Farrel Limited Manufacturing Plant Objective Review

Farrel Limited, a subsidiary of an American heavy engineering company, occupies a 4.8 HA site in Rochdale, Lancashire. Their highly specialist heavy engineering products were being manufactured in old, high maintenance buildings with high running costs. The investment was required in the fabric of the buildings which required immediate attention.

The conglomeration of buildings resulted in poor utilisation of space and double handling of materials which increased production and warehousing costs. In addition, as a world-leading company, visiting clients and staff expected better facilities.

The Vice president commissioned Millson to carry out a detailed, objective review of the way in which the UK manufacturing plant operated. This involved extensive interviews with the site director, senior managers and shop floor personnel. Millson gained a comprehensive understanding of the manufacturing process, materials, workflow and constraints. We then reviewed the operational costs of the site and processes and identified areas where external grant funding could be sought.

Millson prepared master-plans for the site and fully costed Options Appraisals which included the demolition of some buildings, consolidation of operations in currently under-used space within the main factory and plans for residential development on the surplus land.

The proposals re-route HGV traffic away from the adjacent houses and school. New offices are created in disused space which would be re-clad to create a new contemporary entrance as well as visitor and staff parking.

The buildings required major investment to keep them weather-tight and safe. Site operations were fragmented with small offices scattered across part-occupied buildings and car parking split across two separate ill-defined accesses. The site included a large tract of unused land which was a haven for vandals and required24-hour security.

This dysfunctional arrangement of underutilized buildings resulted in excessive maintenance, security, heating, lighting and business rates costs.

Millson engaged in negotiations with the Local Authority to secure grant funding as well as to gain Planning Consent for 128 dwellings on surplus land and land released by rationalising wasted space. This was difficult as the land was zoned for “employment use” and it was necessary to demonstrate that the proposal was the only viable way of securing Farrel’s future and continued investment in the site.

Gaining planning consent enhanced Farrel’s land and asset value. The development of land when sold would generate a substantial capital receipt. Implementing proposals for rationalisation and refurbishment of retained space will significantly reduce operational costs.

The client is pleased that these financial outcomes will be achieved without disruption to day to day operation of the business.