Productivity of assembly lines increased by 58%

Mantec helped global producer of garden appliances to implement and improve the processes of a newly acquired Chinese factory. The project contributed to an increase in output of 58 percent in the assembly area and almost eliminated overtime work.


The company, a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of garden tooling, acquired a factory in China with a staff of 1800. It was clear that a great deal of work was required to perform structural changes in many areas, not least cultural. Management turned to Mantec for assistance, and the resulting project lasted just over a year.


Mantec and the client jointly identified clear potential for improvement within operations, by mapping the present state and comparing it with best demonstrated performance. A key part of the project involved developing the processes and also the control mechanisms that were linked into the management system. Another key focus area during the implementation phase was achieving a bridge between cultural differences between a Nordic company and Chinese culture. Key words were continuous coaching and follow-up: these helped to put in place the changes and adaptive actions required to form a common understanding within the company.

The project included

  • new layout design for warehouse and assembly areas;
  • reduction of lead time by eliminating buffering and streamlining the processes;
  • development of KPIs and variance reports;
  • development of operational overall organisation and management systems;
  • improved internal logistic and materials management;
  • balancing of assembly lines, significantly reducing waste;
  • using best demonstrated performance for line utilisation and balancing;
  • development of a production management system to focus on productivity and losses;
  • implementing standard operating procedures and instructions; andcoaching of managers.


The main benefits to the client of project implementation were:

  • assembly output increased by 58 %, almost eliminating overtime;
  • work-in-progress decreased: throughput time dropped from 1 day to 40 minutes;
  • alteration of management system parameters from hourly to weekly;
  • implementing a daily management system that reacted to deviations immediately; and
  • the machining of crankshafts greatly improved.

Staff were positively engaged and took ownership of the improvements made. This meant that changes could be readily maintained; further improvements were also accomplished which were still working well almost two years after the project was completed.

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