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Case Studies / Weetabix

Company Profile 

Weetabix Food Company is the second largest branded manufacturer of cereals and cereal bars in the United Kingdom. The mills at Burton Latimer export to more than 80 countries around the world and for the Weetabix brand all of the wheat is grown within 50 miles of the site. Weetabix also has manufacturing plants around the world, including at its North American division and other locations globally, employing c. 1,800 staff members across the world.

 

Project Summary

The LI team supported the Bars business unit at Weetabix in achieving tremendous production improvement through strong employee engagement. The implementation included training and coaching of operators, technicians and front line managers, coupled with a series of impact workshops that had multiple streams of activity.

Results included; improved output by over 50%, reduced waste by 80%, improved product quality and reduced energy usage.

The unit management team, supported by LI consultants, played a crucial role in driving the improvement programme forward. They built a detailed improvement plan and set area improvement charters. All personnel were trained in Rapid Lean tools and 3 supported 5-week impact workshops kick started the journey.

The workshops started with training in Rapid Lean improvement tools, followed by operators investigating and fixing problems and helping to ensure good solutions that stuck. Workshop topics included:

  • Optimisation of accumulation and line control
  • Eliminating speed restricting problems
  • Reduction of product weight variation
  • Reduction of waste and giveaway
  • Changeover reduction
  • Implementing a fixed schedule, producing every 2 weeks
  • Reducing Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)
  • Implementing a breakdown investigation system

Alongside the workshops and production improvement activity, daily/weekly/ monthly review processes and associated metrics/scorecards were established.


“With the support of the LI team, the Bars business unit has made great strides forward with some exceptional results. It has been gratifying to witness the confidence and capability of the people grow paralleling the rise in plant performance. I look forward with great optimism to the continuing journey and an ongoing partnership with LI Europe”

Mike Parsons, Head of Manufacturing, Weetabix

 

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Testimonials

Before LI came we were a family run company and things had been done the same way for a hundred years. There was a lot of apprehension but the LI team had such a great way with people they won us over. People took to them. LI were great for our company and the systems they introduced are still in place.

Lesley Kercheval, Production Manager, KR Castlemaine

A key learning for me was that delegation is as much about the development of others as it is removing an action from my list. I now think of delegation as an opportunity for my team to develop and try new things. The more I do it, the more effective it is. Delegation is now one of my key management tools.

Front Line Manager on Aspire Programme