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Taking an opportunity with unexpected business results.

Canterbury Windows & Doors successfully changed its production thanks to a Lean Blitz week run by Metricon Homes, reducing customer turnaround times and minimising waste to landfill.

Business snapshot

Canterbury Windows & Doors is an Australian privately owned business, manufacturing and supplying an extensive range of timber and aluminium window and door products to builders and renovators in Victoria. Established in 1944, Canterbury Windows & Doors is one of the oldest major manufacturers of timber and aluminium window and door solutions for the Australian domestic construction market.

Project

Canterbury Windows & Doors were one of 35 suppliers and trades that participated in the Waste to Lean (Lean Blitz) project, delivered by Metricon and funded by Sustainability Victoria's Beyond Waste Fund.

The purpose of the project was to explore opportunities for waste reduction and elimination from Metricon's residential housing construction sites.

The project targeted both the design and construction stages and was supported by a leading US lean construction consultant, who facilitated the process and shared their knowledge and experience in achieving sustainable business and environmental outcomes.

While the Lean Blitz project was a project designed for Metricon, Canterbury Windows & Doors were able to transfer the learnings from their participation in the project. Through this they identified a series of immediate opportunities for their own company, including:

  • Shorter turnaround times – Canterbury Windows & Doors compressed product cycle time by two days via drivers maximising efficiency and minimising wait times. This created a win both for Canterbury Windows & Doors and clients as the time from receiving an order, to delivery is reduced from six to four days.
  • Waste opportunities – Canterbury Windows & Doors' past practice was to dispose of their waste sawdust to landfill. Through participation in the project they have learnt of the benefits of briquette machines, which will turn this waste into a useful by-product from reuse, sale or energy production. The company is now investigating and trialling opportunities in each of these streams, which has reduced the number of waste bins from 5–6 a week to 3–4, with the aim to eliminate this waste stream from landfill altogether.

Future plans

Canterbury Windows & Doors is a committed member of Metricon's Supplier and Trade Council, which was established as part of the Lean Blitz project. The council will continue to work together to share knowledge and drive improvement in the construction industry. Its focus is on waste minimisation to benefit the whole supply chain.

While Canterbury Windows & Doors invested significant time in the Lean Blitz project, this investment has been returned through a better understanding of customer needs and how suppliers play a role in satisfying these. The company plans to continually test itself and the market with more sustainable and innovative ideas.

About Beyond Waste

Launched in 2012, Beyond Waste was a program to encourage and support innovations that reduce, reuse or avoid waste generation, with a particular focus on the commercial and industrial (C&I) and the construction and demolition (C&D) sectors.

Each project funded through the program is the subject of a separate case study, written with the intent of sharing the valuable knowledge and advantages identified by the project participants.