After signing a new contract with Sunseeker especially aimed at streamlining the company's work processes, Manutan invited the luxury motor yacht manufacturer to trial vending machines. Available 24/7/365, these machines are installed as close as possible to users' workstations in a bid to drive down costs, increase productivity and improve safety in the workplace. Time for a look at the background to the project and the benefits reaped.
A long-standing partnership
For over 10 years, Manutan has been managing the inventory of Sunseeker's Tail spend, as well as other parts used during the boat construction process. The supplier has consequently reserved part of its warehouse, put together a specific team and mobilised a fleet of trucks to replenish the manufacturer's stocks. Thousands of items are delivered to the production site every day.
Continual improvement in the spotlight
"Two years ago, our partnership took on a whole new dimension. We have now given Manutan UK complete responsibility for replenishing our tail spend with the aim of reducing our TCO by at least 15%," explains George Ricketts, Lean Project Leader at Sunseeker.
Both stakeholders worked closely alongside one another in analysing and reviewing all the processes for procuring and using the products distributed. During a series of Lean Management workshops, the teams examined such vital information as the distance that users travelled every day to reach the necessary products and the cost of production line downtime. By cross-referencing the data, the teams came up with several solutions. One of which was to install vending machines for specific high value/low volume products.
Vending machines: a successful initial trial
In February 2017, Sunseeker trialled a vending machine in one production area. Saw blades, milling cutters, connectors and backing pads were just some of the products available to users on the shop floor.
"After only three months, we were happy with the machine, since the tool usage rate had dropped by 40%. That is why we decided to install two more vending machines. This solution has allowed us to offer controlled 24 hour access to 150 higher value items preventing production stoppages in a time critical production environment representing a major advantage for the teams” adds George Ricketts.
The benefits in figures
In addition to improving efficiency and safety, the decision to install vending machines has enabled Sunseeker to achieve the following within the space of nine months:
- Saving thousands pounds per year
- Curb some product usage by over half
- Reduce employee travel and movement by cutting out hundreds of kilometres
- Gain a real-time insight into machine usage
Sunseeker and Manutan UK are already planning to roll out new machines during 2018 in other production areas with an extended range of products.
 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year
 Total Cost of Ownership
 Lean Management is a strategy derived from the Toyota Production System that focuses on eliminating everything that does not contribute to creating value. It is essential to tackle all forms of waste and wasted time within the organisation in order to improve productivity while maximising customer satisfaction.