Chillblast, based in the South of England, has built a reputation as a leading manufacturing of gaming desktops. In 2019, a new Operations Manager role was created and Chillblast saw this as an opportunity to overhaul its internal processes to better manage the workforce and reorganise the workshop to create a more efficient production process flow to cope with surges in demand at certain points of the year.
Through its connections with the BCP Council and the Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster (DEMC), Chillblast
became aware of how the MTC’s Manufacturing Support Services (MSS) help manufacturing SMEs to raise productivity levels and de-risk technology investments.
Chillblast approached the MTC to advise on supporting the development of existing operations to maximise output in a sustainable manner as well as managing the review of production KPIs and bringing an awareness of 5S, Visual Management and workplace organisation.
After initial discussions and workshop tours, the MSS team quickly established that it could support Chillblast to grow its turnover in a facility that the business thought it had hit its threshold in.
Working with the leadership team, MSS identified a series of workplace organisation tactics including introducing control boards, production targets, clearly defining roles and responsibilities, standardisation of documentation, and improving overall communication across the business.
The MSS team also worked directly with the new Operations Manager to support his own personal development. Previously a Logistic Manager for Chillblast, individual came into the role with extensive knowledge of the business, but limited experience in managing production.
To better maximise the workspace, production line and inventory, the MTC provided a plan to help Chillblast understand the current and potential production capability to create a production schedule to be shared with the team.
In November 2020, Chillblast completed its workshop re-organisation by implementing 5S principles to organise materials, tools, consumables and maximise space. This allowed Chillblast to gain a better understanding of its inventory and stock, and subsequently its production capabilities, which was far larger than they initially thought.
MTC also worked closely with Chillblast on changing workplace behaviours, both amongst the senior leadership team as well as the wider workforce. Better business communication processes were initiated, visual management tools were installed, and all documentation was standardised to create efficiencies in the production process to cope with demand.
Alongside working with the wider team, MTC also played a significant role in the development and integration of the new Operations Manager. With no previous experience in production or operations, MTC was able to support him in setting KPIs with the team, creating a series of defined roles and responsibilities, and implementing a number of new process in order to successfully manage an ever-increasing team across a number of departments.
The project delivery met all the objectives originally outlined by Chillblast including new ways of working, workshop organisation and raising awareness of 5S to support the development of existing operations and realise the true potential of the business.
Chillblast has already engaged the MSS team in the next project phase. The MTC will support Chillblast to futureproof plans for further capacity increases as well as providing ongoing support to shape team roles and assist with the induction of key production personnel.
Increased manufacturing productivity and an improved ability to cope with surges in demand including an unprecedented rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a record year of sales.
Better utilisation of space and new internal process led to increased efficiencies enabling the business to grow its turnover within the existing facility.
Knowledge sharing and supporting the development of the Operations Manager has helped the business successfully change behaviours and grow its workforce by over 40%, bringing its new Customer Services team in-house to meet demand.
Improved business communication has created a more motivated workforce and successfully developed internal resource.