Corporate members of the Furniture Makers were given a masterclass in creating an adaptive and innovative logistics programme from international furniture fittings and hardware manufacturer Häfele at the fifth Best Practice Day last month.

The event took place at Häfele’s Rugby head office on 29 October 2019 and was organised on behalf of The Furniture Makers’ Company by Peter Holland, principal of Linear Consulting.

Mark Batchelor, former operations director for Hafele, started the day with a presentation highlighting the challenges he and his team faced over a 30-year period, in redeveloping and linking a series of buildings on an existing brown field site to create a world-class logistics operation.

Mark stressed the importance of creating long-term partnerships with suppliers and how valuable this had been in overcoming complex logistical challenges.

Next, the group were invited to tour the operation and see first-hand the combination of highly automated technology and dedicated staff that enables Häfele to deliver a range of 60,000 products with a next day delivery.

After lunch, Peter facilitated an interactive session, that captured the common challenges faced in logistics performance. The group then split into smaller groups to share ideas and create a shortlist of their own best practices from each company.

Following a review of these best practice ideas, Peter and Mark highlighted some key challenges and pitfalls to avoid, and the group discussed the most valuable insights they had developed to ensure everyone left with specific and actionable points they could successfully implement.

Peter said: “Feedback from the group was very positive, they enjoyed the interactive format and unique opportunity to network and share ideas with like-minded peers. At the conclusion of the day, all of us were better informed and left enthusiastic to make some positive improvements to our own operations in 2020.”

The Best Practice Day is a free event open to all corporate members of The Furniture Makers’ Company as well as Manufacturing Guild Mark holders and is designed to facilitate open innovation and shared learning among businesses.

The biannual event is hosted by a corporate member with each workshop focusing on a theme that the hosting company excels in.

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