Knut Klimmek started Klimmek-Furniture after studying design and graduating from the world renowned Parnham College in Dorset, England in 1986. They are a craft based workshop which means that their cabinetmakers are traditionally trained and have the exceptional hand skills required to make finely detailed pieces of furniture. At the same time they employ modern technologies such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Machines (CAM) to allow them to process materials to extremely fine tolerances, quickly and efficiently.
The objective of this Lean project was to see the overs/unders converge over a number of projects. By putting a control system in place that identifies potential overs/unders on a daily basis, corrections were taken early in the process to minimise impact.
One of the key challenges identified in this project was to introduce Lean thinking to the team.
A key change implemented by management was to empower their workers so that they took responsibility for their own time/task. As a result, this has allowed the business to run smoothly.
Klimmek-Furniture achieved significant results. Knut and his team achieved an increase in capacity by 20%. They also achieved savings of €25,000 pa.
“Thanks again to Ed Flanagan and Steve Halpin for your input on this project which has been invaluable. Your involvement in the mentoring sessions has also has been key in getting the guys to buy into the process. It allowed me to step back and gave the team the space to voice opinions and make suggestions more freely.
The implementation of the new time control system, which allows us to track budget overruns on a daily basis, has been a key factor in the process of getting the team to understand and be involved in the daily process of reducing budget over and under runs. It is an ongoing process to embed this new system but we have come a long way. In a way the 5S system has probably been the easiest to get buy-in from everyone as, as you have pointed out, it is easy for us to make the required physical changes to furniture and workspaces and to quickly show the benefits of the system. I strongly feel that once all the changes are fully embedded and in place we will be in a much better position to expand our staff again and scale the business into the future.” Knut Klimmek.