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Warehouse Move Reduced handling and movement sees benefits for manufacturer

Moving and reorganising a 10,000 m² warehouse while still satisfying your daily customer orders is no mean feat. But that is exactly what happened when we moved our finished goods warehouse from off site in the Midlands to a newly created facility in the manufacturing building in Merseyside.


The move would save hundreds of thousands of pounds in lower transport costs, rent and rates.  Coupled with a reduction in damaged goods, improved storage and internal handling, the benefits of the move seemed self-evident.  However, success is all within the planning.


First the area had to be cleared of the previous machinery and equipment that occupied the space.  Two large metalworking machines on substantial steel reinforced concrete plinths and all their associated conveyor systems had to be dismantled and removed.

In total about 1,500 m³ of steel reinforced concrete was removed and two voids beneath the machines, each of about 5,000 m³ in size were back filled and capped off.  The floor space, now level was cleared, cleaned, repainted and zoned as a warehouse.


Over 200 improvements and repairs were completed by 16 men over two month period.  Pedestrians and vehicles were properly segregated by new high performance crash barriers, new signage and storage racks were installed.


External delivery vehicles that previously had to reverse into the space, now could drive in, through and out, in one unobstructed flowing movement.

New Offices Opened New office building retro-fitted into old laboratory & workshop

An ageing administration building in need of modernisation and an industrial factory with dozens of unused workshops, test labs and office spaces.

When the decision to modernise the admin office space was taken, the logical solution was to reuse the excess office space within the factory. The old admin building and land could then be sold off to help fund the works.

The final design called for a building within a building, to help insulate the new office space from the noise of the industrial work place next door.

All services to the space were isolated first; stripping out all electrics, heating and pipework. Due to the age of the building, an extensive asbestos survey was carried out and any suspect areas were rendered safe.  The existing laboratories and workshops were cleared back to bare brick and window openings were punched out at the second storey level.

All contractors were site-inducted and the necessary risk assessments and methods statements were formulated to meet CDM regulations.

The new office block was then built to fit exactly the open space created.  Flexibility in the new meeting rooms was needed as the admin building also doubled as a visitor and customer training centre. The building would also incorporate and showcase building products and materials created from within the group.  Modern and efficient heat pumps would in turn cool the offices in summer and comfortably warm them in the depths of winter.  All meeting rooms included state of the art audio-vision systems with interactive touch sensitive white boards.

After twelve months of building work, the new offices were handed over to the company and the building was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Knowsley.


The new building incorporates a large reception, two separate stair cases, three large meeting rooms capable of holding between twenty and sixty people, three smaller annex/break-out rooms, a large kitchen and dining area, toilets on both floor levels, shower facilities on the lower level, a computer/data centre, personnel department & private meeting room, large archival storage room, a medical centre, sales office & meeting room, accounts & purchasing department, five upper level private offices for senior staff with shared joined area for secretarial work/stationary facilities and an empty room on both levels to provide for the future inclusion of a lift space.

The complex task of decommissioning and removing the old office building could now be started.  The land freed up would later be sold as part of a larger tract of land, for over £2million.

5S+ Deep Cleaning New methodology transforms environment & workstation

A proven business methodology which was adopted by the company to give us a new tool with which to improve the environment for the machine operators and improve machine performance, reliability and quality.

5S comes from a Japanese business methodology for workplace organisation, with each S being a translated word from the original Japanese one.  The process describes how to organise a workspace for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining this new order.

5S plus includes safety as the plus in the methodology, as all activities should promote safety throughout the process.



The 5Ss are:

1. Sort (Seiri) a way of decluttering the workplace so only the required parts, tools and material are used in the area.

2. Set-in Order (Seiton) sometimes also known as straighten or streamline. A way of arranging all necessary items so they can easily be selected for use this prevents wastage of time and effort.

3. Shine (Seiso) the workplace cleaned completely. Cleaning helps inspection identify problems with machinery, preventing deterioration.

4. Standardise (Seiketsu) adopt the best practices and standardise. "Everything in its place... and a place for everything." With this comes the ability to quickly adopt improved working practices.

5. Sustain (Shitsuke) maintain the standards created, perform regular audits, continue training new members.  To do - without being told.

We used the 5S plus methodology to improve the areas in most need in the factory.  Prior preparation is key and required training for many weeks before and throughout the improvement process. Some initial resistance was seen by certain operators, however when the results were viewed, other areas quickly wanted to adopt the 5S plus working.

Waste management & energy savings

 - significant reductions made despite wholesale price inflation

Through The Knowsley Chamber of Industry and Commerce I was introduced to 'TEN' - The Environment Network.

We soon became active members of 'TEN' and in return we were able to access:

  • Expert advice, guidance and assistance
  • Funding and grants
  • Free staff training courses (waste awareness)
  • Exchange Visits with local businesses/TEN community
    • shared knowledge/experiences
  • Free bicycle repair sessions

In addition, we were able to find local companies for:

  • Free waste oil collection/disposal - previously we paid
  • Free cardboard collection - again previously we paid
  • Contaminated metal dust product removal where we received a payment for. It would normally be a significant cost to remove, but through 'TEN' we found somebody who would actually pay for the waste.


We set demanding targets to be reached by improvement projects.  Such as:

  • Zero landfill tons
    • using the methodology 'Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recovery, Refuse'
  • Save money on material and waste disposal
    • every last scrap of waste was sorted and segregated to remove high-value sell-able waste and high cost contaminated waste.
  • Reduce carbon footprint
    • source suppliers with similar improvement projects.
  • Improve environmental performance
    • change to less aggressive/harsh process & cleaning chemicals.
  • Reduce gas and electricity consumption across site
    • space heating & lighting, strict shut down procedures for machinery during stoppages


Over a three year period, by improving waste management, we were able to save £39k.

In addition, through targeted cost reduction, replacement and modernisation projects, we were able to reduce the total energy cost for the site by a further £123k per year.  A reduction of 4.8% in energy costs per ton of finished material.  These savings were despite significant increases in wholesale energy prices.

Over the same three-year period, wholesale gas and electricity prices rose by 8.8%, reducing the impact of our cost reduction programme.

During this period we applied for and received ISO 14001 accreditation for our environmental management system and we accepted two awards for our environmental performance.

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