The company was established by Mick & Catherine Lambert in 1986 in Hacketstown Co Carlow. The business became integral to the locality over the years and built up a reputation for always having everything in stock and prompt deliveries throughout all West Wicklow, Carlow and even North Wexford. Since 2008, it has operated from a purpose built premises close to the centre of the town. The business joined the Homevalue Hardware buying group in the mid noughties while maintaining a focus on the heavy hardware and agricultural market products.
In recent years Ray McGlynn, a nephew of the founders, took over the running of the business and wanted to continue to maximise margins. An initiative to review internal processes and match the resource capabilities started.
With the assistance of Enterprise Ireland Lamberts Homevalue engaged RIKON to assist with this project.
As a mature business with many long serving employees the processes, operating procedures and standards used for day-to-day operations were manual and people dependent. There were potential opportunities to optimise these processes to make operations more efficient, enhancing customer service. This would also enable the documentation of processes and the possibilities for automation to be explored.
Through a series of workshops, the processes from purchasing through sales to cash were identified. These were mapped on brown paper using Business Process Model Notation (BPMN) and digitised. A process of workshop ideation was then used to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement, which were documented with potential countermeasures attributed. Root Cause Analysis was utilised in formulating the countermeasures. Potential threats to implementation of these measures were also identified.
Finally, an action plan was created to guide Lambert Hardware though the adoption of the countermeasures that would ensure the desired margin maximisation.
Raymond McGlynn, Director, Briarcroft Limited
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We successfully worked through the visualisation of our internal process with RIKON and were able to identify substantial areas for improvement. It is our intention to collaborate again with RIKON on a follow on project in the future.