Eighteen months ago we promised that H+H UK could have an entirely new production line up and running after just a three month shutdown at our main Borough Green factory. Thanks to some amazing teamwork, we have achieved just that.
In a buoyant market producing strong demand and tight supply, the decision to take one third of our manufacturing capacity out of production was always going to be high risk.
Looking back, with the new factory now producing high quality blocks ahead of schedule, that risk was clearly worth taking.
The exercise has proved, more than any other project in my working life, the importance of planning, teamwork and a bit more planning.
Six critical teams needed to work together:
The production teams at Borough Green and Pollington who built stocks ahead of the shutdown period to manage product supply throughout the process.
The equipment manufacturers – Wehrhahn – who not only produced the new plant but also assembled and tested every piece of kit at their factory before shipping it to the UK.
The engineering and plant management team at Borough Green responsible for installing and commissioning the new plant.
The sales team for continually keeping all of our customers up to date.
The commercial team for managing stockholding and distribution during the shutdown.
And the project consultants – VA Consulting – who planned the entire process with precision and minute attention to detail.
With a very clear objective and totally transparent planning, the whole team could really get behind the project and the commitment of our people has been extraordinary.
It is easy to stand in our new plant seeing high quality blocks coming off the production line and forget just how much effort has gone into the project, but what has been brought home to me over and over again, is the power of teamwork.
Not everything in this process ran exactly according to plan, but if a team is really working together, then creative thinking and swift intervention can overcome problems, resolve unexpected issues and keep a project on track.
Not surprisingly, there is huge satisfaction in being able to report to the market that, as of May 2018, high quality Celcon Blocks are once again being produced from Borough Green: as promised.