A SAGE Group Company

24/7 Support: 1800 724 373

This supply chain optimisation saw reduced materials handling and less than 5% variance in stocktake.
Education: Workshop Supply Chain
Supply chain optimisation for a TAFE building and construction workshop resulted in:
  • Elimination of material shortages 
  • Significant reduction in material movements between warehouse and workshops
  • Reduction in number of stock items from 14,000 to 2,500
  • Significant reduction in time taken to carry out stock-take
Supply chain optimisation, Kanban, 5S

Tonsley, South Australia

Alison Roberts, Director Mining, Engineering & Transport and Building & Construction, TAFE SA

“SAGE's patience and professionalism are exemplary. They respectfully provided the right leadership to enable change.”


TAFE SA is South Australia’s largest vocational education and training provider, offering more than 1,300 qualifications to 70,000 students annually. Operating from five campuses across metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia as well as multiple campuses in regional SA. The flagship campus for TAFE SA is the $120 million state-of-the-art Tonsley facility, located on the redeveloped Mitsubishi site.

The Tonsley campus, opened in 2014, offers a range of courses including trade certificates in the building, construction and furnishing industries. Bringing these trades together at Tonsley gives students the unique opportunity to learn and work together, as they are required to do in the real world.

The building and construction courses required a wide range of tools, materials and equipment for teachers and students. As a result, the TAFE needed an effective supply chain. 


TAFE called in the SAGE Automation team to develop an efficient supply chain system.

After detailed analysis of the current situation, key operational improvements, including three new systems and processes were recommended to TAFE, which included:

1. Introduction of the Kanban* System to improve availability of stock in workshops and the material flow between warehouse to workshops 

2. Implementation of 5S** and Visual management to eliminate time wasted in searching for tools and materials in the workshops

3. Standardisation of tools, materials, and processes

4. Re-configuration of warehouse management system and process to eliminate unnecessary stock transactions and material movements, double handling, and cost visibility


*Kanban is an inventory control system developed by Toyota in the 1940s to improve manufacturing efficiency. It is highly regarded as supporting production systems as a whole and promoting ongoing improvements.

** The 5S workplace organisation method derives from five Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke, which translate to Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardise and Sustain.


TAFE now has an efficient and effective materials handing process, which has resulted in the smooth running of TAFE and an enhanced learning experience for students who will lead the building and construction industry in the years to come.

Key outcomes:

  • Reduction in number of stock items from 14,000 to 2,500
  • Significant reduction in time taken to carry out stock-take
  • Improved accuracy in stock on hand data
  • Less than 5 percent variance in stock-take results
  • Increased efficiency in warehouse management
  • Elimination of material shortages for student projects during workshop activities
  • Significant reduction in material movements between warehouse and workshops
  • Adopted process by all five trade workgroups and warehouse
  • Storage improvements resulted in a safer environment for teachers and students
    Reduction in errors by students and damage of tools

Talk to us about...