Industry Forum

A case study in Enhanced Team Leader Training incorporating NVQ Level 3 in Business Improvement techniques in the Coach Built Vehicle sector.

The activity focussed on improving both productivity and quality and was achieved using techniques including standard operations and 7 wastes.

“I’ve really enjoyed compiling the evidence for my Business Improvement Techniques qualification. I’m looking forward to continuing my NVQ journey.”

Steve Almond, Team Leader

The Customer

Coleman Milne, based in Bolton, Lancashire,is one of the three trading divisions of Woodall Nicholson Ltd. It is the one of the UK’s oldest coachbuilders, now producing a range of market leading limousines and “Specialist Vehicles”. Woodall Nicholson Ltd employs over 200 people, has an annual turnover of £20 million and is a member of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The Customer’s need

Coleman Milne is committed to building vehicles of the highest quality and had identified that, in order to maintain its market leading position, it needed to provide all employees with the opportunity to participate in the continuous improvement process. The first step was to train a number of first line supervisors and concurrently achieve and sustain a number of significant Quality Cost and Delivery (QCD) benefits for the company.

The IF Solution

After detailed discussion of the customer’s requirements, Industry Forum proposed delivering its enhanced Team Leader Training programme, incorporating NVQ in Business Improvement Techniques (B-IT) at Level 3. This programme would provide sustainable improvements while the employees worked on their own projects, Industry Forum offers a fully integrated package with one Engineer providing the initial training, coaching through example activities and then assessment of the NVQ projects.






Overview of enhanced Team Leader Training structure







Sustainable application of Improvement Tools

9 team leaders contributed to Project 1 and then each had two individual projects to complete. Examples of these projects include eliminating damage to doors

Through the introduction of standard ops for the handling of completed doors, and the design and construction of a bespoke racking system for limousine doors, damage door rework levels were reduced from 40% to 0%.








Ramp loading time reduction. Prior to rewiring, vehicles were pushed around the factory and had to be man handled onto a 4 post lift for ease of access. This required the efforts of 6 craftsmen and took over one man hour to achieve. Reconfiguring the bay to incorporate a winch allowed a single craftsman to safely move the vehicle into position in less than 30 minutes.








Return on Stakeholders’ Investment

Industry Forum’s Seven Measures of QCD Competitiveness








Elimination of damage to doors Before After
Doors requiring rework (Not Right First Time) 40% 0%
Ramp loading time reduction
Man hours required (People Productivity) 60mins 30mins

Financial Benefits

The elimination of damage to doors reduced the labour cost per vehicle by over £20 while the introduction of the winch saved a further 100 man hours. Utilizing the additional capacity generated by these activities provides the company with the opportunity to increase turnover by more than £120,000. The company is currently capacity constrained.

A further 16 projects (2 per candidate) were completed by the the trainees in the following months, each contributing significantly to the company’s Return On Investment in the training programme. Seven of the nine candidates have completed their NVQ B-IT Level 3.


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