Rödl & Partner analyses the added value processes of companies and helps companies to reorganise along the lines of lean management principles. The following gives an insight into some of the results of our work.


  • Case 1​​ - Pull manufacturing system increases timeliness of deliveries from 70 % to 95 %.
  • Case 2 - Layout and process optimisation in manufacturing reduces lead time by 73 %.
  • Case 3 - Optimisation of the assembly process increases output by 61 %.

 Case 1

Pull manufacturing system increases timeliness of deliveries from 70 % to 95 %.

Company profile

  • Industry: Tool engineering
  • Sales revenue: EUR 25 million
  • Products: Metal tools for ancillary construction industries
  • Employees: 200

Background information:
Despite excellent products, our client's competitiveness was adversely affected by lead times not conforming to the market requirements and by repeated failures to meet delivery deadlines.

The timeliness of deliveries fell to an average of approx. 70 %. Due to the lack of transparency, the company was not able to set reliable delivery dates, which resulted in a decrease in customer satisfaction.

Root causes of the problem:
When analysing the current state, Rödl & Partner consultants quickly realised that production capacities were not considered in the production planning. The complexity and the required processing times for individual purchase orders were not adequately considered. This led to a situation where orders and materials were put into production without any system.

Numerous orders and materials being processed in production required enormous coordination effort to complete orders in a timely manner as far as possible. As a rule, urgent orders were given priority over others, constantly disrupting the manufacturing process and causing further inefficiencies.

Both in construction and in manufacturing, there were decoupled areas which were managed in isolation from one another. A continuous order flow was thus not possible.

Pull manufacturing system increases timeliness of deliveries from 70 % to 95 %.

Two key measures led to achieving transparency and efficiency gains. 
Initially, machine and human resource capacities were considered in the production planning. The calculation of the required capacities, considering the complexity of orders, made it possible to determine order sequence. The implementation of the so called Frozen Zone ensured that it was no longer possible to interfere with the order sequence from a defined point of time. 

The introduction of a self-regulating, pull manufacturing system based on the First-in, First-out principle enabled linking the production cells and a continuous order flow. The related transparency reduced the coordination effort to a minimum.

Overall, these measures led to an increase in reliability of meeting delivery deadlines and reduced lead times. Shortly after the full implementation of the measures, the timeliness of deliveries increased to 90 % and further to 95 % after the new manufacturing system stabilised. 

It is now possible to set reliable delivery dates which are even up to 6 weeks faster. At the same time, customers are now ensured greater flexibility since the construction drawings are now started at the latest possible moment.

Contact us – Rödl & Partner is at your service: you can reach Jens Hinkelmann by email or telephone at +49 911 5979 60.

 Case 2

Layout and process optimisation in the production process reduces lead time by 73 %.

Company profile

  • Industry: Ancillary construction industry
  • Sales revenue: EUR 23 million
  • Products: Rooflights, roof glazing
  • Employees: 120

Background information:
As a result of the boom in the construction industry after the global economic crisis, our client's storage capacities were pushed to their limits. 

Great storage needs resulted primarily from the fact that the company strived to maintain on-time deliveries at the level of 100 %. The procedure was that shortly after the purchase order was placed, the company would start the manufacturing process to be able to meet the assembly deadline in each and every case. In this process, lead times and delivery dates of certain other purchase orders were considered to be of secondary importance. 

The Rödl & Partner business process consultants were initially engaged to plan a new warehouse for materials and finished parts. 

Root causes of the problem:
Before Rödl & Partner consultants started to plan the new warehouse, they gained a full picture and analysed the current state of the existing manufacturing system.

In the course of the analysis of the company's value streams, it became clear that the production layout was not value stream oriented. Combined with an inadequate production planning and control system, this resulted in a number of inefficiencies.

The lack of standardisation of the information supply system caused a great deal of effort to coordinate and search for information in the production process. Furthermore, the unbalanced machine capacities further increased the level of interim inventories. These hindered the manufacturing process and blocked storage space and capital.

Layout and process optimisation in the production process reduces lead time by 73%

Increasing the storage capacity by constructing a new warehouse was called into question. The focus of the project was now on redesigning the production layout and  implementing a production planning and control system.

During numerous workshops the utilisation of storage space was analysed and an optimised production layout developed. In addition, standards and guidelines were developed to establish a capacity-based production control system.

After the production process was restructured and geared towards value streams, the lead times were significantly reduced. By the gradual implementation of the new production control system, the company achieved further efficiency gains. Overall, the average lead time was reduced by 73 %, from 15 to 4 days.

A drastic reduction in the level of interim inventories in manufacturing reduced the level of tied-up capital by approx. EUR 600,000. Furthermore, EUR 1 million worth of investments in a new production hall could be avoided.

Contact us – Rödl & Partner is at your service: you can reach Jens Hinkelmann by email or telephone at +49 911 5979 60.

 Case 3

Optimisation of the assembly process increases output by 61 %.

Company profile

  • Industry: Metal and electrical industry
  • Sales revenue: EUR 64 million
  • Products: Coffee grinders
  • Employees: 200

Background information:
Due to the steadily growing sales figures, our client's production capacities were insufficient to meet market demand. 

Unstable lead times, quality defects and the organisation of work on the shop floor put the assembly into a permanent "troubleshooting mode", which made reliable production planning impossible. Rödl & Partner was engaged to analyse and redesign the assembly processes, and to remove inefficiencies in the process flow.

The primary goal was to sustainably increase output in order to enable further sales growth in a structured and scalable manner.

Root causes of the problem:
To identify potential for optimisation, the value stream encompassing all process steps starting from acceptance of a customer's purchase order to delivery was initially recorded and thoroughly analysed.

Enormous potential was identified in the area of product assembly. Here, the workbench principle was applied in the manufacturing process; in the case of some products the process was divided into pre-assembly and main assembly. Every product was assembled by a maximum of 2 workers whereas overall several workers were assigned to individual product types in the assembly area. 

The pre-assembly process which was independent of customer purchase orders often resulted in a situation where components for currently requested versions were not in stock in the main assembly.

The quality check was decoupled from the assembly procedure steps and was performed only for complete customer orders. Quality defects were thus identified only at the very end of the production process; in some cases whole batches had to be reprocessed. Further inefficiencies arose from frequent interventions in the order sequence and changing priority of customer orders. 

Optimisation of the assembly process increases output by 61%.

In the first step of the optimisation process, a customer order-oriented assembly line production was implemented. In this process, the assembly steps were analysed in terms of time, divided into work packages of equal size and reallocated to workers. Furthermore, quality check was integrated directly into the flow lines.

Thanks to this measure, output increased from 88 to 121 items per week without any substantial investment. The average assembly time was reduced by approx. 30 %.

In the second step, an assembly line was acquired in which the workstations are directly coupled to roller conveyors. These are additionally supplied by an individual Kanban system with all required raw materials.

The optimisation and equipping of the workplaces as well as the supply of parts enabled a further increase in output to 142 items per week as well as further reduction in assembly times. Overall, output rose by 61 % with only minor investment.

Contact us – Rödl & Partner is at your service: you can reach Jens Hinkelmann by email or telephone at +49 911 5979 60.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Case 4

Through a set-up improvement it was not necessary to invest in a new 300 ton press. 

Company profile
  • Sector: metalworking
  • Sales: 50 million euros
  • Products: steel furniture, workshop equipment
  • Employees: 300

1. Initial situation
  • Bottleneck in the production in the area of a large press (300 tons).
  • Tool change on the press required for each order.
  • Long tool change times of approx. 3 hours for each tool change.

2. Procedure
  • Recording of the set-up steps and distances to the machine during the set-up process.
  • Analysis of the individual steps for improvement potential. 
  • Definition of measures to accelerate the set-up process and its implementation.

3. Result
  • Reduction of the set-up time for a tool change by more than 65 % to under one hour.
  • Increase of the available machining time.                                                       
  • Machining of all orders possible without a new machine.
  • Quick implementation of measures (16,000 euros for equipment) while conserving liquidity.

Contact us – Rödl & Partner is at your service: you can reach Jens Hinkelmann by email or telephone at +49 911 5979 60.


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Jens Hinkelmann

Head of service line Management and IT consulting


+49 911 1807 8710

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