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Crest Leather Group is a leading global producer of high-quality finished leather, for use in the residential, hospitality and design sectors.  The Group is headquartered in London, has tanneries in Italy and Brazil and warehouse and distribution facilities in the UK, USA and South Africa.

Its success meant that it needed higher capacity in the Italian factory.  An initial analysis showed that this could be achieved without resorting to additional shifts or overtime, but by increasing the up-time of the plant and machinery.

Our programme had the primary objectives:

  • to streamline the changeover process and reduce overall downtime
  • to provide new standard operating procedures for key processes such as shift starts, machine-minding, changeovers, and quality control
  • to upgrade the managerial systems in areas such as maintenance, production planning, performance control and reporting
  • to improve reporting and analysis of quality issues such as colour matching, rework and rejects.

A major focus was on co-authoring the solutions with the staff members, which encouraged them to take ownership of the changes and to be responsible for achieving the results.  More than 50 staff members were trained with a combination of in-the-workplace mentoring and classroom learning to generate a cultural shift in attitudes and behaviours.

Profits improved significantly, and productivity increased by 14%, allowing more volume to be produced by a smaller number of shifts.