ASSA ABLOY celebrates triple manufacturing awards success

ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, is celebrating after winning three high profile manufacturing awards in under six months for its innovative working practices.

ASSA ABLOY recently received the National and Midlands Awards for Innovative Working Practices at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2010, which showcases British manufacturing’s innovation and excellence.

The company, whose manufacturing operation is based in Willenhall in the Black Country, was also named Manufacturer of the Year 2010 at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards.

The industry accolades were presented to ASSA ABLOY in recognition of the company’s innovative use of the latest information technology and best practice lean thinking to support the manufacture of a new multipoint locking system used in PVC and composite doors. This approach resulted in superior levels of customer service and quality, while significantly reducing inventory levels and empowering staff.

Commenting on the awards, Lee Philp of ASSA ABLOY said: “ASSA ABLOY faced a number of challenges when launching its new multipoint locking system in 2010. The product range is sold in a commercially challenging marketplace with very tight margins, which has led many competitors to outsource manufacture of these items to low-cost countries.

ASSA ABLOY’s strong preference was to retain production in the UK and because the product range is wide and demand volatile, there was a high risk of excess and slow-moving stock.

We tackled these issues head-on, using a team-based approach involving planning, IT and engineering to introduce flexible assembly workstations and paperless Work To Order touch screens that provided operators with a live view of the order book, assembly images and production and despatch bookings. This reduced the time taken to get the order to the point of manufacture from hours to seconds, and allowed operators to quickly see which orders are of highest priority and to swiftly build the product, before labeling for despatch.

This innovative approach has improved product quality and customer service levels, increased staff engagement and allowed ASSA ABLOY to manufacture a broad and competitively priced product range here in the UK, whilst significantly reducing the risk of excess and slow moving stock.

We are delighted that the hard work of everyone involved has been recognised at such a prestigious regional and national level, and we are now looking at rolling out these innovative practices across other parts of the ASSA ABLOY Group.”

ASSA ABLOY also received the Midlands Region Runners Up Awards for Innovative People Practices and Environmental Sustainability at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2010.
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