Alongside investment in infrastructures designed to ensure sustainable productivity, the philosophy Metalcolor applies to its resources and activities is based on the twin pillars of well-being and competitiveness.
"One of Metalcolor's core values is its employees' strong involvement. They know the equipment and operations first-hand and are thus best placed to suggest any improvements", explains Denys Kaba, Co-General Manager of Metalcolor. He is eager to point out that "only together can we design the optimisation of our infrastructures and processes, only together can we track down even the smallest amount of waste in terms of energy, raw materials, transport, actions, time, etc. This inclusive process values the experience and solutions contributed by our operators to improve their own working conditions as well as the company's reliability and use of resources."
In this way, Metalcolor's operators played a major part in redefining the procedure for a lacquering line with the aim of reducing start-up times when switching to a different colour, thereby improving productivity and saving energy. Meanwhile, the slitting unit is supervised by a team who – in a manner inspired by the Ferrari F1 team – continuously strives to make the unit's working conditions more convenient and efficient. Similarly, streamlining forklift movements saves both energy and time, which can then be used for other tasks.
Supplementing the large-scale structural measures, this global streamlining approach draws on two sources. One of these is Lean Management, a concept developed by Toyota founder Toyoda Kiichiro in 1936, and the other is "Kaizen" – or "continuous improvement" – which focuses on small actions to identify simple improvements that can be implemented quickly.
"In contrast to top-down reforms imposed by management who do not work "on the ground", Kaizen establishes a state of mind with more of a horizontal approach, engaging and motivating employees at all levels. This enables us to sustain and even boost our employees' energy, reduce the volumes of resources required and in turn shrink our ecological footprint: in other words, we're consolidating our drivers of competitiveness and promoting Metalcolor's steady growth", concludes Denys Kaba.