About Lefort

Lefort is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of scrap shears and presses for use in the scrap metal recycling industry.

Manufacturing is a fully unified process: from engineering to the delivery of tailor-made machines or mass-produced equipment. Each machine made by Lefort is made in Belgian factories, with a total surface area of over 700,000 square feet.

The Lefort group is a family business founded in 1947 that today employs a workforce of about 100. Lefort exports over 90% of its products and has a global network of vendors and branches, spread out over all five continents.

“During an ISO audit by Vinçotte, PlanningForce was identified as one of the strong points.”

Lefort’s Challenge

The company was facing rapid growth. Before long, growth became a problem, because its management and planning tools were clearly inadequate to allow the management team to meet the challenges of growth.

Lefort’s Choice

When production, planning and methods manager Laurent Boudjemaa began working with Lefort, a management tool based on a Gantt chart was in use.

Each project/production/order being designated on a separate file, the links between projects were intangible, there was a lack of awareness of the competing use of resources and, to top it off, steps in project progression went unrecognized, since updates to scheduling took too long and were too complex.

Hoping to quickly find a solution to their problems, Mr. Boudjemaa contacted PlanningForce. Convinced of the power of PlanningForce’s methodological approach, the decision was made to embark on a program of phased implementation.

Strong points mentioned by Lefort

  • A very good communications tool
  • Simple and easy to take the schedule online
  • Very quick to update the schedule (taking into account what has been accomplished and the realities on the ground)
  • A very worthwhile reporting system
  • The ability to run simulations without impacting production
  • Allows pinpointing problems
  • Allows buying machinery for production based on real needs (straightforward identification of the most critical resources)

Implementation

Implementation took place in two phases.

Phase one consisted in modeling the main flows, from new incoming orders to delivery. The modeling phase lasted three months. It allowed us to identify a wide range of stumbling blocks and gaps in the processes in use up till that point. This phase shed light on processes, roles and communications, and led to the creation of models of business activity and the identification of the firm’s resource potential, among other things.

Capitalizing on these organizational improvements, implementation of phase two – involving timetable creation and concurrent management of the entire portfolio of orders – took place smoothly and seamlessly. This was possible in that each team member had, during phase one, already become familiar with the new management principles that Mr. Boudjemaa would put into effect.

In all, the two phases were carried out over a period under five months.

Outcomes

Thanks to PlanningForce, the production manager gained a comprehensive view of the entire production process and therefore has a detailed view of scheduling, possible delays, critical resources, and so on. In order to have the most realistic view possible, suppliers’ scheduling was integrated with overall scheduling.

"I cannot imagine working without PlanningForce! Our schedule is displayed on a large screen in the design office and in our workshops."

Some Statistics on Lefort

Date the company was organized 1947
Number of workers About a hundred
Production 90% for export
ReachPresent on all five continents

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