From constantly putting out fires to a stress free workforce, by taking on lean manufacturing methods, Jones & Sandford Joinery were able to identify opportunities for change and overhaul processes and outputs.
- As one of the biggest joinery companies in New Zealand, Jones & Sanford could no longer afford all the costly and time consuming errors occurring within the business.
- Turning to Callaghan Innovation, through our Lean programme the business was able to get coaching, subsequently identify issues, and implement a range of solutions.
- Through lean practices and continuous improvement, Jones & Sandford have been able to triple output from their factory, as well as decrease stress for both employees and clients.
Fire fighters. That’s how Roger Jones, Managing Director at Jones & Sandford Joinery, described his workforce. Not exactly the desired adjective for one of New Zealand’s largest joinery companies involved in some of the biggest and most innovative joinery builds throughout Aotearoa.
“We were regarded as the best in the industry, but the phones were ringing hot, and they were saying ‘where’s our joinery’, ‘why’s it the wrong colour’, ‘why's it not on site’. We used to be really good at heroic rescues, last minute fire fighting. In fact, we were fire fighters,” says Jones.
Jones knew things needed to improve. “It was stressful, it was time consuming, and it cost us a lot of money. I soon realised we had to take control of our manufacturing business.”
The solution for Jones & Sanford involved looking at the wider industry, the ways it was working and their role as a business in it. Workmanship was not the issue, so identifying ways in which they could keep their clients at the centre of their operations was pivotal. They wanted happier, less stressed employees but also happier, less stressed clients.
“A eureka moment for us was when this thing called lean, lean manufacturing was introduced and it just lit me up. We brought the coach in, he taught us how to manage challenges and problems, and then develop solutions ourselves. But the biggest part of it was actually understanding what the problem was. So, we introduced rigid processes that we know work for us,” says Jones.
This coaching came as a result of Callaghan Innovation’s Lean programme, with one of our service providers, Lean Engage, helping Jones and the team to identify challenges such as long lead times in procurement and having a high level of detail in shop drawings.
As a result of exploring and introducing lean manufacturing practices, Jones & Sanford have implemented a number of changes throughout the business. Vision boards and planning meetings help identify potential issues easier, employing on-site managers helps ensure accurate information is passed back to the design team, and purchasing its own delivery vehicles has meant more control of the product from start through to on-site delivery.
All up, the changes within the business now equate to a calmer work environment for its staff, but also for the wider allied workforce on site.
“Introducing these processes, we’ve found has assisted all the other people on the team. So, the electrician may want to come to us and have a discussion and it’s a relief for him to find that we can help him. Might be something as simple as drilling a hole in the side of a pane; but we can do that back here in the factory because our processes allow us to do that,” says Jones.
Continuous improvement through lean methodology at Jones & Sandford now runs across the business. It’s a full team approach. And resultantly, the business’ biggest achievement has been to achieve triple the output in the factory with the same people and machinery. There’s no more fire fighting, just the ability to stay true to their promise of delivering in full, on time and in specification.