Lean thinking at Sunconfex

Since 2005, Sunconfex has been one of the largest and most prominent players in Europe in the field of assembled sun protection textiles. Sunconfex produces more than 1,000,000 m² of sun protection textile per year at its centrally located sites in Belgium (Ypres) and Germany (Jettingen-Scheppach / Bayern).

Ludwig Kestelyn has been running the company for many years. The family business wants to pave the way for the next generation, with the daughter and son-in-law who both took on their first tasks in the company in 2018. 

Customer challenge
The strong growth also has a downside. For the pillars quality, speed, service, on which the company is built, the targets could no longer be achieved, resulting in dissatisfied customers. After a thorough introduction meeting with Moore Stephens Strategy & Operations, it was decided to conduct an audit of the current operational processes, from order intake to delivery. Thereafter, an Operational Excellence process had to be defined based on the findings of this audit. 

Approach
In summary, the audit revealed four domains in which adjustments were needed: 

  • Adjust and simplify the layout of the production area.
  • Introduce tools for planning and controlling the order and production process.
  • Organizational clarifications: division of tasks, instructions, training.
  • General "quality culture": order and tidiness, optimal working method, product quality, leadership, … 

Based on the audit findings we worked step by step towards optimization. Constantly consulting with those involved is essential in this stage. 

Results

  • In a period of 4 weeks, the layout of the production area was redesigned to make lean production possible. The relocation and the relaunch proceeded smoothly thanks to collaboration supported by a detailed script.
  • Pivot tables were set up through export from the ERP-system that produces the total free capacity and the planning per workplace.
  • Work instructions and training documents for new employees per workplace were prepared, responsibilities of the people in charge were fine-tuned and discussed: a good foundation for further optimization of working methods and workplaces.
  • Changing the culture is a long-term job: this part is now running. Making and keeping everything negotiable is here the key element as well. In this way, the transmission can take place without the risk of watering down and the consultant can take another step back...

For more details and examples of the results: read our complete approach here

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