Group Nivelles slashes its office lead time from 5 weeks to 1 day
Group Nivelles NV, a family business specialising in bathrooms and drain systems, distributes its products both throughout Belgium and internationally, and is continuously growing and improving its processes and products. The company had noticed that its lead time for new customized orders was too long and wanted to reduce it.
The total lead time for a new customized order was typically around 8 weeks, including an office lead time of ca. 4-5 weeks. Manufacturing customized orders is quite complex and requires additional office work, such as making customized drawings and a work preparation for every order. Multiple departments were involved in the office process. The steps and handovers lengthened the lead time. When a change was requested by the customer, the cycle started again which further increased the lead time.
Automation in the office
The long lead times in the office were caused by the manual processing steps and the handovers. Group Nivelles tackled this with the support of the Interreg project QRM4.0, in which Sirris too participates. The manual processing steps were largely automated and the handovers were eliminated. This was possible by immediately provide the customer with the necessary information.
From 5 weeks to one day
The new process offers many advantages. The back office has complete control over the whole process and is no longer dependent on the availability of somebody from work preparation. All the know-how is integrated and stored directly in digital systems. As a result, the office lead time could be reduced dramatically from 4-5 weeks to just one day. At the same time, this automation has reduced the amount of processing errors and has also freed up capacity in the work preparation department, which can now be used for new projects.
Read our cases in our annual report 2021
If 2020 was characterised, for many companies, by anguish and the disruption of their usual business activities due to a pandemic that hit hard, 2021 can absolutely be characterised by the unprecedented resilience of those same companies. In 2021 some important insights also came to light following these extraordinary events.