Labour, Materials and Waste

Labour, materials and waste are significant areas of overspend within manufacturing. As a result, they are also some of the best areas of opportunity when it comes to making savings and improving processes.


We have a track record of improving labour efficiency for manufacturers by up to 50%. We work to reduce changeovers and downtime, fix incorrectly functioning equipment, enable simple automation and improve line speeds, which are all fundamental to improving labour efficiency.

Organisational fixes are equally as important. We develop systems with our clients to ensure labour is tightly managed and that lines are consistently manned to the agreed levels. At the same time, we establish the correct key performance indicators to accurately measure manning improvements.

Wider structural changes also have a role to play. By optimising the use of temporary staff, reducing overtime or changing shift patterns, we can help improve efficiency – and cut costs dramatically.

Results we've achieved include:

    • 40% increase in labour efficiency for a snack foods company
    • £2.5 million in savings across two sites for a ready meals manufacturer
    • 28% reduction in labour costs for a bottling company
    • 50% reduction in main line labour costs for an ice-cream manufacturer

Materials & Waste

Reducing waste by 20-50%

Newton has a proven record of identifying and exploiting opportunities for improving material yields and reducing wastage. Some losses are very visible; others, from giveaway, cooking loss or drain waste, may not be so obvious – but all have the potential to deliver significant financial benefit when recovered.

We're experts in analysing material variance figures and linking these with actual production processes. Variance opportunities are broken down by problem, location and product to provide clarity to the operational team. Rigorous and detailed problem solving then reduces the variances, while the appropriate reporting measures are developed to ensure key problem areas are permanently visible to the entire organisation.

Over and above technical and organisational improvements to reduce giveaway, waste, cooking losses and drain losses, we also help manufacturers find more innovative solutions to improve material variances. Our approach of rigorous analysis, problem solving and measurement is well suited to the implementation of value engineering to create a step change in cost.

Our work delivers substantial bottom-line improvements from practical, sustainable solutions. All without the need for capital expenditure. Results we've achieved include:

    • 32% waste reduction in a bakery to create savings of £680,000
    • Cutting £1 million worth of giveaway, downgrade and waste for a cheese packing company
    • Saving £280,000 in chocolate overuse for a biscuit manufacturer
    • Recovering £1 million by improving cooking yields for a chilled and frozen food producer