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    NAA Business Excellence Programme Update: Business Excellence Website Launch, Case Studies, Forthcoming Events and Exhibitions, and more

    This month Martin’s update covers the Business Excellence Website Launch, Business Excellence Competition, Case Studies, Membership, Forthcoming Events and Exhibitions, Business Excellence/Industry Awards, and Future Programme – Post December 2012… 

    Business Excellence Website Launch

     I am pleased to announce that the Business Excellence Programme’s website is now live. The aim of the website is to raise the profile of our region’s automotive sector, individual companies and the programme and to share best practice, contacts and encourage networking and collaborations. The website address is We are grateful to Future for their support in developing the website. If you are currently not a member of Business Excellence, but would like to be, please contact me. The project is free to join, as subsidised by the European Regional Development Fund.

    Business Excellence Competition

    As the 2012 competition draws to a close, I am pleased to say that the majority of funds have been allocated. We have approved 43 projects to date, with a total value of over £600k. If you are seeking financial support for technical consultancy and mentoring, then I can currently still support you with 35% of costs, up to the programme’s contribution of £10,000, albeit that projects will need to be able to be completed by mid-October 2012. The aim of the fund is help automotive companies to make business improvements, which will help them to remain competitive and to grow. Projects supported have been diverse, from lean manufacture, to quality systems, to change management, to the development and implementation of marketing strategies.

    If you are interested in obtaining funding to help you to carry out improvement projects, then please contact me to arrange a visit. I will take you through the application process, help to produce a tender specification, identify providers and assess the tenders with you. This whole process typically takes 2 weeks to complete, a limited amount of your time, and I can work to your timescale.

    Case Studies Commissioned

    Last month I announced that Promote had been commissioned to produce up to 30 case studies. In a short timescale, Promote has produced ten case studies, which include:

    1. Overseas Market Introduction Service assists Autokontrol to open up new opportunities in South America, possibly worth several million pounds.
    2. Funding allows Camcoat to set up the first DiamonDyze hard anodising production line outside North America.
    3. Attendance at Low Carbon Vehicle event leads to £150,000 Technology Strategy Board project.
    4. North West companies attend SMMT Meet the Buyer event and gain introductions to key automotive purchasers.
    5. Tender support helps MWS to win contract with ATS Euromaster worth up to £1 million.
    6. Europe’s largest commercial vehicle wheel distributor expands as marketing strategy is implemented.
    7. Implementation of environmental management system helps Performance Springs on its journey to become a world-class manufacturer.
    8. ENER-G improves business processes to result in 60% improvement in lead times.
    9. Implementation of lean manufacturing allows Electron to increase capacity to deliver new projects, including components for the new Range Rover.
    10. North West companies attend AutoExpo India 2012 and develop important contacts in a rapidly growing market

    Within the next couple of weeks, these case studies will be available on the NAA’s Business Excellence website. If you would like to know more about these case studies, please feel free to contact me.

    Membership Continues to Grow

    My original aim was to have 55 members signed up and I am pleased that membership currently stands at 67. If you are not already a member, I would be more than happy to explain how the BE programme can support you. It is free to all companies in the North West region’s automotive sector (and those looking to supply into it), and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. Please contact me if you would like further details.

     New members this month include:

    • RHKI
    • Ames Goldsmith
    • Product Release
    • Heptron Turbines Ltd
    • Juno Racing

    Forthcoming Events and Exhibitions

     Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show on 5 and 6 September 2012, at Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedford. Once again we will be paying for the vast majority of stand costs. I would love to hear from companies interested in joining our delegation and exhibiting. Opportunities are available for both the private sector and academic institutions, so if you are interested please contact me at the earliest opportunity.

    * Read the case study about LCV2011, and the excellent outcomes for Oaktec, in the separate article in this newsletter *

    Automechanika, Frankfurt, Germany – 11 to 16 September 2012. I am very pleased to say that we have already filled our stand at Automechanika, Frankfurt this September, with four companies from our region (Mini Gears, Scorpion Automotive, Business Lines and MWS). Upon completion of the show, I will report back through the newsletter.

     Business Excellence/Industry Awards

    On 18 October, the NAA will be holding an annual dinner, which will include the regional Business Excellence/Industry Awards. The main sponsor is Bentley and it will be held at Carden Park, near Chester. The Business Awards will provide an opportunity for companies to celebrate their successes and obtain recognition from the sector. An invitation to apply for an award will be sent out later this month.

     Future Programme – Post December 2012

    I am pleased to say that the submission to the European Regional Development Fund was made at the beginning of July, requesting an extension to our Business Excellence Programme. The current programme runs until December 2012. The submission aims to demonstrate to our funders that it is important to continue to support the automotive sector, for which I am looking for a project extension to mid-2015. I hope that you will continue to support me in this endeavour. I will keep you informed of progress.

    Contact Me

     If you are interested in finding out more about joining the Business Excellence Programme and any of the above, then please contact me. My email and telephone numbers are as follows:, telephone 0151 486 4986 (general) or 07870 812214 (direct mobile).


     Dr Martin Andrews
    Northwest Automotive Alliance

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