15% efficiency gains help Emplas keep a lid on customer price increases

Manufacturing and operational efficiencies of up to 15% have supported Emplas in fixing the prices its customers pay for products for the past six months.

Delivered as part of the fabricator’s continuous improvement programme, Emplas has introduced a range of initiatives in the last year. This has included a redesign of its factory floor; investment in its fleet; and an ambitious factory floor leadership programme.

Combined, this has contributed to year-on-year efficiency gains of between 12 and 15% across its business – a saving which Jody Vincent, Sales Director, Emplas, said had been passed directly to its customers.

He said: “Installers are seeing a lot of price increases.  Glass, hardware and their own operational costs including energy, fuel and labour are rising.

“While we’ve faced our own set of inflationary pressures – not least energy surcharges – but also our own energy, fuel and labour costs, we’ve been able to keep a control on them through manufacturing and operational efficiencies.

“That’s something that we’ve passed on directly to our customers through the price freeze that we’ve had in place since February.”

Emplas has driven a series of efficiency gains throughout its operation since COVID. This is something that Jody points out was started in response to disruption to its only supply chain during the pandemic, but which has delivered an operational return as the supply chain has normalised.

It has also been driven by a large-scale factory floor training programme, which has empowered 40 of its shop floor supervisors to implement local changes, improving communication and employee engagement.

“We couldn’t be doing what we’re doing without great employee retention and engagement”, Jody explained. “40 members of production are currently going through a two staged leadership training programme, we’ve set up operational and quality working groups, and generally made things flow better through the factory.

“That’s delivered operational efficiency gains of up to 15%, which has supported us in offsetting some of the inflationary pressures that we face as a large-scale manufacturer.”

Emplas is also continuing to invest to build future operational efficiencies and capacity within its operations. This includes a £1million plus investment in a state-of-the-art Forel Vertical IGU-line, at it’ Padiham IGU operation.

Significantly increasing its capacity but also driving un uptick in IGU quality the new line is scheduled for delivery in the autumn and will deliver a 45% uplift in capacity on its current 10,000 IGU a week capability.

Jody said: “IGUs have been a pinch point for the industry, in terms of supply but also this year, cost. We already have a very sizeable capacity at our Padiham site, the addition of the Forel line allows us to build on that, drive up quality but also supports our strategy to control costs and pass on those savings to our customers.”

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