Working within a major OEM: engaging teams to increase productivity on a complex, highly variable product range

A high complexity product caused quality, cost and productivity issues for this prestige vehicle manufacturer ahead of the launch of a new car model. The client sought an ambitious programme to get the project back on track...


Setting the scene

This major Original Equipment Manufacturer produces vehicles with a large number of customer facing options and extras; a high complexity product with a particularly high degree of variation. Facing issues with quality, cost and productivity (needing to effectively balance cycle times to customer demand), the manufacturer sought to put an ambitious programme into action. This would deliver what they called a ‘Stable TAKT’ program across its entire UK assembly hall ahead of the launch of a new car model.

The challenge

The production line had a low level of efficiency as, in order to build any vehicle specification at any time and in any quantity, more team members were deployed. However, these additional people could often be left idle.

The lack of balance in the automotive production line also impacted quality. More staff were required to check and inspect vehicles at key points and this further damaged efficiency.

In order to deliver the project, the manufacturer needed support from an experienced organisation that could bring the required expertise.

The potential partner needed to be able to engage with management and production teams in a practical way, as well as transfer capability so that improvements could be sustained and built on for the future.

Unipart were selected as many of the requirements are key features of Unipart’s world-class body of knowledge: ‘The Unipart Way’, along with manufacturing expertise, coaches skilled in capability transfer and a track record of delivering sustainable change.

How we helped

The Unipart Team worked alongside employees from our client to develop their ‘Stable TAKT’ model and integrate this into their production system. This would involve:

  • Mapping and analysing current process.
  • Training and developing idea generation and problem solving skills in front line teams.
  • Prototyping and testing new ideas in new offline test areas and simulations
  • Deploying our award winning team leader training.
  • Sharing best practice across the assembly line.
  • Training and building the capability of teams so that the improvements could be sustained.


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The results

The project was successful to the degree that the global manufacturer saw fit to roll out the changes, developed as outputs of the Stable TAKT project within this production facility, as best practice in its global production system.

  • 0% over utilisation of assembly operations
  • At £4.5m, delivered savings were 180% of target.
  • A fully flexible production system was in place to deliver all variations of vehicle
  • Capability of learning and training transferred directly to operational teams
  • Business in readiness for new vehicle launch
  • Global recognition and accreditation of success from the client

improving manufacturing productivity