Lean Makes Jobs Better

Colorman wanted to focus on improving their processes, which they successfully did. However the biggest change to the business they found following this engagement was how improving their processes actually made everyone's job better for the future.

“Lean opens your eyes when you step back and look at the process unfold from start to finish. It helps you understand the wastes and non-productive side of our business. It shows you the rewards that can be achieved and also makes everyone’s job better for the future.”

Liam Myers
Carton Manager, Colorman
Established in 1959, Colorman is one of Europe’s leading full service print and packaging companies. They have a wide customer base including clients in the UK, Europe, America and Ireland. Through the use of modern technology and e-procurement, they deliver a print management solution to their customers, tailor-made to their requirements.

So much has changed in the print industry since they first started as a silk screen printing company. Now they have a large suite of lithographic presses, book binding, carton manufacturing, secure printing and digital facilities in their 200,000 sq ft campus.

Above all, Colorman are focused on innovation and customer service. Their customers are their first priority and that in turn leads to them continuously improving, reducing inefficiencies and delivering on-time, every time.

Key Challenges

1. Print Excess

The business significantly overprint many jobs. Actually, they printed an average of 60% excess copy. This allowed for subsequent waste in post-processing set up and scrap. The company’s target print quantities were achieved in approximately 33% of print jobs.

2. Labour Recovery

In addition, there was no measure of the performance of the Operations Teams against cost standards.

3. One System Quote to Delivery

Another issue was that their Commercial Team used one system for job quotes. However, they used a separate system to plan and manage the production orders. As a result, there were significant discrepancies in costs and standards used on any given job.

4. Quality – Complaints & Reprints

The business prides itself on customer service. Reprints and Complaints are a key measure. There were 201 reprints in 2017


Post-processing scrap and excess was recorded at each stage and fed back to the print team. Furthermore, the business established new standards


Target Achieved

The target print quantities achieved went from 33% to 66% of jobs. In the same timeframe, OEE increased by an average of 22.5% over the 4 main print lines.

One System

Still requires ownership and leadership to make this happen.


Reprints / Complaints – root cause and inclusive corrective action approach should yield better results – still challenges for the business.

Labour Recovery

Labour Recovery is now measured and presents a huge opportunity.


Lean Business Consultants

The mission of the company is to work with organisations that see process improvement as part of what they do, who promote career development and support a drive for process excellence.