The close working relationship between KMF (Precision Sheet Metal) and Schneider Electric, one of its most strategic customers, is paying dividends.
In business, there is always room for improvement, and at KMF, the Newcastle-under-Lyme-based manufacturer of fully integrated bespoke sheet metal work, continuous improvement has become second nature.
A good example of this is a recently implemented programme of service level improvements with Schneider Electric, one of KMF's key customers.
This programme is a joint venture headed up by KMF's Debra Woodcock and Arunas Milasius from Schneider Electric, who had an initial brief to systematically reduce batch sizes across the extensive range of products manufactured by KMF on Schneider Electric's behalf.
"This is a great programme for KMF to be involved with, especially with such a high-profile customer," says Keith Nicholl, KMF's Business Improvement Manager.
"KMF's approach to manufacturing improvements over recent years coupled with a commitment to invest in the latest technology means that we can challenge the traditional concept of 'economic batch quantities' and greatly reduce the waste that results from over production."
KMF's On Time in Full (OTIF) measure for its Schneider Electric contracts is more than 98.5% over the last two years. However, by implementing the service level improvements the savings through inventory reductions are expected to be significant.
This initial stage, once fully implemented will provide the basis for further co-operation between the two companies, with plans already in place to reduce what are already very short lead-times.