Portakabin Case Essay

2338 Words Jan 6th, 2014 10 Pages
www.thetimes100.co.uk

Lean production at Portakabin
Introduction
Portakabin is an international company. It produces some of the most advanced building systems available. The company is part of the £700 million turnover Shepherd Group. The Shepherd Group is one of the largest family-owned companies in the European building industry and employs 3,500 people. It focuses on three main areas: • manufacturing • construction • property. The name Portakabin is a registered trade mark. This instantly recognisable sign means that no other company can use the Portakabin name on its products. Donald Shepherd, the founder of Portakabin, came up with the idea of stand-alone re-locatable buildings in the 1960s. Since that day, only buildings
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raw materials. Work in progress: partly finished items that are currently being worked on but have not been completed. Raw materials: Basic material inputs e.g. ores (metal production), grain (bakery products), cocoa (chocolate).

Portakabin is working towards eliminating waste in each of the three areas. Lean production makes it possible to eliminate waste by reducing defects so that products are ‘right first time’ and are of a quality that meets customer requirements. Quality is a top level objective for the company therefore Portakabin uses a Quality Management System. The purpose of this is to make sure that every aspect of what the company does is designed to give customers what they want, for example, a safer learning environment or a more inspiring office. High quality is supported through a process known as Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese term which means continuous improvement. Kaizen is typically achieved through small, regular steps rather than the occasional large change. It enables everyone at all levels in the organisation to contribute to improvements. Everyone who works for Portakabin is encouraged to suggest ways of improving production. New ideas bubble up from employees at every stage. For example, an employee in stores may have a good idea about how to manage stock more effectively. Everyone is therefore working to improve quality and give better

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