Measureable Productivity Boost for Thorntons
Helping Thorntons Improve People and Processes
Improve the Food and Drink Skills Council helped to secure funding for one of the country’s best-loved chocolate manufacturers, Thorntons, to improve performance and productivity through a successful training programme designed and delivered by CQM Training and Consultancy Ltd.
Treats that delight the senses
Thorntons opened their first shop in Sheffield almost 100 years ago, where Joseph Thornton implored his teenage sons to “make this the best sweet shop in town”. Today, Thorntons employ some 4,000 chocolate lovers from around the UK and are one of the oldest names on the high street.
CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd opened their training and coaching company in the same city with a goal to provide coaching and training to the food industry that contributes to better profits.
Both companies now operate out of Derbyshire and as Thorntons approach their centenary, they remain one of the oldest names on the high street with 379 shops and cafes.
How the training came about?
Improve and the NSA singled out Thorntons as a company who could benefit from a training programme investment. CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd was appointed to support Thorntons in developing process and continuous improvement skills. The programme designed by CQM Training and Consultancy and the Thorntons operations management team involved a combination of workshop training and on-site coaching in tools and techniques of Lean and Continuous Improvement.
The development programme was implemented to improve flow and efficiency, reduce waste and encourage constant analysis and problem solving, with the ultimate goal of improving their bottom line.
Over 150 Thorntons staff have now been taken through the process of improvement training and coaching using an NVQ in Business Improvement Techniques. The Women in Work programme, sponsored by the NSA, has also helped to reinforce and consolidate the embedding of the new approaches.
First for Thorntons
Thorntons are now one of the first food manufacturers in the country to pilot the new Improve Proficiency Apprenticeship in Food Manufacturing Excellence (a major aspect of current government policy) with 17 key line runners and team leaders being taken through this excellent qualification.
Numerous improvement projects have been delivered including:
Significant improvements to flow and efficiency on the chocolate enrobing lines
Improved organisation and reduced waste on packing lines
Reduced waste and changeovers on the robotics lines.
Reduced losses at outfeed
Reductions in changeovers
Underlying cultural and attitudinal changes have also resulted in improved communication, moral and team work.
How the National Skills Academy helped make this happen
The NSA continually assesses its funding allocations based on how certain activity leads to measureable changes for businesses. The investment in training from CQM Training and Consultancy for Thorntons, which is an ongoing exercise, has left the company more adaptable to change, which is a key goal for NSA funded companies.