"Leaning Towards Efficient Management" - Daniel Stean, Australian Flower Industry

Friday, 1 June 2012

"Leaning Towards Efficient Management" - Daniel Stean, Australian Flower Industry

WAFEX flower processing station after LeanLean is a manufacturing efficiency process developed by Toyota to streamline production systems, eliminate waste and add value in every aspect of the manufacturing and distribution process. Whilst the early adopters of Lean theory were car manufacturers, Lean systems are now being applied across manufacturing, service, agricultural and retail industries.

In 2006, leading flower exporter and wholesaler WAFEX Melbourne made its first tentative steps on a Lean journey. With overhead costs increasing and gross margins under pressure, WAFEX chose to explore how implementing Lean systems into its wholesale flower production systems could lift efficiencies, eliminate waste and create better value for its internal and external stakeholders.

WAFEX received Victorian Government support from the Department of Business and Innovation which enabled the employment of a qualified consultant to guide WAFEX through the Lean journey.

Following the successful roll-out of Lean theory at WAFEX Melbourne, a similar path was adopted at the Perth branch of WAFEX in 2008, with positive results.

"With expansion into new markets and taking on more suppliers, our warehouse space in both Melbourne and Perth was under extreme pressure, causing inefficiencies and in many instances a sub-optimal occupational health and safety environment", explains WAFEX Director Adrian Parsons.

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