A lot of companies pay lip service to the term lean manufacturing, but fabricator Tradelink recently proved the tangible benefits of implementing a thorough set of world class principles when service was uninterrupted despite its factories being hit by the recent flash floods.
“I only joined Tradelink a few months ago but a big part of my induction to the company was based on its world class manufacturing principles,” says Jon Tennant, Manufacturing Manager at Tradelink, “which came in handy when our facility in March, Cambridgeshire was flooded. As a true lean manufacturing company, Tradelink has disaster plans in place for all eventualities which allows everyone to act fast, so when Cambridgeshire saw 2 inches of rainfall in just an hour we were as prepared as we could be.
“A decision was quickly made to power down the factories as water was rising up around our welders and becoming a clear safety hazard. Then we had all hands on deck to clear up the water as quickly as possible before the end of the day so we could allow the factory to completely dry out over the weekend. This kind of disruption would normally affect manufacturer and customer alike, but thanks to a clear plan and the quick actions of everyone involved, production resumed the next working day and no products were delayed as a result of the disruption to the factory. In fact most of our customers probably don’t even know we were flooded!”
Jim Moody, Managing Director at Tradelink adds: “Our world class philosophy ensures Tradelink continuously improves its products and services, but it also means we expect the unexpected. No-one wants their factory to be flooded or have any manufacturing downtime but if it happens it helps to be prepared. I’d like to commend the team at March for their quick actions on the day and for getting us back up and running so smoothly.”