Duo drive continuous improvement at Sheffield Forgemasters

Published: 13 February 2014

Sheffield Forgemasters' forward thinking approach to efficiency has been boosted by the appointment of two new Continuous Improvement Facilitators.

Kate Winder and Nathan Jordan will help implement, integrate and sustain the Continuous Improvement culture using Lean tools and techniques within the 21st Century Supply Chains (SC21) framework.

They will be working with all 800 employees at all levels across the engineering giant changing everything from the way documents are managed through to how they approach manufacturing processes.

Kate previously worked as health, safety and environment manager in Forgemasters' North and South Machine Shops while Nathan joined in 2003 and has worked as an electrician in the Foundry.

Their main responsibilities will be to plan, manage and deliver appropriate training programmes; drive forward improvement activities; liaise with internal and external suppliers, customers and audit bodies and develop a 'one best way' approach to Continuous Improvement across all Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited's (SFIL) Group companies.

Kate said: "We are both looking forward to our new roles and the challenges they will bring. We will be assisting with all aspects of improvement activities including planning, management, communication and progress meetings through the adoption of lean and engagement in SC21."

Nathan added: "There are widely recognised benefits of using these working methods and the long term commitment to this strategy by Forgemasters means exciting opportunities for further change and progress within the company.

"Our roles will allow us to develop an excellent overview and understanding of the whole of SFIL’s operations and business activities."

Forgemasters is now in year three of its Continuous Improvement programme and continues to deliver an extensive five year rolling roadmap including SC21 initiatives, Factory of the Future sessions, monthly operational feedback meetings and employee ideas and implementation workshops.

Processes already adopted by the company as a result of Continuous Improvement include the arrangement of tools and working areas to maximise efficiency, improved manufacturing methods to eliminate material wastage and streamlined office administration to enhance supply chain relationships.

Lean consultant Andy Nicholson, of Nicholson Consultancy, who is working with Forgemasters on the improvement systems, added: "The overall objective is to help SFIL deliver better customer service, to increase profitability and to engage employees in improvement activities."