MORRIS TECHNOLOGY GROUP EMBRACES LEAN MANUFACTURING
The Morris Technology Group is a family owned business founded by Darryl and Norma Morris comprising three businesses: D&N Engineering Supplies which focuses on the design and manufacturing of high quality innovative temperature solutions. G.L.McGavin which focuses on safety in the electrical industry worldwide, using state of the art models of the Modiewark non-contact voltage detectors. Pritchard Electronics which provides a total turnkey solution for PCB assembly and full product construction needs.
The strength of the manufacturing group is founded on Research and Development and advanced manufacturing in order to provide the necessary solutions to customers’ problems.
Since the business was founded over 50 years ago it has had the motto of being willing to take on any challenge large or small. Directors of the company Ashley and Linsey Morris have in recent times become very active in transforming the business operations.
Following a visit to Lithgow in early 2014, they saw a model showing how a 100 year old factory was transformed from traditional manufacturing practices to Lean Manufacturing practices over a 2 year period (2010-2012). Employee numbers in 2010 were 150 and despite a big increase in productivity the employee number in 2015 is still 150.
The decision was made to use the same model at Morris’ site in Newcastle. The training was conducted at Lithgow by ILS using IP originally developed in conjunction with Kentucky University. ILS is presently one of the leading providers of transformation and regeneration practices in manufacturing in the US. The transformation journey started in April 2014 and stage 1 of the journey is nearing completion. The goal of developing a partnership between management and employees has increased mutual trust and all employees have contributed in supporting the journey. By following the program the results are similar to Lithgow at the same stage of their journey. The number of employees at the start of the program was 29. Numbers presently sit at 31 with comparable productivity improvements.
Director of the Morris Group Ashley Morris said that the transformation process focused on learning together in order to close the gap between the condition at the beginning of the process and the targeted condition at the conclusion of stage 1. It was very hard to change the pattern of thinking and acting in order to continuously improve work. The training focused on our problem solving methodology which helped identify and solve problems through a visual process as they occurred.
The Morris Technology group was awarded the excellence in Training Award for a program for staff in lean manufacturing.
“This training program exemplifies the collaborative approach of manufacturers in the Hunter,” the judges said.
To make the original training course viable the group opened the opportunity to three other manufacturers to participate. All 14 participants are progressing on their lean journey within their organisations.