This article details the planning and implementation of new manufacturing technologies by a small Australian manufacturer. The company manufactures busbar trunking systems for the construction industry and experienced rapid sales growth due to the property and construction boom in the latter half of the 1980s. Customers began demanding varying product specifications and higher quality products. With the manufacturing process being used, the company was unable to ensure product quality and lacked the flexibility to efficiently respond to varying product specifications. The situation led management to review the manufacturing processes in order to handle these orders that had grown by 20% of sales per annum. In response, the company introduced a number of new manufacturing technologies. This article details the processes relating to the introduction of the new technology to improve quality and flexibility, training requirements and the environment in which such changes took place. A number of key lessons learnt by the company are identified.
- Small business