Hurst Plastics has launched a company-wide strategy which aims to overcome the top frustrations that installers face when buying doors. The company has been reviewing every core process within the business as part of its mission to make Hurst ‘the easiest business to work with’.
Kevin Wheatman, Hurst Plastics’ Director and General Manager, explains: “We know that the major issues that installers face are long lead times, incomplete deliveries, unhelpful staff or unreliable service, which all impact on how efficiently they run their businesses. Hurst is already well known for its high levels of service, but we want to be even better. It’s our goal to provide the very best service for customers by removing waste, reinforcing our supply chain and improving our systems and processes, whilst developing our people.
We have been steadily improving efficiencies throughout the business and building on our capability and capacity to help us deliver a consistently high quality product and service to customers. We’ve also been working closely with suppliers to ensure that we are fully integrated with them to maximise efficiency and lead times and minimise errors. These initiatives are driving us towards becoming the easiest business to work with.”
The company is already working more closely with customers to integrate their unique requirements into their business. This approach is designed to make it easier than ever before for customers to place orders and track their progress. “We have implemented a number of electronic systems, such as Hurst Live and fleXipod to achieve this, but we also recognise that our customers are unique and that one system does not fit all. It’s important for us to work with them on an individual basis to establish a more effective process that suits their business,” says Kevin.
Hurst has been further improving process and material flow and now operates a dedicated composite factory on a double shift basis at its 50,000 square foot site in Kingston-upon-Hull. “This helps us to maintain consistent and reliable manufacturing rates,” says Kevin. “Our two daytime shifts fabricate and finish our composite doors and our logistics team loads them through the night ready for delivery first thing the next morning. It’s responsive and customers value predictable delivery schedules,” Kevin adds.
Hurst has also developed a robust system to manage stock and transport to help the company maintain competitive lead times. Hurst now delivers more than 95% of its products on its own fleet of vehicles and is further improving on its already impressive on-time in-full fulfilment levels of 98%. Hurst’s fleXipod GPS system enhances the package and keeps customers fully updated with accurate, real time information on their scheduled deliveries.
The fleXipod system links seamlessly with Hurst’s IT infrastructure and its ‘Hurst Live’ trade package, which fully updates and supports customers. This bespoke system has become an invaluable resource for more than 1,000 of Hurst’s live account customers who can access technical data, track and trace orders and order and price doors at any time.
With growth predicted again for Hurst in 2016 across both door panels and composite doors, the company will continue its rolling programme of investment in plant and machinery and training for its 120-strong team of staff. The firm is also set to expand its sales team with the recruitment of an additional regional account manager to cover the south.