external recruits have been brought in to strengthen our supervision and succession plan. The knowledge these guys bring with them is starting show through with fresh new ideas challenging the status quo, making everyone evaluate themselves and question whether they are actually performing to the highest standard expected.

As we enter into the summer holiday season it is vital that we ensure all our roles are covered and covered well. We will ensure we have systems in place for people to be able to cover other roles and be prepared to put in the extra effort so our people can enjoy their well-deserved breaks. With our distinctive Safestyle advertising campaigns running throughout the year, and our well known Window Man showing no signs of quieting down, it will be business as usual.

The quality and service from several external suppliers continues to be a problem but as a team we work hard to ensure customer service is not affected. Several bench-marking visits have been underway over the last month so we can execute on this year's Capex plans to improve the machines and efficiencies of the double glazing manufacturing operations.

The commodity price increases are showing no signs of slowing, therefore our focus on both internal and external waste has never been as important. By producing minimal defects and ensuring we get all products back from depots for recycling, we can maximise our revenue streams. We will be pushing through the summer months to maintain the good start to the year.

We are upgrading the software we use to process our window and door frames for manufacture. Using the Survey, the items we manufacture for our customers are keyed into this software at Head Office, before being sent to the factory for manufacture. The benefits of the upgrade include a more intuitive interface, improved speed of order entry and reduction of input errors. It also includes a more flexible print engine, giving us advanced document configuration options which again, will help identify errors in the checking process.

There is an advanced Georgian Fret configuration program, which will allow users to specify the number of fret bars and also allow them to position each bar wherever they wish within the frame, as per the instruction on the Survey. Moving to the new software also brings with it some technical advantages which will both speed up and add resilience to our double glazing manufacturing systems.

Before we can roll out the upgraded software we have to work through various stages of testing, the first part of which is being carried out by Head Office users, and we do this testing to ensure that things like speed of entry is much faster and order entry errors are reduced. The initial feedback we have received from the testing is exactly what we were looking for, and we are reviewing any issues as they are reported.

The HR department at Safestyle Manufacturing has been focusing heavily on recruitment this month and has successfully found several new starters to join our teams in the IT Department and glass factory, bringing with them a vast amount of experience and knowledge regarding improvement techniques. Also over the past few weeks we have been actively searching for several keen apprentices to work within the factory area. Our aim is to grow local talent and offer hands-on work experience to young people. Our apprenticeship in ‘Fabrication of Glass Supporting Structures & Glazing’ has received massive feedback with over 140 applications! The chosen candidates are due to start with us shortly. People can apply directly for jobs through our website.

Since the year 2000 Safestyle has won the coveted International Safety Award on 10 occasions and again we delighted to win the British Safety Council International Safety Award for 2010 with Merit. The award of a Merit clearly demonstrates our commitment to the well–being of our employees. For such an outstanding achievement, an organisation must provide clear evidence of comprehensive Health and Safety polices and a commitment to Health & Safety from boardroom to shop floor in promoting a positive safety culture throughout the business. It is important that winning organisations are able to demonstrate the competence of those responsible for Health & Safety and can provide clear evidence about the improvements achieved in Health & Safety during the year.

Finally, some charity news on our Golf Day in aid of the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. We are sponsoring a local charity Golf Day at Stocksbridge Golf Club on Friday 1st July 2011, and if anyone would like further details please contact us, thanks.

27 May 2011

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