Joinery company shaves costs for increased profits

Aug 16, 2007

Invest Northern Ireland has helped an Omagh based joinery company to save £250,000 by focusing on continuous improvement.

Woodlock Joinery manufactures uniquely designed timber window and door sets for the UK and Irish markets, serving both the trade sector and general public.

Invest NI has provided support to the company to employ a Business Improvement Agent for three years. The BIA programme aims to save the company over three times the agent’s salary through continuous improvement in various areas of the business. Woodlock has exceeded this target.

The main improvements were in the window production line, where productivity was increased, and in transport, where costs were reduced significantly.

Other measures that were implemented during the project include, improved stock control through selling on redundant stock and the introduction of glass safety procedures which have reduced the number of breakages by 50%. In addition, a new fault reporting method has led to a reduction in the material and labour costs of remaking products.

Speaking about the large savings that the company has made through the Invest NI initiative, Woodlock’s Managing Director Adrian Loughran said: “We examined the entire business and reconsidered ways to improve certain elements. The overall result has been an increase in our profitability, and many of the measures undertaken will continue to help us on an ongoing basis. For example, operating downtime has been greatly reduced through ensuring that important mechanical tools are available on site in order to quickly rectify machine failures.

“We have also improved our waste management through the use of solid fuel burners which has led to savings on both waste disposal and heating costs,” added Mr Loughran.

Victor Jordan, Invest NI’s Director of Business Improvement Services, said: “Woodlock Joinery has shown how businesses that review and improve their processes can become more profitable, and that even the smallest improvements can produce positive returns. The concept of continuous improvement is becoming ever more important for Northern Ireland’s businesses and Woodlock has shown the scale of the benefits that can be achieved.”

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