In the midst of the pandemic, the expansion plans became highly topical - they were growing out of their current production and had difficulty meeting the demand from a rapidly growing customer base.
Expansion plans bordered by uncertainty
Hitting the capacity ceiling risked having long-term consequences for the reputation that companies have established for their reliable and high-quality products. But the questions about choosing how to solve the problem were many and difficult.
- We have grown fast and the premises are starting to get too small. We had many issues to sort out before we could decide on the best solution for a larger production - e.g. how big does the new production need to be? And how can we make it scalable? Is it possible to make adjustments in our current production and warehouse management so that we can last longer in our current premises? says Linus Åström, production technician at Latitude 64.
University students straighten out question marks
Emma Norrfors, business coach university and company matching, had heard about the challenges and got in touch with a proposal that immediately caught the interest of Linus and production manager Robert Lundqvist.
- I asked Robert if they had considered letting students from Luleå University of Technology contribute to their business development. Prospective civil engineers could help them with new perspectives in a project work as part of their education. The solution was that three students were commissioned to analyze the production process and organizational management within Latitude 64 to create a strategic plan for expansion, flexible production and social sustainability.
“It is good that this type of opportunity is being offered. We have received in-depth help, and it has not required any major effort on our part. I hope that more people in the business world will take advantage of this opportunity. ”
Direct improvements in production flow
The students began with a study visit and a presentation about the assignment. Since then, it has worked independently during the autumn and in January 2021, conclusions and recommendations were presented on how to optimize the manufacturing process, organization, market, distribution and warehouse, as well as the work environment in connection with the expansion.
- We are very happy with the collaboration and have received new ideas that we ourselves had not thought of. The students have surprised us with their ability to quickly get acquainted with a fairly advanced production and understand our needs, says Linus.
The expansion is planned to start in the spring of 2021 and Latitude 64 will focus on many of the proposals that the students have contributed, not least the value of creating straighter flows and adjustments in volume. Linus is positive about the opportunity for companies to enlist the help of the university in development issues.
- It is good that this type of opportunity is offered. We have received in-depth help, and it has not required any major effort on our part. I hope that more people in the business world will take advantage of this opportunity.
Latitude 64's student collaboration
The Skellefteå company Latitude 64 commissioned three students at Luleå University of Technology to analyze the production process and organizational management within Latitude 64 to create a strategic plan for expansion, flexible production and social sustainability.