Easyquip Interview: Moving from Batch to Flow Production

Client Easyquip

Location Morwell, Victoria

Moving From Batch to Flow Production: Easyquip

It is well known that moving from batch production to flow production can help eliminate issues caused by defects. The introduction of Flow can give you a competitive edge over batch production processes.

TXM worked with Easyquip to implement a new production process using value stream mapping to help rearrange and reorder their manufacturing process to achieve flow production.

Operations Manager Tom Hocking was interviewed about the results and how TXM was able to help Easyquip along their process improvement journey.

Read the Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Tim McLean from TXM Lean Solutions. I’m here with Tom Hocking the operations manager at Easyquip a manufacturer of waste bins located in the Latrobe Valley east of Melbourne.

Tom great to see you, tell us about what was going on at Easyquip that led you to engaging TXM a couple of years ago now.

So, we pretty much hit a glass ceiling with our and knowledge and our ability to push the business further forwards, we’ve been working away by ourselves just trying to get higher throughput and higher efficiency and we really couldn’t push past where our knowledge was. So, we thought that we’d reach out, engage TXM, get them in to help us to see if we could break through that class ceiling get to where we needed to be.

Okay, so I put together a proposal and David Jaksa from TXM came and worked with you. What were the key changes that David’s made in your manufacturing operation?

Probably the biggest change that we’ve made is going from batch style or static style production to a one-piece flow style we’ve really seen good improvements through that it was quite a barrier to break through to get to that.

I guess one of the other things is that the management board whereby we work off boards daily meetings just gets a great visibility from the top to the bottom, and everybody’s involved in the flow of communication from the top level to the workshop floor is a lot better.

So, what are the key kind of benefits that the business has seen from the work we’ve done?

I guess the main improvements would be the freeing up of room we used to take up a lot of room to do our manufacturing whereas that’s reduced considerably and our DIFOT, our commitment to our customers has really improved going from being quite unreliable to being very consistent.

In terms of your mindset and how you think about manufacturing, how has that changed?

I guess experience, just knowing what to do, knowing what the right thing is to do before we didn’t really know and we weren’t really sure, we felt very immature in what we were doing. We are gaining the knowledge from people who really know and learning from them what the right thing is to do. I see a much bigger emphasis on data and getting the facts. Would that be accurate? Yes, getting the right data and looking at the facts and knowing what to do with them.

What kind of advice would you give other companies thinking about implementing Lean?

I wouldn’t have any hesitation and as far as consultants. TXM has great consultants. Thanks for that and from your side what do you think is important for your business to get the most out of the work you’ve done with us?

Just to build on the base that we’ve picked up. We’ve laid a base down and we just need to improve, continuously improve on that I guess the biggest thing with that is knowing the steps to take. Now we know what we need to do.

Easyquip have developed a completely new way to manufacture their hook lift bins and are well set up now to continuously improve that process to improve their competitiveness into the future. So, Tom it’s been great working with you, thank you very much. We look forward to further success and seeing your process take even greater steps. Thank you very much, thank you Tim.