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Lord Digby Jones paid tribute to a number of Boddingtons qualities in launching the business’s brand-new £4.6m facility in November 2016. Chief among these was the company’s investment in people and in continuous improvement methods at the Marden, Kent plant.

Some of the fruits of these people investments at Boddingtons are already reaping rewards: Six months ago we reported on the LEAD-base training that was underway. This consists of a pilot programme of lean-based training involving a cross functional team of eight people from several disciplines at the company.

The 1st stage of the theoretical training is now nearly complete and the first Boddingtons team to qualify is now applying its know-how on the shop floor. The team is empowered to self-select its future work remit and has chosen a project in the Boddingtons assembly area to apply the lean lessons learned.

Boddingtons production manager Wayne Allen was a part of the lean pilot group and comments that ‘the training thus far has been excellent and I am delighted that our team – from some very diverse functions and departments – has chosen such an ambitious first project; one where we feel we can really deliver extra value.’

An interim report is expected at the end of August on this first project, and the 2nd Boddington lean team is now being assembled for its first stage in training come January 2018. It is envisaged that the lean training programme will eventually include the entire Boddingtons workforce.

As the lean programme rolls forward; aspects of the training will be customised and made-to-measure as the general company learning progresses.

The main contract service provider is a nationwide enterprise called LEAD, one of the UK’s largest and most successful providers of work and vocational training. This training is supported by Government funding and is underpinned with four formal qualifications, which include certificates and diplomas in Business Improvement Techniques.

With Boddingtons manufacturing placed under the microscope in this way there will be increasing scope to utilise and communicate many of the lessons learned and the benefits to customers.

As far as commercial confidentiality allows, Boddingtons will keep its readers updated with all this manufacturing and production news as it occurs.  Wayne Allen, Production Manager, will be at hand to help us select topics and guide us through the Manufacturing with Boddingtons series, which will initially publish in blog form here on the company website.

Techniques of injection moulding production will, of course, figure highly in our mix; as will downstream matters of automation, assembly, packaging, regulations and approvals – and also upstream matters of design, CAD CAM and tooling.  We hope you will enjoy the content, which begins next week with the topic of equipment maintenance.

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