Kaizen events help GPI dramatically rein in costs

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

In order to ensure its team was maximizing the business’ performance levels, Graphic Packaging International (GPI), one of the world’s largest producers of packaging solutions with 15,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues over €13 Billion, turned to Breakthrough Management Group International (BMGI) to develop and execute a lean program. An internationally recognized leader in performance excellence and innovation, BMGI is working with GPI to conduct kaizen events using BMGI’s signature SCORE methodology. Three such events have so far resulted in hard cost savings of £175,000 per year.


The focus up until now has been on GPI’s manufacturing facility in Bristol in the United Kingdom, which has an employee base of more than 200 and specializes in packaging solutions for the food and beverage industry. Here, GPI’s management team worked with BMGI consultants to identify the site’s performance issues and then quantify and prioritise opportunities for improvement. BMGI consultants worked with a team of cross-functional employees to implement lean principles, eliminating waste and variation whilst ensuring improved customer satisfaction.


Jeff Goold, GPI’s U.K. site and European manufacturing director, comments: “We dramatically reduced waste and cost; we transformed the speed of our manufacturing processes; and ultimately we improved the experience we are able to offer our customers.”


To run the kaizen events successfully, improvement teams were formed and trained under BMGI’s structured methodology, SCORE – standing for Select-Clarify-Organise-Run-and-Evaluate – to maximize the return on lean improvement projects. During these events at the Bristol facility, GPI’s machine operators not only highlighted key areas for improvement, but also signaled the beginning of a dramatic shift-change in the company culture. This, in turn, has had a profound effect on the results achieved.


The primary goals of this partnership were to improve upon on-time delivery to customers and to reduce operating costs by eliminating waste and improving product quality. Overall, BMGI has helped GPI save £175,000 per year, representative of a 3:1 return on investment. The assignment has increased the manufacturers’ production productivity by 90 percent, enabling better customer service and a significant reduction in overtime.


“By involving everyone in the process the results have become absolutely sustainable. Even in its infancy this exercise proved to be incredibly powerful. The willingness to move forward is remarkable and more beneficial than anything we have ever implemented before. Employees on the shop floor are now driving themselves and have adopted a pro-active, ‘can-do attitude’”, says Kevin Brown, GPI’s finishing area production manager.


Looking forward
BMGI and GPI continue to work together in Europe and are now partnering across several production facilities in the United States. Having proved so successful in the U.K., GPI’s business in Igualada, Spain, launched a lean project using a similar approach and it is now projected that later this year, a third European plant will begin its Lean effort in Masnieres, France. BMGI will make full use of its global footprint and local language capabilities to continue to drive global results through localized execution.

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