News

In the past 6 months we have appointed three new team leaders in the factory. They are new to their roles but not to the operation with over 50 years of service between them. They have also being participating in Leadership training to help with the supervisory duties they have undertaken. The change places experienced personnel with the power to best organise work and monitor quality right on the front line of production. We have also been investing in more formal training with the rest of the team too, so our more highly-skilled workforce will be able to respond to the challenges ahead.
Regular visitors to the Halliday premises will already be aware but we are delighted with the completion of a new mezzanine in the Finishing Shop of our factory. The additional facilities will be used for storage rather than production but will allow us to stock some of our range for the first time. This will mean we can keep producing when the industry is quiet, to help respond to demands during peak periods. It also means we can hit back against rising prices by being more materials and factored goods in bulk where savings are available.
The mezzanine is accessible by stairs and goods lift, which is adjacent to our loading bays, meaning large numbers of coffins can brought out of stock and put on vans quickly and easily. The sturdy, slim line frame construction allows work to continue downstairs in the Finishing Shop uninterrupted.
The autumn of has seen a revolution to the use of software to support the finance, production and CRM (custom relationship management) functions of the business. Whilst we have used previously Sage for the administration of sales and banking, and Sage ACT! for CRM, our new software will eventually allow us to tie these function and purchasing. The aim is to build a system that will predict stock outs before they happen. Although the system is live, it is still being refined and improved so that it represents an accurate picture of how goods and materials are bought, used and sold. There are currently 38,627 ‘Item Codes’ in the system, each describing something we buy in, something we sell out or a listing of ingredients that go into a group of products we manufacture. These are known as Bills of Materials and they allow the software to convert figures for orders of finished goods into quantities of consumption of raw materials. It also allows us to report, more accurately than ever, which coffins in which sizes are the best sellers and which often needed quickly, so we stay ahead on production.
Our production line has been upgraded with the installation of a new Computer Numerical Control Router or CNC. The CNC is programmed with numerous coffin designs in our standard sizes, giving us millimetre-perfect precision when cutting boards for coffins. We have long since used a CNC but the new machine has a much bigger operating area allowing us to cut multiple boards from larger sheets. The beauty is that a larger sheet, from which we now cut two lids, is less than twice the size of a board which previously gave us only one. The same applies to bottoms. This means a much more efficient use of materials.