Case Study: Consultancy Support for Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing process development for a manufacturer of plastic components. We delivered production planning support to which was experiencing problems as a consequence of a very demanding customer imposing unmanageable, short production lead times.  This involved identification of key stakeholders within the business, interviewing them individually in order to elicit key issues surrounding the production planning and reviewing vital processes. From this, we identified several issues which affected production including 3 which are critical for the business, viz:

  1. Key features of the Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system were not clearly understood
  2. A customer has an unhealthy influence on the running of the company
  3. The company never says ‘No’ to customers


Adopting classic assessment techniques including a ‘5 Whys’ process, several proposals were suggested and agreed including:

  • No customer driven changes to the schedule within 72 hours will be accepted except in unforeseen situations such as shipment or quality failures. This was part of a stable rolling production plan for the company – the key requirement.
  • Economic batch quantities were reviewed to:
  • Make best use of machines and labour
  • Reduce unwanted stock creation
  • Remove cluttering of the shop floor.
  • Staff responsibilities were altered thus allowing key members to focus on scheduling and logistics.