34% Reduction in Manufacturing Costs– Mainetti Ltd. 

The Company 


The Mainetti Group is the largest manufacturer and supplier of hangers in the world. Mainetti was established in 1961 in Italy and now operates in over 40 different countries, employing over 4,000 people worldwide. 

Mainetti lists a number of blue-chip high-street customers, however, has been seen to have slowed down due to the economic recession by approx 20%.  Even with this, the local management team are committed to continuing a restructuring operation to enable Mainetti in the UK to continue to compete in a global market.  

To complement these growth plans, the company has a strong vision for lean manufacturing to become a way of life, even given the traditional culture on which it is based. The company has shown great commitment to continuous improvement, lean and culture change no matter how challenging.   


The Challenge 

 The challenge of conducting business in the middle of economic recession highlighted the need to change the business.  It was soon apparent that the organisation needed to focus on key business wins, rather than a traditional lean implementation programme. The culture of the organisation and previous attempts at lean implementation had left some degree of resistance and a general nervousness of what this programme would mean to the organisation.  This uncertainty was shared at all levels throughout Manetti. 

The decision was therefore taken to look for external support in order to look at reducing internal costs in terms of materials, Labour & space utilisation, that’s where Improvement Architecture Ltd came into assist.   


What We Did  


  • Structured an ongoing programme through completing an “X” chart of potential projects.


  • Focused the initial learning at the operatives themselves around the tools and skills required for the specific lean implementation project required, whilst still enabling staff to gain an overall appreciation for the overall philosophies and additional tools available. 


  • Used a variety of real-life issues that arose to solidify the grounding for lean, and support for the overall culture of lean. 


  • Covered broader issues around facilitation and change management which arose during the discussions. 



Improvement Architecture Ltd 

  • A strong partnership was developed between  Improvement Architecture Ltd and Mainetti management which has helped to improve the business through continuous improvement and culture change. 
  •  Improvement Architecture Ltd offered the skills and experience in lean tools/techniques needed to help progress Mainetti down the Lean Journey. 
  •  Improvement Architecture Ltd has provided external structure and project management support to control improvements being made whilst not becoming a barrier for management internally. 


Lessons learned 


Although the lean training has successfully gained improvements in the short-term, it is critical that further standardisation of people, systems and processes is required to ensure ongoing sustainability. 


There is a skills gap at Team Leader level which can act as a barrier between operatives and management.  Further development of this area is required in order that Kaizen programmes may be created successfully. 


The proactiveness shown within the shop-floor areas needs to be further developed with programmes including Engineers and more technical staff across the organisation.  These will be critical to long-term continuous improvement culture and reduction in quality issues. 




What was the impact for the Company? 


In addition to the benefits from the 3 key projects identified below the training has encouraged and enabled the participants to review and use the data already collected in the factory with more confidence.  


High Raw material prices.  An 84% reduction in material cost has been achieved through the use of regrind material, rather than 100% virgin material. 


High Labour Cost.  A 29% reduction in labour cost was achieved through the reduction of operatives from 6 per shift to 4 per shift.  A total reduction of 6 operators per day. 


Overall Machine Cost.  It was determined that an opportunity existed to reduce the overall cost of manufacture by using the 4-cavity tool rather than the 12-cavity where possible.  This resulted in £1.057 saving per 100 parts (or 34% reduction in manufacturing cost).  Further to this, a machine which was used within the original area “just in case” was sold for a saving of £21,000 per year for the rental period, and generated a one-off £40k for bottom-line. 


Further improvement projects are being identified on an ongoing basis due to the change within the cell culture giving increased sustainability to this area. 


There are also further programmes being ongoing for additional cell improvements to link to an overall culture change within the business. 




After having struggled previously with the implementation of lean, SMAS through their deliverer Improvement Architecture Ltd was extremely successful in delivering our needs and structuring the programme to fit our culture.  This project has given significant business benefit.  Good job everyone.” 


Keith Charlton 

MD – Mainetti (North Europe)   


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