In February 2021, Stairways Midlands announced it was reducing its lead time by up to 50 per cent on staircases to better meet the challenging needs of the construction industry.
The company used the previous six months to review internal processes and look at how it can streamline activity to cut the time between call-off and delivery, typically five-to-six weeks before then.
And it made a commitment to customers to hit a three-week lead time on standard specification flights as the industry adapts to a “new normal”.
Julian Cooke, Stairways Midlands Sales Director, said: “Pre-Covid, we typically worked on a five-to-six-week lead-in for standard specification flights, most commonly for the major national housebuilders.
“Through developing the front end of our business, we have managed to refine our processes and reduce the delivery timescale by up to three weeks. This is a game-changer for us and, we hope, many of our customers.
“It does involve a very specific process being followed but one, we feel, can be easily handled by customers and will ultimately help them with their planning also.
“This is a significant change, but one for the better, provided the customer understands what they need to do.”
Since the start of the project, site teams, instead of calling-off with just a plot number, handing and a required date, have to provide the staircase storey height dimensions, unless clients have provided instruction to work to drawing.
For Stairways Midlands, this means less resource handling the call-off and a more accurate production number each week, helping speed the process.
Wayne Franklin, Customer Service and Administration Manager at Stairways Midlands, added: “We regularly survey our clients asking about service and what could be done better. Continuous improvement is core to our work so we have taken on board comments and developed a process to reduce the lead times to meet demand of the industry in 2021.
“At one point post lockdown, as the orders suddenly picked up, we had been running at nine weeks lead. This change in process demonstrates our commitment to excellence and to ensure the best possible service to meet our customers’ changing needed and deadlines”.
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