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CIRCA's Benchmarking, Lean Services and Innovation will improve your bottom line and your growth

Irish Business compete in Global Markets and to do this effectively they must be competitive at international levels of performance. Benchmarking helps Irish companies understand the true level of competition that they face. It helps business identify their strengths and their weaknesses when compared objectively with their sector competitors. It also helps businesses allocate scarce resources in an efficient and effective way based on reliable data to drive improvement agendas.

Benchmarking is a starting point to make decisions based on facts so that you can improve competitiveness, profitability and productivity. It will enable you to deliver best in class products and services and will help you aim for superiority rather than parity. It will add another dimension to the strategic planning process thus providing a further competitive advantage.

What will Benchmarking do for you?

What you will get?

  • ·         Hard facts on how well your business is performing

  • ·         Objective comparison against norms via international databases

  • ·         Company strengths & Weaknesses identified

  • ·         Ability to make decisions based on facts

  • ·         Ability to prioritise opportunities for improvement

  • ·         Helps aim for superiority rather than parity

CRCA: An Approved Benchmarking Provider

CIRCA consultants have now completed the Enterprise Ireland Competitiveness Benchmarking training.We are now approved users of the benchmarking tools and techniques through the IDA & Enterprise Ireland and the States licencing agreement with the database providers as managed by Enterprise Irelands Competitiveness Department.’

 

CIRCA Benchmarking Team

The CIRCA Benchmarking team is led by Bill Kee who has extensive knowledge and experience of the Enterprise Ireland Benchmarking process. He has completed over 45 benchmarking assignments across a variety of sectors and he is fully familiar with the various Benchmarking tools including ‘Winning Measures’ and ‘PROBE’

Bill is supported by Patrick Lawlor who is also fully trained in the benchmarking process.

Lean Product Development

The objective of Lean Product Development is to significantly improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and speed of new product development. This is accomplished through an integrated framework of practical tools and methods that:

  • ·         Eliminate wasted time, cost, and resource capacity

  • ·         Ensure true cross-functional collaboration

  • ·         Enable rapid and effective decision-making

  • ·         Capture valuable knowledge for future reuse

The LPD framework is designed to fit within an existing governance process (e.g., stage / gate), or can stand on its own, providing both governance and execution methodology.

They have worked with companies to upgrade their supply base and have implemented Lean methods with them. The penetration of Lean to the supply base ensures that even greater savings can be made.

The team leader is Patrick Lawlor who has held a number of senior management positions including General Manager and Executive Director of Donnelly Mirrors Ltd. (1987-2006). During this period he undertook a number of projects in the Lean area including the following:

Introduction of Lean to Donnelly Mirrors. This involved a major activity over a five year period and transformed the work practices within the company. A major aspect of this transformation was the change process that had to be carried out within a union environment. This was a major project as the business was growing and there were 400 people affected by the change. Patrick was also responsible for the staff training associated with the project.

Patrick was also involved in the design and implementation of Lean projects in Germany and the USA.

The CIRCA Lean Team have a proven track record and expert knowledge in the area of Lean and have carried out Lean assignments from individual Kaizen projects to large scale multi faceted Lean projects in Irish and multinational companies.

The CIRCA Lean Team have developed a set of effective methodologies that will ensure that Lean principles can be instilled in companies. The skills and expertise of the CIRCA Lean Team have been gained in Ireland, USA and Japan and are based on best practices in these countries.

Some of the CIRCA Lean Teams skills and expertise include the following, Value stream mapping, Process Mapping, Physical Flow, Performance Run Charts, Kaizen, Standard Work, 5S, JIT, Kanban, Takt Time, Autonmation (Jidoka), Waste elimination (Muda), In Station Process Control, Level production, Equipment Reliability, S.M.E.D, Single Piece,Flow, Value Engineering and Team building with a training capability in all these areas and the setting of Key Performance Indicators (KPI's).

 

CIRCA Group's Lean Team

The CIRCA Lean team have considerable experience in implementing Lean in many business sectors including, Software, Engineering, Construction and horticulture to Irish and International Companies. They have worked with companies to upgrade their supply base and have implemented Lean methods with them. The penetration of Lean to the supply base ensures that even greater savings can be made

The CIRCA Lean Team have developed a set of effective methodologies that will ensure that Lean principles can be instilled in companies. The skills and expertise of the CIRCA Lean Team have been gained in Ireland, USA and Japan and are based on best practices in these countries.

Some of the CIRCA Lean Teams skills and expertise include the following, Value stream mapping, Process Mapping, Physical Flow, Performance Run Charts, Kaizen, Standard Work, 5S, JIT, Kanban, Takt Time, Autonmation (Jidoka), Waste elimination (Muda), In Station Process Control, Level production, Equipment Reliability, S.M.E.D, Single Piece Flow, Value Engineering and Team building with a training capability in all these areas and the setting of Key Performance Indicators (KPI's).

CIRCA Lean Team

 1. Patrick Lawlor

 Lean techniques, training in Lean, business and operations management and  Product Development

 2. Bill Kee

 Lean techniques, operations and production, training in Lean, Value  Engineering

 3. Jim Codd

 Specialist in the Food industry, operation and production strategy and  implementation

 4. Brendan Wafer

 Company strategy development, change process and management, marketing,  accountancy, business development and Training

 5. Jim Cuddy

 Software Specialist

 

The team is led by Patrick Lawlor who has over twenty years’ experience in implementing Lean. He received his Lean training at the Shingijutsu Institute in Japan.  (A Toyota approved Training Institute) where he became a specialist in the Toyota Lean System. The training was based on all aspects of Lean and included theoretical and practical work in the Hitachi Plant in Japan. On his return to Ireland he implemented Lean practices in Donnelly Mirrors Ltd. This was the first plant in the Donnelly Corporation to commence this task.

 

Patrick is a Lean consultant applying Lean methods to all aspects of Business. He is also an approved Lean Product Development Provider using ‘Ronald Mascitelli’s Event Driven Lean Product Development Process’. Patrick has completed Lean projects at LeanStart, LeanPlus and Lead Transform in a number of sectors at national and International level.

 


The CIRCA Lean Team have considerable experience in delivering in the area of training. The CIRCA Team have conducted a number of training courses at management and operator level that include theory and practice. The following examples illustrate this experience.

  1. Trained a shop floor team on how to conduct a Kaizen. Theory and Practice
  2. Gave a one day training session to senior management on the principles of Lean
  3. Set up and provided training courses on Value Analysis
  4. Gave a course on Standard Work to shop floor operators. Theory and Practice
  5. Gave a course to Managers on how to implement change in the workforce

CIRCA Group have found that the best training methods for Lean is to combine Learning By Doing with the Theory. Thus trainers must be fully familiar with the theory and the practice of Lean.

 

Service businesses critically need to engage with their people and their processes if they are to provide high levels of service to their customers.  The customer only sees the service delivered by the people in their operation.

Lean“is now used widely in Service businesses, in both the private and public sectors.  The focus of “Service Lean” is in helping the people in a business to “see” their processes, to find ways to do their jobs better and to provide a better, quicker, more effective service to their internal and external customers.  Many people in businesses don’t see or interact with the end customer but they do have internal customers, colleagues who provide them with input or who are dependent on their work output.

We have used Lean techniques very effectively in the Software sector. 

 

 

 

 

Some of the most critical benefits of Lean Product Development include:

  • Significantly faster time-to-market, consistent with cost and quality goals.
  • More predictable project schedules and launch dates.
  • Higher profits, due to increased differentiation of new products and better understanding and utilization of voice-of-the-customer.
  • Improved cost and quality, achieved through early and intensive collaboration among marketing, engineering, and production.
  • Rapid and more predictable closure of "knowledge gaps" that require innovative solutions to achieve key customer requirements.
  • Increased agility and flexibility in adapting to changing market needs.
  • Improved capture and reuse of product, market, and process knowledge.
  • Better communication, alignment, and focus at all levels of the organization.
Patrick Lawlor is a Lean consultant applying Lean methods to all aspects of Business. He is also an approved Lean Product Development Provider using ‘Ronald Mascitelli’s Event Driven Lean Product Development Process’.  CIRCA undertakes this work in partnership with IRDG. 

 

 

 

Case 1:

Project: The objective of the assignment was to study the current operations and systems and to identify opportunities for improvement in efficiency and possible cost reductions available from lean business initiatives.

Identified savings of €50k in the better use of space and inventory with additional efficiency direct labour savings of 30%. A Value analysis was also carried out on the product to reduce assembly time.

 

Case 2:

Project: The objective of the project was to re-layout the factory to improve the work flow and efficiency of the operation. An extensive lean programme was undertaken to plan the factory layout to suit customer demand. Some of the Lean tools used included, Process Mapping and Physical Flow used in conjunction with Production layout software to generate an innovative and more efficient production flow.

Results: Savings of about 30% were achieved with the improved flow and the setting up of an inventory pull capability that utilised a Kanban system.


Case 3:

Project: The objective of the assignment was to investigate and identify opportunities for cost reductions that would improve the competitiveness of the company. The focus for the cost reductions was in the operations. However it became clear that some changes to the product would simplify the product assembly process and thus reduce the number of assembly operations.

The combination of these product changes and the application of Lean techniques to the production process achieved the required savings of 30%.