If it can be taken apart, it can be packed. So if it can be taken apart and packed, it can be moved. This was the case with the relocation and consolidation of two of Astrapak’s factories, which during the re-engineering of the Group’s business, needed to be relocated and adapted to fit in with JJ Precision Plastics in Westmead. Much like the works of a magician on a massive scale, this is an incredible feat and only the work of passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated people can make this work.
Marc Nell, Supply Chain Manager at JJ Precision Plastics, adapted well to the arduous project of relocating not one, but two of Astrapak sites from Gauteng province to KwaZulu-Natal. He grabbed the challenges with both hands, ensuring that the process of the move occurred as quickly as possible whilst trying to keep the disruptions of the destination plant minimal.
A task of this nature would probably take around six months to accomplish, but Mr Nell and his team ran the project well and the entire Bronkshortspruit and Weener Plastics plants were operational in the new premises, at JJ Precision Plastics in Westmead, within a staggering two-to-three month time frame!
Speaking of the challenges, Mr Nell said that the transferring of information between the systems at each site was the most challenging to work with.
“The stock level amount was huge and the Supply Chain Team were all-hands-on-deck to transfer the information between the systems. Although we use a common ERP system within the Astrapak Group, each site operates the system slightly differently. We had to enter the “Bronks” system and extract and manipulate it here at “JJ” as a starting point,” he said. “The “Weener” move was on a much smaller scale, making it a much easier process for the team to manage.”
Mr Nell received the support of his team and in particular, mentioned the important role that the Warehousing Manager played. “The warehousing aspect was an integral part of the relocation process. We had to facilitate at least 30 truckloads – managing that process was incredible and there was a massive role to play. A large volume of stock arrived from Gauteng,” he said.
JJ Precision Plastics General Manager, Hardus Burger, commended Mr Nell on his leadership role throughout the move. “Marc played a critical role in the successful relocation of the Bronkhorstspruit business, while continuing with the day to day running of the business. He tackled the opportunity and challenge head on. JJ Precision Plastics is a large and complex business, which Marc understands well and he continues to add value on a daily basis.”
Having joined the Astrapak team six years ago where he worked as a World Class Manufacturing facilitator, Mr Nell always had his eyes set on sales and marketing environment. After six months he moved into the position of Key Account Manager, a position he held for two years. Although having never envisioned going into the Supply Chain and Buying role, he knew the products and the system well. He got involved in the planning aspect for another two years. When an opportunity presented itself to move into the Supply Chain Manager role at JJ Precision Plastics within the new Astrapak Group structure, Mr Nell grabbed it with both hands.