When Takumi Precision Engineering wanted to grow its capability, its management team realised that it would require a significant investment in capital equipment, innovation, and staff training.
Investing for the future is not new for Takumi. Founded in 1998 by Gerry Reynolds, the Limerick-based engineering manufacturer is a leading supplier of components to a wide variety of multinational aerospace and medical device companies. Over the years, Takumi has accumulated a unique range of CNC precision machining equipment and invested in its staff to a level that has positioned the company at the cutting edge of their sector.
Takumi’s revenues have doubled to €10m in the four years since it moved into the aerospace market in 2015. Aerospace now accounts for 60% of its business but the medical devices sector is also a vitally important market segment, which continues to offer ongoing opportunities – and Takumi’s management team is confident that the company will be a €20m business by 2025.
In order to continue its strong growth trajectory, Takumi had to put solid foundations in place. The company sought assistance from Enterprise Ireland’s Operational Excellence offer, a large-scale holistic company transformation programme that is designed to deliver a change in company culture and raise productivity.
Culture can be one of the most difficult elements in an organisation to change and even more difficult to sustain. The Operational Excellence offer is focused on embedding competencies necessary to achieve ongoing productivity and efficiency gains, thereby creating sustainable improvements in the business and across its supply chain throughout its one to two-year assignment period.
This is not an easy task for businesses and requires full commitment at every level of management, in every department, at every stage of the transformation. Operational Excellence assignments must be built around an identifiable project plan. This can include support for business innovation, capability building, and/or capital expenditure.
Companies benefit from a streamlined process whereby they can apply for these supports within the one Operational Excellence offer, as opposed to the usual process of applying to Enterprise Ireland for them separately.
Business innovation support includes the implementation of new production, delivery or organisational methods in the company, while capability training is offered to support the plan along with capital expenditure related to production or operations.
How Takumi used Enterprise Ireland’s Operational Excellence offer
The result is a one-off application to transform the business, and Takumi sought assistance through Operational Excellence in the following headings:
- Acquisition of new capital equipment
- Introduction of a new Nadcap approved metal treatment plant for aerospace components
- Refinement and strengthening of the key core competence of metal cutting/machining through an R&D project on discovering and adopting the latest 5-axis CAM technology
- Adoption of Lean methodologies into the business operating systems, particularly through fine-tuning the ERP system and adopting Industry 4.0 practices across the entire bandwidth of the business, including processing orders, scheduling and planning, reporting and metrics
- Growing further tiers of management and supervisors so that the business can continue to expand while preserving the ethos of ‘growing our own’.
Takumi has involved its entire management team in its Operational Excellence offer, which is running from 2018-2021.
Managing Director Gerry Reynolds said: “It might be a new programme but I believe that Operational Excellence will be widely adopted by industry. It affords companies an opportunity to put together a comprehensive business plan that really can transform businesses. The application process is really no more difficult than previous programmes.
“There has been some apprehension that some business are not ‘ready’ for OpEx but, in reality, what business is not ready for a comprehensive plan? Being all encompassing, OpEx can deliver a more coherent business plan. Some previous programmes could be somewhat fragmented and lack cohesiveness. I look forward to the experience of transforming and growing Takumi into a bigger, high tech, modern, Industry 4.0 factory.”
Enterprise Ireland’s Operational Excellence offer provides the best possible support to companies that wish to transform their business. Not only does it systematically change the way work is performed, it enables companies to change the culture and mindset of how they do business. By offering more than one support option, it encourages managers to view the business in holistic terms and, as Takumi has shown, what business isn’t ready for a cohesive and comprehensive plan?
Learn how Enterprise Ireland’s competitiveness supports can help transform your business.