The average household may do a load of washing a day, so processing 19 tonnes of laundry a day may be a little hard to imagine, yet that’s exactly what Allied Laundry does. The Palmerston North-based laundry company is a MidCentral District Health Board business venture. They service seven regional hospitals and wider health care services across the lower North Island.

The business completed Callaghan Innovation’s 12-month Lean Programme in April 2018 after an expert assessment and referral by CEDA’s Business Growth Advisor Research and Development Peter Ellingham.

“Our position as a Regional Business Partner with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation means we can provide an even higher level of advice, funding and innovation programmes. We do this by assessing and connecting businesses to bespoke capability funding to help them grow – like Lean Thinking programmes” says Peter.

The programme was co-funded by Callaghan Innovation and Allied Laundry to increase efficiency by improving processes across the supply chain, production and distribution, customer touch points and upskilling staff.

Allied Laundry’s Production Manager Paora Te Oka says the company’s goal is to be the lowest cost provider of linen services through standardisation and technology innovation. Results so far, have been outstanding.

“The biggest change (from the Lean Programme) is that we now measure everything across the production chain from how many cages we unload and sort an hour, how many kg’s go through our washing machines, and then our pack out percentage. This output has improved by between 1 and 2 percent to reach 98 percent.”

Upskilling supervisors and implementing an auditing tool to make sure work stations are more efficient has meant they’ve been able to reduce staff numbers by two FTE’s and gain further efficiencies with adaptable staff schedules during the peak winter period.

“Before we completed the Lean programme we were a lot more disorganised, but we now have our finger on the pulse. Everyone is in the rhythm and we are able to sustain the changes we’ve made through the year which is great.”

The company’s development does not stop there though, three of its supervisors have just begun a six-month Supervisors to Leaders course delivered by The Lean Hub in collaboration with CEDA.

CEDA’s leadership in providing business improvement services and continually connecting them to relevant training courses is making a difference – and the proof is in Allied Laundry’s results.

Interested in finding out how CEDA can support you? Get in touch with our business growth advisors.

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