Interpod Interview: Building the Production Process for Modular Bathrooms

Client Interpod

Location Wyong, New South Wales, Australia

Interpod Interview: Creating the Production Process for Modular Bathrooms

Interpod are Australia’s largest builder of modular bathrooms for use in high rise settings. Cameron Monks and the team have gone from start-up to the largest supplier of modular bathrooms for high density residential and commerical buildings across Australia.

CEO Cameron Monks sat down with TXM Managing Director Tim McLean to chat about how TXM has helped Interpod grow from start-up to a major supplier over the past ten years. Watch as Cameron details the benefits of TXM helping Interpod achieve operational excellence.

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Read the Video Transcript

I’m here with Cameron monks the CEO of Interpod Australia’s leading manufacturer of modular bathrooms we’ve worked with Interpod for over 10 years as they’ve grown from a start-up to being a major manufacturing business on the New South Wales Central Coast.

Thanks for joining us, Cameron. Thanks for coming in Tim. So, tell me about your journey with TXM because you’ve been working with us for 10 years. What have been the key features of that and how has it helped you?

We started in 2012 our first project we had the knowledge on how to build bathrooms but didn’t know anything about building on the production line, so TXM came in and helped us develop the system extract the information that was in our heads about how to build a bathroom and turn that into a production process.

So how did that make a difference in terms of what you were expecting it to be and how things turned out because you probably would have had an idea of what you thought manufacturing was like and talking to you now you talk like a lean guru so how did that really change your thinking on manufacturing?

Interpod turned out to be a much larger company than we expected in terms of capacity and what we needed to produce so it enabled us to go from building no pods per day to five pods per day over a very short period of time on a site that wasn’t set up at all and then going beyond that now you’ve got the capacity to go up towards 40 pods a day.

We’ve worked with you on several occasions over the years and you’ve worked with four different consultants. How has that worked out with the change of people that we’ve brought to the table, because often that’s a key concern with clients. Who they’re going to work with, you have worked with four different people including myself. How’s that worked for you?

I think every different consultant probably brings a new perspective which is good there’s different strengths in different areas and we’ve done the initial consulting and we’ve done some rehash on our production readiness system.

We’ve done the new site that we’re in now we’ve done that factory layout and so, I suppose all the different consultants coming together has helped us to build Interpod into what it is today. Tell me what have you got to say for people who are looking starting out with a new factory and a new layout in terms of the benefits of getting external help.

I think moving into a new factory is an opportunity you don’t want to miss it’s just an opportunity to reset the way you do everything and with that the opportunity to reset a lot of bad habits that might have crept in or introduced new behaviours, new routines and things, so I think we spent about six months probably designing this factory probably could have spent more time on it.

I think it’s time, money and effort very well spent. what are the kind of the big benefits you’ve got out of out of Lean in terms of helping create Interpod into what it is today?

I think it’s the agility with the way the factory runs. We run multiple factories, running multiple projects at the same time and inside those projects it can be multiple product configurations so we can have production lines with very different pods following each other on the whole way down. Things often change in the construction industry with delays on site, late changes, things like that and keeping our inventories low.

Our work in progress low making things flow, that just gives us the agility that we need to be competitive in the market and on top of that it gives us the quality control that we need because we’re not doing large batch sizes, so it gives you much more control over quality throughout the process.

As you know I really love seeing Interpod bathrooms being craned onto building sites which I see a lot around Melbourne and Sydney. Thank you very much Cameron we’re looking forward to working with you over the next 10 years as you grow even more and thanks for your support of TXM so far. Thank you very much.