Founded in 1982, Fibreline pioneered the use of carded synthetic fibres in upholstery cushions and are the largest independent cushion manufacturer in the UK. Operating in the high pressure sector of B2B soft furnishings, the daily challenge is to match a variable demand with constrained resources, whilst achieving short lead times. Fibreline’s operations lacked flexibility, with specialised machinists and functional working practices. The factory layout hindered communication between areas and inventory was often difficult to locate.
Working with the operations team, the MTC mapped the current technology and essential processes to reveal where orders were delayed. The development of a multi-skilled workforce was key to improving flexibility and reducing double handling. Broadening skill sets reduced wasted time and accelerated order completion. Considering future technology opportunities, the MTC designed a new factory layout, bringing together key areas. This was designed to improve communication, allow for future technology changes and for easier movement of material. A clear inventory system was created, making component identification simple.