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    NAA Business Excellence Programme Update: Business Excellence Extension – July 2013 to June 2015

    I am extremely pleased to inform you that after 15 months of hard work we have secured a £1.1 million extension to our Business Excellence Programme from the European Regional Development Fund. This extension will ensure that we can support automotive and related manufacturers to June 2015.

    I can’t thank you enough for all your letters of support, which certainly demonstrated that the automotive sector values this project.

    Current membership stands at 67 companies and over the next 12 months I aim to recruit a further 66 companies. If you know of any companies who may benefit from joining Business Excellence, then I would appreciate it if you would pass on my contact details or send me theirs to follow up.

    The services delivered through the extension are similar to those that you all know and are available to both existing and new members. The changes are that benchmarking is no longer free, but can be obtained through mentoring and technical support service; the free Business Excellence SMMT membership is no longer available; large companies receive a reduced contribution to mentoring and technical support and we are looking at ways to provide a 25% subsidy to exhibitors costs.

    For completeness, the services are free or are heavily subsidised and include:

    • Subsidised mentoring and technical support – this is delivered through a panel of approved consultants. Once a company has identified where improvements can be made, then the client submits a funding request to BEP and is assisted with procuring service providers. A diverse range of initiatives can be supported including system development, marketing, finance, sales, procurement, culture, HR, quality standards, communication, lean manufacture, etc. SMEs can obtain up to 35% contribution to consultancy costs and large companies a 20% contribution. For example, upon approval an SME with a £20,000 project would receive a contribution of £7,000.
    • Subsidised training from NAA delivered courses.
    • Business Excellence networking – these are quarterly and include a site tour, case study and a vital topic chosen by BEP members. Other events are regularly held, dependent upon demand.
    • Promotion of companies’ products, services and successes regionally, nationally and internationally. This may include speaker slots at events, meet-the-buyer activity, subsidised and supported trade shows (25% contribution), inclusion in the automotive sector supply chain directory, production and promotion of successes achieved with support of the programme.
    • Referrals to other relevant national, regional and locally delivered programmes.

    As previously, the success of the programme is measured by the economic benefit that businesses achieve, for example, a record of individuals trained, jobs created and safeguarded and financial improvements in the business would need to be reported.

    Business Excellence Networking Meeting
    You are all invited to the next Business Excellence Networking meeting, which will be held at 12 midday, 10 July 2013. This will include a site visit to Auto Marine Cables, Worsley, hosted by Peter Hammond (MD). The visit will include an introduction to the company, its products and processes, with a focus on lean manufacturing and efficiency improvements.

    At 1.30pm we will meet at the Novotel, Worsley for a networking buffet-style lunch, followed by a series of presentations, which will include a focus on the value of marketing strategies, with a Performance Springs case study. The vital topic will be ‘patents, trademarks and copyrights’. I will also provide an update on our Business Excellence Programme extension, which will be live from 1 July. If you would like to attend this free event, please register with Zoe Desoer,

    Contact Me
    If you are interested in finding out more about the Business Excellence Programme and any of the above, then please contact me. My email and telephone numbers are as follows:, telephone 07870 812214 (direct mobile).

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Dr Martin Andrews

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham