SW manufacturers unlock cash flow

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With manufacturing orders in the UK plummeting to their weakest level in 17 years and over half of companies reporting a fall in the volume of new orders , the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) is urging manufacturers to look to successful strategies to unlock vital cash-flow and survive the downturn.

In 2008, MAS helped ten Companies and 15 associated business projects unlock over £1.5 million through two Six Sigma ‘Greenbelt’ training programmes, encouraging manufacturers to adopt proven techniques to cut down waste, remove process variation, reduce scrap and production lead times as well as improve stock levels.

To build stability for the sector and support businesses to prepare for the opportunities in the next few months, the MAS South West is hosting two Six Sigma Greenbelt programmes starting February 4th at Atlantic Inertial Systems Ltd, Plymouth and another in Tiverton at Hepcomotion on 25th February, run over the course of 13 days.

Phil Halse of MAS South West, said: “With the Government’s aim of Britain becoming a globally competitive manufacturing force and the downturn posing significant challenges in terms of market share, costs and cash stability, we must provide those in our sector with the ammunition and skills to face these obstacles head on.

“People think of Six Sigma as being complicated and too difficult for them to adopt.  However, this practical based programme focuses on removing process variation and producing a great Return on Investment (ROI).  Having now run seven Six Sigma programmes in Devon and Cornwall, with over 100 people gaining ‘Greenbelt’ accreditation, the programme delivers real bottom line results with our most recent programme achieving 50:1 ROI.”

Combining small group training sessions with experiential learning exercises to maximise understanding, each candidate will work on an actual business issues and apply the skills taught in the classroom through a real-life improvement project.

The added Networking and Project Reviews included in the programme mean that ideas and solutions are shared by all to provide a wider understanding of the whole subject.  Even though certain aspects of Six Sigma may not be being used in a particular project, people gain a better understanding by seeing it applied within someone else’s project and company

Halse continued: “The course is focused on building competent practitioners who have the skills to execute complex projects and lead organisational change.  The combination of waste-reducing lean tools with sound Six Sigma techniques gives candidates the ability to drive change effectively and ensure both quick wins and long-term, high-yield success.”