Mackay Multilink

Mackay Multilink is Australia’s premier designer and manufacturer of boat trailers. The company has nearly 40 years’ experience in providing Australians with innovative, high quality and rugged boat trailers. Mackay also builds custom trailers for many other applications including transportation of row shells, kayaks, horses and machinery.

Project statistics

Project challenge

While Mackay Multilink is a market leader, the challenge involved improving its competitive advantage by reducing material and labour costs and enhancing product quality.


Melbourne, Victoria


The company needed Vative’s guidance to transform its business model from batch-oriented production to a Lean production system. The main focus was to improve productivity output per worker by eliminating waste and enhancing the existing value stream.


Production benchmarks were established at the start of the project, including productivity output, labour force size, average hours required per week, average number of trailers built per week and average labour cost per trailer. To check that system changes were benefiting production processes, KPIs were established and measured, including the number of trailers built per person, product quality and product faults.


After just six months, Vative’s implementation of Lean production into Mackay Multilink resulted in major benefits with the process efficiency increasing up to 20 per cent across several areas:

  • Weekly trailer production significantly increased
  • The cost per trailer decreased
  • Overall quality was improved through innovations such as an automated greasing system for wheel bearings


Vative developed a comprehensive, plant-wide strategy to transition Mackay to Lean production. Some of the key elements included, value stream mapping, 5S workplace organisation and training and implementing new stock control systems, developing improved layout and labour plans and introducing Heijunka planning boards and a Kanban scheduling system for material replenishment.


Vative’s strategy was to increase productivity output by eliminating waste and enhancing the existing value stream. Its tactical process improvements led to positive operational changes throughout Mackay Multilink’s plant, including majorly increasing overall production output.

Our investment in the Vative work led to tangible and quantifiable results with improvements between 10 – 20% in a number of areas… Vative’s most significant strength is the ability to implement.” – Kevin Nestadt, Managing Director, Mackay Multilink