Commitment to innovation and efficiency drive success in the plastic film manufacturing industry. The industry is constantly evolving in developing ground-breaking plastic film products to meet customer needs. Innovations in barrier properties, durability, flexibility, and sustainability, products are at the forefront of market trends. Manufacturing efficiency is driven through investments in modern technologies, automation, process optimization, and supply chain management.
Over 25 years ago, our Client introduced wide width plastic sheeting to control damp and water penetration into buildings. Over the years it expanded manufacturing capacity and is today one of the largest flexible plastic film manufacturers in the Southern Hemisphere manufacturing a large range of both printed and plain packaging materials for a wide range of applications in agricultural, building and FMCG sectors.
The Client asked Renoir to collaborate and conduct an analysis at the production plant to increase competitiveness, aiming to improve productivity levels, sales, OEE and cost structures.
ANALYSIS & PROJECT APPROACH
The main findings of the in-depth analysis were:
- There was a need for a clear distinction between non-value-added time and productive value-added time.
- The current model did not facilitate active supervision, planning, reporting, reviewing, and making corrective action through daily review meetings.
- Processes were weak and turnaround times were too slow.
- There was a wide variation in Standards of service levels.
As a result of these findings, the Client commenced a 28-week project in partnership with Renoir with the following objectives:
- Implement Account Management systems and practices
- Define a manufacturing model for optimum cost-revenues levels.
- Generate more available time and increase the effectiveness of time.
- Achieve behavioural changes to ensure full adoption and thus sustainability of the new systems and processes.
The initial 4-week Renoir Focus Process® phase focused on the identification and qualification of opportunities in various areas of the business, including Sales & new Product Development, Production Planning, Raw Materials and Cores, Maintenance, Production (Mixing, Extrusion, Bag Making, Printing and Finishing) and Finish Goods and Dispatch.
The Project’s main impact was the creation of a team dedicated to focus on the above. Job descriptions were enhanced, enabling the Head of Departments to manage more effectively the day-to-day activities. A new span of control policy was also implemented. One of the tools introduced was the Production Plan which enable the company to ‘freeze’ the plan for 12 days.
Operational Dashboards were also enhanced, allowing all HODs to keep track of their performance. Of key importance was that the changes made would be sustainable. Systematic audits and checks were developed to allow for guidance and coaching, ensured that the new structure and new ways of working were understood and fully adopted and new KPIs were met.
The implementation completely changed company operations. The new KPIs now supported the desired outcomes. New relevant reporting, daily stand-up meetings and dashboards allowed HODs to have increased visibility in real time, including better insights into root causes.
“These results were beyond expectations, especially in light of the age of the equipment”
In conclusion, focusing on outcomes and behavioural change drove significant improvements in our Client’s plastic film manufacturing operations. Through the implementation of Account Management systems, a defined manufacturing model, and changes in job descriptions and span of control policy, the Client achieved remarkable results, including reductions in headcount, overtime, scrap, WIP inventory, faulty goods, and raw materials inventory.
The success of this project highlights the importance of continuous evaluation of processes, effective systems and practices, and fostering a culture of accountability and improvement in the plastic film manufacturing industry for increased competitiveness and sustainable results.
Most importantly, the structured approach implemented generates insights which provide the Client with an opportunity to incrementally improve their operations on a daily basis.