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Axminster Power Tool centre embed 'Lean' Culture

Background
Axminster Power Tool Centre is a family owned business based in Devon, which has achieved successive and significant compound growth, and has a unique product and service offering. It runs a multi-channel offering through its shops, on-line and mail order.

Opportunity
The business engaged the services of Fedden USP as it wanted to embed a ‘lean enterprise’ culture within the company, which aligns with its self-evident values of service, differentiation and excellence. It would also help to maintain the company’s competitive position by improving service levels.

Workshops
Fedden USP carried out a series of workshops, which were ran by Lean Training Consultant Colin Allaway. Colin commented: “Axminster has a well-deserved reputation for customer service, and the same commitment and focus has been evident in their approach to adopting Lean tools and techniques. The early workshops have clearly demonstrated the improvement potential across the business, and the company has now joined the Fedden Lean Academy programme to further embed the skills and experience. We look forward to helping them complete the programme, and the results from the projects over the next twelve months.”

Results/Comments
So far Axminster Power Tool Centre has identified the following results:
• Goods Received Numbers are now electronically stored, saving 50,000 sheets of paper.

• Changes to the way we book goods in has amounted to £3,200 potential saving. We have reduced our goods receiving process by up to 75% in some cases and on average by 25%.

• Moving Processing to the ground floor projected savings of £8,736. This is the costs saved where we are transporting goods to a department which is located on a 1st floor. We are planning to move the department to the ground floor of the warehouse projecting the savings per year.

• Supplier Returns has a potential to save up to £20,300 and even more if we can get suppliers on board with a new returns process. We have initial plans written up and are developing a proposal document to suggest to our suppliers which will incur no extra costs to them.

• The company has also taken steps to appoint their own LEAN Co-ordinator responsible for the roll-out of Continuous Improvement within the business.

Mitch Hopkins, Lean Processing Co-ordinator, commented: “Being an Apprentice within the business, who has covered many departments within the company, I was chosen to attend the Lean training days along with senior members of staff. From there the demand increased for someone to carry on the tasks and to organise follow up meetings, mapping days etc.

Andrew Parkhouse, Operations Director, suggested appointing me to a full-time position to ensure that progress continued. To date this has proven very worthwhile as it has ensured that there is continual work being put into lean mapping without stop/starting, which can be very disruptive. I would recommend this in larger companies who wish to undertake LEAN to maximise the benefits of the skills and techniques learnt.”


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