Managing Capacity Increases

Like much of the construction supply chain, Robinson Manufacturing (RML) has been experiencing unprecedented growth in demand from housebuilders.

Managing capacity across the business to meet that demand as it evolves from being just a series of big production weeks, which can be accommodated with the injection of some overtime, into business as usual is the kind of challenge RML is well equipped for.

With a network of seven timber engineering factories across the UK, RML has always had the infrastructure to expand production by implementing additional shift patterns in sites. Understanding where best to position the additional shift resources to best meet levels of demand has required a scientific approach and some changes in how we think about volumes.

Instead of calculating the financial value of production on each site, the sheer scale of demand has accelerated a move to the use of EF* targets to help the teams manage existing capacity by site and by individual truss production table.

As a result, new shifts have already been successfully launched at RML South East in Essex, and in our Central factory, based in Wellingborough, both of which now operate an early and a late shift.

CEO Simon Kidney, has this to say about the latest updates:

“Managing the increase in capacity on this scale has to be done incredibly carefully in any business, and yet with time pressure coming from housebuilders across the UK, RML has responded quickly. We are lucky to be an attractive employer, well supported by local recruitment agencies and our participation in the government’s Kickstart programme has also helped us implement additional working patterns in the face of nationwide staff shortages”

The introduction of additional shift patterns has also given our production teams the chance to upskill existing staff while bringing new starters into the business.

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* Equivalent Fink, a measure of time of how long it would take the factory to produce 1no. fink truss at 7200mm span, 30° and one bottom chord splice

If you have a development project you’d like to talk to our timber frame team about, email or call us on 01933 279597.