Norbev Soaks up Savings Benefits to Achieve Higher Turnover

Invest Northern Ireland has assisted Ballymena based bottling company, Norbev, to increase its turnover by more than £300,000 over three years, through participation in a programme which develops an ethos of continuous business improvement.

Several areas of the company’s processes and procedures were examined and modified, gradually cutting costs across the entire operation, resulting in a much higher turnover and profits for the County Antrim bottlers.

Norbev’s Managing Director, James Harkness, stated: “Various changes in the way we operate have translated into real money-saving across the business, through participation in Invest NI’s Business Improvement Agent Programme. We revised our purchasing contracts and re-negotiated deals on consumables and transport, as well as introducing new tools for our personnel, including a new company handbook and staff procedures and a new staffing and pay structure. This has led to a much more motivated workforce, helping us to reduce costs and have a much more efficient team of staff.”

The Invest NI Business Improvement Agent Programme involves the appointment of an individual to oversee the implementation of measures to continuously improve processes and procedures within the company, with the objective of cutting costs and improving overall efficiency to over three times the value of their salary.

“Centralisation of the purchasing function, reviewed planning procedures, the installation of a new product line and a more formalised HR operation have contributed to the huge reductions in outgoings for the company.

“Planning schedules were reviewed, enabling us to achieve greater efficiency in production, now reaching over 90% schedule achievement. Much work has to be done and we need to continue to embrace the philosophy of continuous improvement until we arrive at the 100% mark,” added Mr. Harkness.

Victor Jordan, Director of Business Improvement Services at Invest NI, says: “Norbev have clearly improved their profitability and potential to succeed in this competitive market. We have facilitated changes such as the coordination a new production line and development of a more efficient operation, enabling them to turn-out up to 25,000 bottles per hour”.

Norbev successfully deliver services for brands such as Lucozade, Coca-Cola, Superdrug and C &C, to name but a few. Their participation in the Invest NI Business Improvement Agent Programme was part funded by the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.