The Aggregation of Marginal Gains

19 December 2016

Sir Dave Brailsford is well known for masterminding Team GB’s multiple successes in the Olympic Games track cycling arena.  More, recently as supremo of Team Sky Pro Cycling, Dave Brailsford, has become synonymous with Tour de France success by delivering four British wins in the last five years.  One of his great mantras has been to demonstrate how the “aggregation of marginal gains” can lead to unrivalled performance.   In essence, excellence can only be achieved by paying equal attention to smaller details as well as the more obvious areas.

Donwood Glass continues to strive to deliver excellence both in our levels of quality and service plus several improvements in our systems have been implemented in 2016 whilst others are coming to fruition soon.  Some of these are relatively minor (or you might even say marginal) and some are more significant.  The combined effect allows us to deliver on our promise of providing you with the best possible service and products.

Recently, we’ve upgraded the quality of our edge tape and we now tape three sides of all toughened units (previously only two) as well as continuing to tape all four sides of annealed IGUs to help protect the units and improve handling

This is a great example of how a relatively small change in our manufacturing process can improve use for customers and fitters alike. What’s more, this small change has resulted in a tidier, cleaner finish to the edge of our units.

In 2016 we embarked on a programme of refurbishment of our army of glass storage trolleys.  These are being superbly restored with new hard wearing sleeves, dividers and flooring.  It may appear small but all of this is done for one reason only - to ensure that the finished product is transported from our production lines to our fleet of delivery vehicles and then to you, our customer, in the best possible shape. It’s easy to see in this case how marginal gains and seemingly small improvements have a big impact.

Another way we’ve been working hard to boost the quality of our finished products is through being aware and proactive when it comes to personal protective equipment. It’s crucial for protecting our employees and we purchase only the best quality cut resistant clothing and gloves to ensure Donwood is a safe environment.  However, oily residue, dirt and grime can all build up on handling gloves and this can easily transfer itself to glass.  By actively encouraging our employees to replace gloves before they are worn through, we ensure that their hands are kept safe and our glass is cleaner.

Looking ahead to 2017, our deionised water system is to be expanded to more machines than ever– this will ensure that glass is washed in high quality water at all relevant stages of the toughening and manufacturing process so our customers receive products that have been crafted to the highest standards throughout.

As a BSI audited ISO9001 company continuous improvement is a prerequisite at Donwood Glass.  As these improvements demonstrate, we have worked hard to incorporate philosophy of “marginal gains”, and maintaining a strong attention to detail and we will continue to do so, all for the benefit of our customers.