Staff upskilling scheme halves waste at Norfolk manufacturer | Manufacturing Growth Programme

A Norfolk manufacturer has halved the waste in its business thanks to a bespoke consultancy support scheme delivered in conjunction with the Manufacturing Growth Programme.

Thetford-based Warren Services, which specialises in CNC machining, welding and fabrication for customers including the Robbie Williams tour and a Disney stage set, identified that the level of waste in the company was excessive and set out to improve the situation by empowering and upskilling its staff.

The company saw a particular problem around its quality control procedures and knew it was time to take action, tapping into external expertise to make an initial saving of £50,000.

Estee Ross, HR Manager at Warren Services, commented: “We had to face up to the fact that we had issues with our waste levels and decided to access bespoke consultancy, which is where the Manufacturing Growth Programme came into its own.”

Working alongside Warren Services, a tailored six-week employee plan was created to suit the needs of the business and then delivered in-house to staff.

“It took a little while to get full buy-in, but we were confident that over time they would see the value in the support and the company are now seeing the financial benefits and in the amount of time saved,” explained MGP Manufacturing Growth Manager Chris George.

“We are now working towards ensuring that all members of staff undertake the upskilling and this is something we hope to have completed during the next few months. Warren Services were an absolute pleasure to work with; it is great to find a company so passionate about internal promotion.”

The bespoke consultancy offered advice and training on workplace organisation, data analysis, problem solving and flow process analysis. Employees now raise, implement and manage waste improvement ideas themselves, driven by a culture change within the business.

“The previous mindset of ‘we’ve always done it like that’ has now been replaced by employees questioning ‘why do we do it like that?’ and coming up with ways for us to improve,” added Estee.

“Since the implementation of the scheme the business has seen waste fall by a massive 50 per cent, bringing with it a saving of over £50,000 and that’s just the start. The cost savings once all staff are fully supported could be endless, given the varied areas of the business that can be improved. Going forward, we think over £200,000 is possible.”

Established in 1990, Warren Services has secured a number of new contracts to provide high quality machined components to the automotive, general engineering and food sector.

It operates from two facilities spanning 50,000 sq ft of combined production space and has seen its workforce grow to 94 employees in recent years.

For further information on Warren Services, please visit or follow @warrenservices on twitter.

Copyright © Economic Growth Solutions, 3rd April 2018.