Following unprecedented levels of demand for precision jet engine components manufactured onsite, the busy turbines division of a global defence and aerospace company found itself in need of some expert support to lead it to new heights.
While the increased sales were welcome to this division, the speed of growth was a significant challenge. The Spitfire team was brought in to lead the delivery of key strategic capacity uplift programmes in order to meet customer demand.
Following an initial meeting with the aerospace machining operations division, the Spitfire team were requested to lead on two major challenges affecting the company's ability to grow in line with customer demand. These challenges related to both external supply chain development to release internal capacity whilst investing in growing internal capacity in parallel.
A key member of the Spitfire team was introduced as an interim rate project manager, drawing upon the team's expertise in project management and supply chain establishment to develop and mature both the UK and US supply chains.
Further down the line, the rate project manager also took on responsibility for the end-to-end delivery of a £13.9 million capital investment project. This project would provide world class machining capability and capacity to facilitate the production of an extra £25 million in sales per annum for the in-demand jet engine components.
While this support focused on the delivery of a programme of capacity enabling projects to meeting existing demand, the embedded Spitfire capability also reinforced lean principles, ensuring that managers, leaders and key personnel exhibited the core knowledge and confidence to implement them on other major projects.
With the forecasted customer demand continuing to rise, outstripping even the additional installed capacity, Spitfire worked with the team to develop a full factory re-design incorporating lean, one-piece flow principles in order to minimize inventory and floor space requirements. Spitfire facilitated the detailed layout of all equipment and building and infrastructure works, to support building a robust business case, eventually leading to the approval of a further £23 million of capital investment.
It was another success for Spitfire, with one company executive in the aerospace turbines division noting that, "The agreed deliverable was achieved on time. Even when the scope was changed at the last minute, Spitfire pulled the team together to complete the work required. I found Spitfire to be very calm and clear, which instilled a lot of confidence in the team. They operate to a high professional standard, from time keeping to their ability to steer discussions in the right direction and keep everything on track."
"We were very impressed by the quality of the delivered solution, as well as of professionalism of the consultants, their understanding of our complex internal processes and their commitment to quality and respect of deadlines."Global Train Manufacturer
"With Spitfire's support we have been able to identify impressive savings and with the tools and coaching they provided we will be able to identify even greater savings. The Spitfire team were impressive from the start, quickly becoming part of the team and working in a structured way."Material Planning - Ordering Officer Aerospace Company (UK)
"At the end of the project we made quite a few changes to our existing systems. The best outcome is the change to the way we now think within the department whenever we are reviewing even the simplest of procedures, we find ourselves applying the 'lean' way of thinking and continue to make improvements."Cytology Manager NHS – Primary Care Trust Hospital
"A number of excellent pieces of work all delivered with professionalism and a good level of outside best practice knowledge shared and transferred. Good cross-functional connections made with the team at all levels and are very well respected and trusted in the organisation…"Market-leading provider of steam systems and services
"This Programme has revolutionised the way my team delivers its projects. It has enabled personal ownership and commitment from everyone involved. The teams are empowered to remove waste from their own processes and deliver real improvements in a matter of weeks, rather than months."Graeme Shaw | Business Process Improvement Leader Global Metro
"The Spitfire consultants were very knowledgeable and able to relate complicated techniques to us in language we understood. Their experience and expertise gave us a great leap in understanding."BT Manager Leading Energy Saving Group
"The real power of the programme is the empowerment and tangible cultural change it delivers in a short time scale. It releases momentum from every level and silo of the organisation, generating immediate impact and identification and eradication of waste. This is worthy of immediate wider application."Independent Investment Programme Advisory Group to the Mayor of London
"After many months of analysis, planning and effort we have, for the first time, achieved all of our Operational Performance Indicators for defects. This is a great achievement and has been delivered at the same time as working to drastically cut the number of outstanding defects, which have reduced from over 2,000 to about 150 today."Highways & Transport Manager Local authority (UK)
"An excellent piece of work delivered by knowledgeable and experienced logistics experts. Spitfire's packaging design concepts and Lean Logistics approach not only tackle space constraint issues, they also improve ergonomic handling and part quality. The designs ensure reduced handling of sub-assembled material & parts, and reduce costs."Plant Manager, Bremen Major Aircraft Manufacturer
"The turnaround of the fleet has been incredible! Spitfire Consultancy have been instrumental in making this happen. We now have the tools and the knowledge to maintain control and continue to meet our future performance challenges."Fleet Manager Asset Maintenance Company
"A great result, this supplier was one of our biggest concerns in terms of parts supply for the new model and now we're getting parts ahead of the model launch, a very positive outcome, well done…."Quality Director Leading Prestigious Car Manufacturer
"Spitfire have delivered a strategy that is clear and follows all Lean principles to ensure parts are available when required, all without impacting on production. Stakeholders involved have been impressed by Spitfire's knowledge and approach."Head of Supply Chain Logistics Major Aircraft OEM
"During development of the project, we recognised the immediate potential and in a joint activity with the original project team, installed the Body Shop Training Centre into a brand new manufacturing plant being built in the U.S.A. to assist us with the very difficult task of new plant hire and skill-up."Global Lean Centre Manager Global Vehicle Manufacturer
"A stellar performance from a rotating team of consultants achieved all I could have hoped for. A great programme which should be wider applied in my organisation."Head of Delivery Global Metro