Kestrel staff have the tools to drive efficiency

Kestrel staff have the tools to drive efficiency

In an age of outsourcing, UPVC fascia and cladding manufacturer Kestrel is saving resources and boosting efficiency by bringing more of its tool maintenance and refurbishment in-house.

The investment in the toolroom was the brainchild of Danny Gaffney, who has worked at the roofline manufacturer for 15 years, starting out as a tool setter.

When he moved in to the toolroom after the previous supervisor retired, Danny set about creating a plan which, he explained, had two aims ‘to save money and make money’.

The plan was presented to Kestrel operations director Rich Amison who quickly saw its potential.

Danny said: “With a toolroom of one, we were outsourcing a lot of work. A single welding job could cost £5,000-£10,000 and there was no guarantee that any outsourced work could be completed quickly.

“I felt that we could become more efficient with a stronger toolroom, and once I compared the costs of outsourcing compared to bringing the skills in house I took it to operations director Rich Amison. He backed the plan and gave me everything we needed to make it a success.”

The team has not only expanded to six, but now works shifts to ensure that there are always two technicians on site.  They have completed 15 full refurbishments and that has helped to drive efficiency, ensuring that tools are working at their optimum levels, in turn boosting the quality and output of manufactured items.

Bringing the work in-house has also created new jobs and greater opportunities for those working in the toolroom to gain new skills.

The technicians themselves have also benefitted working together solving problems and coming up with creative solutions with a sense of purpose and comradery that was a real strength in the Covid lockdowns.

“I think we all feel that work has given us some normality throughout the pandemic and that’s spurred us on,” he said. “We’re now taking on maintenance work and our next major project is to build our own tools from scratch.”