BLE Lighting & Power Ltd has supplied and manufactured emergency lighting and power systems for over 50 years. Manufacturing within the UK is a core element of the company strategy as this enables BLE Lighting and power to deliver the quality and compliance requirements of their customers, whilst also offering a next day delivery service on a high proportion of their products.

‘The support of Clarity was a tremendous relief’.

– Murray Sellars, Management Team Lead.

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BLE’s Challenges

The company has recently changed leadership, with the owners investing in the business to ensure it evolves and modernises its value proposition to the fast-changing needs of the markets it serves. Initial steps were taken to bring in outside coaching and support for the senior management team. Together, they quickly identified there would be a need for holistic changes to processes, systems, and behaviours throughout the operational side of the business if they were to deliver on a plan to increase volumes and a change of product mix. All this needed to be delivered in a sustainable and scalable fashion, that would provide a successful outcome for all stakeholders, but at significant pace and external help would be required to achieve this.

Our Assessment

Clarity was called in to provide an onsite assessment of the operational side of the business. We were delighted to find a great team who were passionate to support the changes required to ensure the company’s success. However, there was a need of Lean awareness throughout the team and a structured approach to adopting changes in the methods of working.

We recommended and delivered a three-stage approach:

  1. Analyse – Our Lean experts worked with production management and cell leaders to understand and map the Current State production process and then determine a high-level Future State process.
  2. Ignite – We conducted a fun and lively Lean simulation. We used this to develop communication across departments and engage all team members in a unified understanding of the need to embrace Lean tools and behaviours.
  3. Achieve – Having engaged the team with the need for change, we provided coaching and support to develop individual team leaders to take their own responsibility, and lead those they manage, to deliver the changes required. Specific lean tools, including RRS analysis, production levelling, 5S workplace organisation and reducing batch sizes were trained across the team

The Results

The outcome was that product ranges that previously could only be delivered with a lead time of two to three weeks are now despatched for delivery the same day. Within the BLE Power division, the Technical Division Manager, Liam Sutcliffe, reports an increase of 25% in efficiency. For Murray Sellars, he says ‘utilising Clarity helped us to overcome the inertia, the pace of change was phenomenal, and to take one aspect of the plan we had in place and be able to leave this to Clarity was a tremendous relief’.

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