CARD SYSTEM KEY TO IMPROVING STOCK CONTROL AT TARMAC

The recent introduction of T Cards Direct planning and stock control boards at all of the Tarmac Aggregate sites including Greenwich, Erith and Ridham enable production staff to achieve greater control over raw materials and finished stock levels. At the

The recent introduction of T Cards Direct planning and stock control boards at all of the Tarmac Aggregate sites including Greenwich, Erith and Ridham enable production staff to achieve greater control over raw materials and finished stock levels.  At the Greenwich site the boards are already contributing towards stock reduction worth £350,000.

The boards have been introduced as part of Tarmac’s continuous improvement programme which looks at plant operation, everything from routine maintenance to improved processing and stock management.

Whilst stock levels and scheduling could be planned using computerised systems, the Tarmac Change Agents wanted a system that gave a very simple overview of stock status.  Speaking about the T Cards system, Richard Lees, a Trident Change Agent says “operating and updating the card system couldn’t be easier, it gives staff an immediate overview of how what tonnage of material is waiting to be delivered through to under and over stock levels across all grades of finished products.  It plays a key role in improving the processing operation.”

Ships arriving at the Tarmac Aggregate site in Greenwich contain unprocessed ballast that has been dredged from the sea bed, quantities vary but on average the load is 5,000 tonnes.  This is conveyed through various screening and crushing processes, producing a range of products for the aggregates sector – sand, gravel and ballast.  

The T Cards board enables stock levels to be seen ‘at a glance’ in a very simplistic bar-chart format, enabling the process to be adjusted to respond to any short falls or over production.
The Planning Board is divided into a series of horizontal slots designed to hold special cards in the shape of a ‘T’.  At Greenwich the boards have three core sectors – Production Planning (including ship arrival/shipment pending), Finished Stock as well as a column showing when the board was last up-dated.  Within the two processed sectors a further classification takes place with columns for 10mm Gravel, 20mm Gravel, Sand, 10mm Ballast and 20mm Ballast.

Colour-coded cards each labelled in weights from 50 to 10,000 tonnes according to grade, are placed in the correct column as a new production batch is completed, creating a visual ‘bar-
chart’ check on processed stock.  The placement of minimum and maximum target stock levels in each column also aids process control.

In addition to actual stock control, Greenwich are using contrasting orange cards to flag which ships are waiting to deliver; if the Greenwich site is overstocked the ships can be routed to other destinations where stock levels are low.

The T Cards Planning Boards are a key aid in enabling Tarmac staff to manage stock control more effectively and in a very simple format, bringing about a much improved cost-effective programme.

The T Cards Direct ‘Control Board’ is just one of a range of boards developed by the company to give that immediate overview.  Such is the flexibility of the card system it can be tailored to a wide range of applications, and at T Cards Direct a series of standard board configurations already exist for stock control, works in progress, maintenance scheduling or parts on order.

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