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Bents Garden and Home reaps the benefits of Lean working

Warrington-based Bents Garden & Home is aiming to create a one-stop shop, providing visitors with a quality alternative to large scale shopping centres, without losing any of the choice, quality or levels of service. To help them to achieve this aim, in early 2015 the centre decided to invest in the services of Gosport-based LEAN business specialists, Fedden USP working in partnership with MIT Skills, to improve overall efficiencies across the business.

Neil Fedden, Managing Director and Principal Consultant of Fedden USP, has undertaken a 5-day Business Improvement Techniques (BITS) NVQ Level 2 Workshop for 24 members of the Bents’ team so far and a further 12 have recently signed up to the programme. The workshop covers everything from Lean Theory to Process Mapping to action planning for improvement projects to be implemented over the next 12 months.

Lean Business Specialists with Fedden USP follow-up the initial workshop by visiting the course delegates every two months to assess how their projects are progressing, offering guidance and support where needed. Planned meetings with the delegates then take place once a month to review their work, how it is being implemented and to plan further project improvements. The delegates are awarded an NVQ Level 2 qualification on the successful implementation of three improvement projects at the end of 12 months.

Bents are starting to see a return on their investment in the Lean training, with a number of projects now being successfully implemented:
• Processes within the Pricing Station have been re-organised to increase efficiency.
• Shadow Boards, which highlight all of the items needed to carry out a specific task, have been rolled out across all departments.
• A process is in place to reduce the wastage of eggs in the restaurant.
• A number of ‘How To’ guides have now been produced i.e. How to Operate a Till, How To Print-off a Reports etc.
• Re-organisation of the restaurant counters has made the restaurant more efficient and easier for customers to use.
• A process has now been put in place to reduce the wastage on fruit and vegetables.

The Lean training is also upskilling the workforce at Bents and contributing to their personal development by providing each of the delegates with a nationally recognised NVQ Level 2 qualification.

Paul Tranter, Loss Prevention Manager at Bents commented: “We are very pleased with the results from the Lean training so far and are planning to send the whole of our workforce of 400 through this training over the next few years.”


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