The objective was for ASSA ABLOY to show how Lean thinking is embedded in its manufacturing operations The Platinum Group were invited to share best practice with ASSA ABLOY at their Portobello site in Willenhall, where the Chief Operating Officer, Lee Philp and David Herbert the Business Development Director discussed Lean Product Development and Seamless Flow in Production. ASSA ABLOY is the largest global supplier of intelligent lock and security solutions. Where 1 in every 10 lock and security installations worldwide uses their products. Using the latest technologies and tried-and-tested techniques, ASSA ABLOY are constantly developing innovative solutions which improve their customers' lives through greater security, safety and convenience. The Willenhall site designs, tests and manufactures a large variety of locking solutions including, Padlocks, Cylinders, Multipoint Locks, Mortice Locks and Rimlocks. Lean Innovation and Product Development The objective of the Platinum Group Director Day was for ASSA ABLOY to demonstrate its approach to Lean Innovation and Product Development and to show how Lean thinking is embedded in its manufacturing operations. Focus was also made on visual management, Workplace Organisation and Seamless in production. Lee Philp said “Working with The Platinum Group, part of Black Country Chamber of Commerce, through meetings such as the Director Days, enables you to share best practice and learn from others, and while our organisations are typically working in different sectors, there is always common ground. Areas where we have similar challenges and opportunities, these meetings are the only way this diverse group of individuals would get together and share their ideas and experiences.” ASSA ABLOY were also the winners of the “Innovation” Award at the Chamber Annual Awards 2015, held at Wolverhampton Racecourse. Members of The Platinum Group participate in best practice sharing to enable them to develop their business and grow. Black Country Chamber of Commerce aims to double the size of the Black Country economy by 2023 and The Platinum Group are an excellent example of how this is to be achieved. The Black Country is the Industrial Heart of the UK with many high quality and niche businesses that are working together to develop further to be market leaders.
ASSA ABLOY’s heavily invested-in factories are award winning in terms of operation & innovation A recent survey, carried out by the EEF, of 400 manufacturing firms suggests that the positive run of output in British manufacturing is set to continue in 2015, with early orders indicating a move back into positive territory. With five product factories across the UK that deliver locks, window hardware, high security doors and hi-tech key and asset management solutions, ASSA ABLOY has always been a stalwart of British manufacturing. The recent trend for ‘reshoring,’ which has seen one in six companies move production back to the UK between 2011 and 2014, the revival in UK manufacturing is not a surprise to manufacturers who have always valued the flexibility and speed of response afforded by a UK production centre. ASSA ABLOY demonstrates product quality, skills and innovation Whilst many companies were initially enticed by the reduced overheads of emerging economies, as these markets come to maturity this is equally having the opposite effect, but cost is not the only reason for UK manufacturing to be ‘back in fashion.’ Product quality, skills and innovation, ease of customer communication and shorter, more responsive supply chains are the real benefits of British manufacturing, something ASSA ABLOY has been demonstrating throughout its history. Employing over 1000 people in the UK its heavily invested-in factories are award winning in terms of operational excellence and innovation at both regional and national level. Ensuring that whilst its traditional products remain an important part of its legacy in the heart of the lock-making country, it also invests in innovation to expand into wider markets and deliver efficiencies that make its UK production sustainable and reliable. "I am extremely proud of the manufacturing footprint we have retained in the UK that enables us to think carefully about the quality and the continuity of the supply" Ensures stock is flexible to meet customer specification Helping to overcome any production cost issues the manufacturing and supply chain strategy is to source globally, where appropriate, ensuring competitive product prices but to configure products locally, this ensures that stock is as flexible as possible to meet customer specification and keep lead times as short as possible. However, a number of ASSA ABLOY’s products and solutions are manufactured 100% in the UK, including UNION’s C-Series range that is made from raw materials, through to dispatch in the UK. This has guaranteed that the same high quality materials and craftsmanship has been delivered since the products were developed and launched in 1958. ASSA ABLOY’s Portobello site assembles master key systems ASSA ABLOY’s Portobello site in Willenhall also assembles all of the manufacturer’s master key systems and many thousands of multi-point locks and strikes a week. Lee Philp, Head of Operations for ASSA ABLOY UK, said: “I am extremely proud of the manufacturing footprint we have retained in the UK that enables us to think carefully about the quality and the continuity of the supply of our products to customers.” “In our own lives we all demand better service and the end users of our products are no different, which is why the service we provide to our distribution and locksmith partners is always at the forefront of my mind. At ASSA ABLOY we aim to offer proactive and professional communication and be easy to do business with. Fundamentally, we provide the ‘right product’ at the ‘right price’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ our customers need it.” “I have led many factory tours over the years and virtually all of the attendees are surprised by how much we still do in the UK. I invite all our customers to visit our sites to see UK lock manufacturing in action and to buy British where they can.”