Can wood be transformed within 100 metres?

Can wood be transformed within 100 metres?


In this article we want to talk about a number that is particularly important for our production process. We are talking about 100 metres, which is the exact distance that wood travels within the company to become a chair.

We have gone from 29 km to 100 metres

Over the last few years, we have worked on rationalising and improving the efficiency of our production process. Our optimised production system, after each stage of the process was put in order, saves us many metres, which were nothing more than time lost back and forth in the warehouse. How did we achieve this? We completely revised the production layout and worked hard on optimising setup times. Out of curiosity, we measured the distance travelled in metres by the same parts before the reorganisation of the production process and calculated that previously it would take up to 30 km to make a chair. Today the distance is just 100 metres to make the same product.

The production system now

Today, the material ready for processing undergoes a pathway of transformation via the three main lines on which our production is organised and which are outlined on the floor of our company. On each of these three lines there is a sequence of machinery designed and grouped to ensure workflow and to always move in a single direction. In other words, the flow of the process never goes in reverse: the pieces of wood slide on special trolleys and only travel 100 metres before becoming a chair. 

Other numbers that add up: warehouse space occupied and transportation

Apart from the 100 metres, there are other numbers that have been drastically reduced by optimising the production process. For example, the square metres of warehouse space occupied by the raw material: we have gone from occupying 1000 m² to 400 m². A huge saving of space. Transport costs are another aspect that have improved enormously and have been reduced by 70%. These many factors combined make us altogether faster in the production and delivery of orders.

What is the value of these 100 metres to the customer?

Let’s start with an important principle: anything that does not represent a value for the customer could be generically defined as waste.  Therefore, all you need to do is to eliminate waste in the process to reduce the cost/price. The hardest thing to do is to recognise this waste. For us, it has been a long road towards this awareness. Along the way each element of the production process was observed to see whether it had a positive impact on benefits or costs. In this way we were able to understand which activities generated value or, on the contrary, waste. This study means now we can say that the 100 metres are a value for customers, because the resulting product for them (and this also applies to us as a company) is made with less waste and therefore a reduced cost.



If we could summarize this concept with an image, it would be this one:


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