De La Rue is the world’s largest commercial security printer and paper maker, producing over 150 national currencies
High inventory levels, poor productivity and supplier issues were causing real problems for them, despite their leadership position. Using Lean principles, we redesigned their way of working, solving their issues in the process.
In addition to printing money, De La Rue is also a leading provider of cash handling equipment
Also, card technologies and identity systems to banks, retailers and governments worldwide. Its operational challenges were adversely affecting their throughput and profitability – although by how much was difficult to ascertain as there was also a lack of key performance information.
The company’s managers also realised they were not making the most of skills and good ideas within its own workforce.
How we introduced Lean to help
We installed Kanbans
We replaced the conventional shop floor system with a visual control and feedback system that limits inventory, avoids the waste of over production, sets priorities and exposes issues before they become problems.
We set up a faxban process
Now, De La Rue can easily monitor its supplier delivery performance, ensuring they always have just the right amount of stock to hand to keep production running smoothly and meet customer delivery expectations.
Instilled a culture of self-improvement
The changes in workplace organisation, plus an emphasis on training, means employees are empowered to make the changes they feel necessary in an atmosphere where ideas are welcomed and everyone works collaboratively.
A proactive approach to improvement
Shop floor based problem solving teams now meet weekly to implement corrective action for recurring quality and production issues.
The project was delivered ahead of schedule and below estimated cost. In addition, we also achieved the following:
- Improvements in productivity gave annualised savings of over £1 million
- Overall inventory was reduced by £3 million
- Assembly throughput time reduced by 65%
- Component shortages reduced by 90%