Case study: SMAS helps Peak Scientific achieve best practice goals

Posted on 2 Nov 2014 by Callum Bentley

Since 1997 Peak Scientific has been developing innovative, multi award-winning laboratory gas generator products – unique to the market place and highly customer focused. It’s activity that has brought swift growth in product sales and turnover.

The organisation’s success is underlined by its rapid international expansion. Peak Scientific office locations now include Boston, Hyderabad, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Cape Town, with further technical support available in Germany, Mexico, Poland, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and Canada.

Peak’s existing strategy has delivered year-on-year growth in both turnover and profitability over the last 5 years averaging between 25% and 30% per annum.

The challenge

The firm’s management team was committed to supporting further growth aspirations through staff training and development. The goal was a culture of continuous improvement that would resonate across the entire business. With such an inclusive ambition to fulfil, best practice tools and techniques would be required. That’s when SMAS began supporting Peak Scientific.

How SMAS helped

SMAS logoSMAS worked with the firm’s managers and supervisors, raising awareness and understanding of leadership and behaviours in a context of continuous improvement. With that knowledge imparted, SMAS delivered a programme of Lean Awareness sessions covering a number of fundamental areas:

  •  Establishing continuous improvement as a key strand in Peak’s future strategy
  •  Building awareness and understanding of the concepts of continuous improvement
  •  Considering individual responsibilities, behaviours and empowerment in a continuous improvement environment
  •  Introducing Lean as a best practice tool for continuous improvement SMAS and the firm worked to develop and introduce continuous improvement ideas boards. These centred on responsibilities, structures, communication tools, awareness and understanding of problem-solving techniques. The boards supported participation and ownership beyond the ‘feedback and go forward’ sessions. Finally, SMAS worked with Peak in transitioning to the new continuous improvement culture, as well as developing and introducing systems to sustain and build these fresh ways of working.


SMAS support has provided the management team with a range of tools that encourage ownership and responsibility for continuous improvement throughout the organisation and supported their commitment to operational excellence. Peak has introduced Lean tools and techniques across the company and has facilitated internal champions to provide future Lean Awareness training to new employees.

Testament to Peak’s commitment to company-wide participation is the large amount of continuous improvement activity the firm is spearheading. Facilitated by two continuous improvement champions, ten projects are in progress, with more than fifty staff participating.

Peak’s structure supports the communication of existing continuous improvement projects. The firm is encouraging new ideas from staff – bright thinking that is formally discussed and considered for implementation to project level.


Thanks to participation with SMAS, the company has identified the following advances:

  • 2% improvement in On-Time In-Full delivery
  • 5% improvement in operator productivity
  • 7% improvement in customer Right First Time quality

“By engaging SMAS we were able to tap into a wealth of new knowledge and practical experience of Lean. SMAS listened to our goals and ambitions and created a programme to help us realise them. The entire workforce participated in a number of training sessions and exposed to the SMAS Practitioner’s enthusiasm. They helped instil Lean concepts and tools in a way that instantly clicked with our ethos.

These concepts and tools have now been embraced by a number of teams who are successfully running projects – all aided by in-house facilitators who were also tutored by SMAS Practitioners. We consider SMAS part of the Peak family; when they visit our facility they’re recognised and welcomed by all of us. I look forward to working with SMAS on future projects. Their experience is practical and their sound understanding of manufacturing will be invaluable in the success of future joint ventures.” Russell Gillespie, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Peak Scientific Ltd