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    NAA Business Excellence Programme Update: Opportunities for Additional Business Excellence Members

    I’m delighted to welcome seven new members to the Business Excellence Programme, all of these companies have joined since June.

    Last month I reported that we had been successful in securing a £1.1 million extension to the Business Excellence Programme to June 2015 from the European Regional Development Fund.

    Prior to the extension we had 70 members and had to close the doors to new members. The following seven companies have now joined BEP since June:

    • Reva Engineering
    • Brainboxes
    • Aleo Plating
    • Assembly Solutions
    • ADM Precision Tools
    • Hill Top Products
    • Alliance Moulding Services

    This is fantastic for the programme, as all of these companies will actively participate in networking opportunities and are keen to develop their businesses. Over the next two years I would like to help a minimum of an additional 56 companies, whilst continuing to support existing members.

    Members request: If you know of any companies in the North West region who you believe would benefit from BEP, then I would appreciate it if you would provide me with their contact details to follow up or pass on mine.

    For those who didn’t get the opportunity to read about the changes in the services, then I have reiterated them below.

    In summary, the changes are minimal and the services are available to both existing and new members. 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

    The Business Excellence Networking meeting held on 10th July 2013, hosted by Auto Marine Cables, Worsley was a great success. I would like to thank Peter Hammond (MD) for hosting the site tour and informing us about how he is making his business lean, the processes of which were clearly highly transferable to all business types. What was particularly striking was how Peter empowered and motivated his team, which is resulting in significant improvements driven not only from the top-down, but from the bottom-up.

    After the site tour the meeting continued at the Novotel, Worsley where a networking lunch was held, followed by a series of presentations, which included a focus on the value of marketing strategies, with a Performance Springs case study. The vital topic was ‘patents, trademarks and copyrights’. I would like to thank Paul Clarke, MD of Automotive Comms, and Pauline Cowie of Millbank Edge LLP, for providing the presentations. The final presentations were delivered by Carol and myself, which included an update on our Business Excellence Programme extension and up and coming events.

    The next meeting will held in October and once finalised will be promoted through the website, newsletters and html emails. As always, this event is free to BEP members.

    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