1. DE
  2. |
  3. EN
Country: Great BritainCategory

Miele Lehrte plant wins MX Award 2014

60% more productivity, maximum 5-day-delivery time and considerably less warehousing - this is the first interim report on the holistic approach to restructuring Miele's Lehrte plant. The Miele Competence Centre has now received the international reputable MX Award for this extraordinary effective concept.

At Lehrte, with 380 employees, Miele produces its washing machines, tumble dryers and rotary ironers for commercial clients such as laundries, hotels and hospitals. Since 2006, a team headed by Michael Krimpmann, Plant Manager, scrutinised every single little step in production and processing to achieve productivity gains in all areas. Miele invested more than EUR 50 m to optimise processes. And the success does not only show in a more than 60% increase in productivity but also in a greatly proved product range. "This was only possible because all Lehrte employees acted in concert right from the outset", said Krimpmann, who is also Head of Technology at Miele Professional, Miele's commercial division.

Restructuring followed the aim to combine highest customer benefit with shortest delivery times and, of course, Miele's proverbial quality, from receipt of order to shipment. "We have, for example in terms of our assembly lines, consistently separated value-creation and logistics, resulting in saving several kilometres of shelf space", explained Krimpmann. All assembly areas are also flexibly timed. Units are consequently produced depending on demand, the key phrase being "make to order".

In order to respond quickly to consumer demands, we require production machines with high flexibility and short setup times. An example: colleagues have developed a machine which reduces the setup time for converting to a different drum size for tumble dryers from two hours to three minutes. Miele Production Technology in Gütersloh built this special machine which now can produce any drum size every day. For customers this results in a shorter delivery time from one to maximum five days.

"All these changes were only possible with excellently trained and motivated employees", said Krimpmann, Plant Manager. In recent years, Miele invested more than one million euros in their professional development. Further investments followed in the course of employees in production taking part in training courses to gain multiple qualifications, who can now be placed anywhere in their field of expertise.

The holistic restructuring of production at the Lehrte plant also convinced the MX Award jury (MX = Manufacturing Excellence). Since 2004 this benchmark competition awards German companies who follow the award philosophy of "Identifying strengths - setting standards". Its roots of this prize lie in Great Britain where best practice solutions have been identified and honoured for almost 30 years. "This award has shown us that we are successfully on the right path for what is possible", explained Krimpmann at the award ceremony in Berlin.