Industry Forum

A case study in the Value Stream Mapping of business processes (manufacturing).


Formed in 1955, and privately owned since 2000, ELE Advanced Technologies (ELE) located in Lancashire, specialises in non-conventional machining for aerospace and land based industrial gas turbines. They also produce precision components for the automotive industry.  Key customers include Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Alstom. ELE use a range of advanced manufacturing techniques to ensure an appropriate solution is provided for their clients. The techniques used include creep feed grinding, laser drilling, S.T.E.M., capillary drilling and EDM. This gives ELE a competitive edge as they have the capability and capacity to carry out all the process operations internally. UK operations currently employ 100 people on a 3.6 hectare site and their plant in Slovakia employs 50 people. The business had recently introduced a MRP system but was still encountering many issues related to the duplication of work which were supposed to be managed by the MRP system.

The Challenge

The team was tasked with understanding and visually representing the current Value Stream Map (VSM) of one of their products. Then, using this map they were to generate a vision of how their future state business processes should both look and perform.

The Objectives

The aim of the VSM activity was to generate a future state with a supporting implementation action plan. It was also required to be extended to cover new product implementation

The Industry Forum Solution

With funding from the Northwest Automotive Alliance and the support of a multidisciplinary ELE team, Industry Forum were used to facilitate the VSM activity. Using Industry Forum’s continuous improvement philosophies a two phase approach was adopted.

The first phase involved drawing the current value stream. From this the team was able to identify opportunities and threats to the business. The second phase involved feeding the opportunities and threats previously identified into the definition of the future state map. The future state showed how ELE’s business processes should be designed to meet the short, medium and long term goals of the business.

The Customer’s View

“I was delighted with the Value Stream Mapping training course provided by Industry Forum. The instructors were professional, articulate and able to quickly involve all the participants to come forward with ideas.

From the ice breakers to the final presentations you could see the participants grow in self-confidence. As a result, the enthusiasm and the skills that the team showed have been actively encouraged onto a number of new projects resulting in some significantly improved procedures. I would have no hesitation in recommending Industry Forum to undertake your training needs. We will be using them again.”

Martin Harrison, Finance Director, ELE Advanced Technologies

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