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Reducing Order Backlog: Automotive Paints

47% increase in batch releases within 1 month of starting project


Industrial products – Automotive Paints

Project Length

6 months - 1 consultant


To debottleneck manufacturing process to reduce customer order backlog - plus improve S&OP tools to improve planning and order visibility throughout the process 


  • Increased batch release rate by 47% within 3 weeks of project start
  • Reduced order backlog by 66% within approx 6 months
  • Built and implemented capacity planning tools to give customers an accurate lead time at order placement, rather than a standard short lead time that could be reliably met
  • Implemented order tracking process through different stages of production to ensure all departments the same, detailed information on order status for expediting decisions and customer communication management

Why was Chartwell brought on board?

Incoming order volume had outstripped plant output consistently, and order backlog was building - resulting in decreased OTIF as an increasing number of orders missing the promised customer lead time.

Plant management were unsure how to resolve the problem quickly and unwilling to extend promised customer lead times on all orders in case this resulted in losing customers.

Core Project Workstreams

Quality Control Releases Improvement

  • KPIs installed for visibility of workload and process flow by area and employee
  • Separation of job roles - enabling skilled Colourists to focus on mixing paint and time consuming support and setup tasks to be done by less trained workers
  • Method developed with the operator teams to perform as many preparation tasks as possible in advance of sample arriving

Capacity Planning

  • Tools created to enable Planning team to see orders in system vs total capacity
  • Capacity review implemented weekly between sales and planning
  • Rules and processes developed between both departments for leaving a certain amount of capacity available for rush orders

Order Tracking and Management

  • Together with the team, production gates were identified to track each order through manufacturing and release processes
  • Based on historical data, product-specific targets were set for each stage
  • A daily review was implemented where the status of each order against the expected position was reviewed, and expediting decisions made

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