Drive for continued efficiency

By Ben Brocklesby, director at Origin.

Innovation is at the core of everything we do here at Origin. This is highlighted by the fact that we have a dedicated R&D team that work to not only create new market leading products, but to improve our current range.

This ensures that our partners can continually provide their customers with the very best complete home solutions. This push for continual progress ensures that we remain the leading supplier of doors and windows in the UK.

Origin undertook its biggest internal project to date this year: introducing a highly advanced IT infrastructure. Fully operational, this system allows us to reach our just-one-click aspiration, with everything from sales and procurement, through to manufacturing, warehouse, and delivery processes all being triggered by just one click.

When a partner confirms an order using our unique OSS system, a works order will be triggered, and production will begin. This will mean that materials are automatically deducted from stock control and reordered via a PO, replenishing what was used without any human intervention.

This stock control efficiency ensures that all 1,200 of our partners are constantly supplied on time, in full, and our materials are being consistently replenished to eliminate stock outs. This technologically advanced way of operating means that partners can improve their cashflow by not having to outlay money for product and then wait weeks for it to be delivered. It also means they can increase the number of jobs they can take on and the new business that can be accessed. All this can be done knowing that their supply chain is safe with Origin.

This project was a huge undertaking for us. A full automation of our system was needed for this to happen, with some areas of our processes still being – at least partly – manual. Multiple systems then had to be synchronised to feed into one seamless piece of software. Implementing this means that most, if not all, operations across the business were affected while the switchover takes place, but we know that ultimately our efficiency is of the utmost importance to provide the best service for our partners.

Despite the challenges faced by the pandemic, Brexit, supply shortages, and the demand surge, we undertook this major project, as our desire for efficiency, growth, and innovation has never ceased.

The Ark, our new 55,000ft² warehouse facility, played a significant role in us being able to do this. Our storage capacity increased by 82% as a result, giving our partners a huge advantage against their competitors as we remained market leaders in terms of lead times and supply chain integrity.

With this increased inventory in our system, both from the Ark and our other storage and manufacturing facilities, comes the ability to use our automated system to move materials from the warehouse to the factory without additional human interaction. Line supply is called off from the Ark and then replenished automatically, meaning there is no disruption to our supply chain, and we can continue to manufacture and deliver as normal to our partners.

Our manufacturing facilities are also working in a similar way. When a partner uses OSS to submit an order, the system creates a work order based off the BOM, then automatically sends the sizes and specifications to the machinery on the factory floor. All of our factories are now set up for this system across our entire product range, with the OW-70 and OW-80 the last to go live, which was at the end of September.

These processes are also all recorded into a data warehouse, meaning we can track trends which can inform our decision-making in the future.

The switch has taken the dedication of the entire Origin team. We haven’t stopped learning though, with critical business processes being analysed throughout, meaning continuous learning, optimisations, and improvements can be made across the business.

Origin will therefore continue to be the most technologically advanced, efficient, and informed company in the industry, prepared for the future, delivering quality products with a gold standard of service to all of our partners.