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    NAA Business Excellence Programme Update – September/October 2012

    Through the Business Excellence programme in September we took North West delegations to the Cenex LCV event at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford, and to Automechanika in Frankfurt.

    Cenex LCV
    Companies attending included: mi-technology and Oaktec & GO-Tec. The event was back at Millbrook this year with the vehicle ride & drive opportunities sandwiched between the seminar halls and the exhibition space. We were blessed with sunny weather which complemented the layout. The three companies attending were part of a larger NW consortium that has been successful in obtaining money within the TSB IDP7 funding competition. Needless to say the stand was busy with discussions linked into the project as well as many others finding out about the NAA and the opportunities that we offer companies.

    Automechanika, Frankfurt
    Companies that attended were Mini Gears, Business Lines, Scorpion Automotive and MWS. Although the exhibition was quieter than in previous years, it was considered that the leads were more qualified and all companies obtained a substantial number of enquiries. This is incredibly positive and we hope that these enquiries will result in contracts in the not too distant future.

    Case Studies
    In August, I announced that a website had been created for the Business Excellence Programme, which aims to raise the profile of our region’s automotive sector, individual companies and the programme, as well as sharing best practice, contacts and encouraging networking and collaborations. The website address is

    I am now pleased to inform you that the first 11 case studies are available on the website and in November roughly a further 10 will follow. The case studies provide summaries of projects that member companies and the Business Excellence Programme have invested in, which aimed to improve their business performance.  The projects have been varied, from lean manufacture, to procurement support, to attendance at national and international exhibitions. If you would like to look at the case studies, please follow this link:

    Business Excellence/Industry Awards
    On 18 October, the NAA will be holding its annual dinner at Carden Park, Chester, which will include the regional Business Excellence/Industry Awards. The main sponsor is Bentley and other sponsors include Getrag Ford Transmissions, Morson and UKTI. We have received a number of excellent submissions which will be assessed by a panel of judges later this month. The dinner is proving extremely popular and I am sure that it will be enjoyed by all, plus provide an excellent networking opportunity, whilst celebrating a number of successes in the industry. If you are interested in attending, please contact Zoe Desoer (

    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 and has been reviewed and approved by the ERDF Projects Review Group. On the 6 November the proposal will be reviewed by PMSC (Performance Monitoring Sub-Committee), which is a regional group primarily made up of local strategic partners. Hopefully, this group will support the extension and approve the funding until June 2015.

    Once the extension is approved, then we will look to invite new members to join the Programme, and I would like to think that we will have over 100 members in total within a year. I will also encouraging companies to make business improvements, through the Business Excellence Competition, for which I intend to substantially increase the support beyond the current limit of £10k per project, whereby large companies will receive contribution of 25% and SMEs 35%. I will inform members of the details, once the extension has been contracted with ERDF.

    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 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