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

    As reported last month, a decision was finally taken on 26 March to support our project in principle up to June 2015. I am very pleased to say that the final documentation has been submitted and was approved internally by the European Regional Development Fund team at the Department for Communities and Local Government on 16 May.

    The final stage is for the project to obtain final approval from Sir Howard Bernstein, Chair of the Project Management Sub Committee (PMSC). The extension will commence 1 July, subject to final approval. The process has taken a considerable amount of administrative time over the past 15 months, but it will be worth this investment to be able to continue to grow and support companies through the Business Excellence programme.

    I am now inviting additional companies to join our Business Excellence Programme, a network which includes vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers and a multitude of SMEs. There will also be additional funding for external consultancy, to support company growth, together with networking, introductions, sharing of best practice, promotion, etc. I hope to release more comprehensive details next month, but if you are interested in joining BEP and/or subsidised support then please contact me at the earliest opportunity.

    Project Performance Indicators
    Key to the programme’s success is performance. It is essential that we deliver value for both the sector and our funders (European Regional Development Fund), which is essentially one and the same – maximising economic benefit. Carol and I will be visiting a number of existing members to collect KPIs, which focus on jobs created and safeguarded, improvements in business performance and individuals who have benefitted from training, events and mentoring. We would appreciate your support with the collection of these KPIs, as it is important that we continue to promote the automotive sector to our funders and the wider public sector, whilst meeting our contractual requirements. This will give further confidence to our funders and help to secure the project extension.

    Business Excellence Networking Meeting
    You are all invited to the next Business Excellence Networking meeting, which will be held at 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
    Northwest Automotive Alliance

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