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    NAA Update: NAA survey – initial headline findings, and upcoming events

    The initial findings from the recent NAA survey show that you would like us to do more of what we’re doing, plus a lot more

    I am writing this just after the launch of The Proving Factory. Richard Bruges was one of the first people I met outside of the NW when I joined the NAA nearly five years ago and he explained to me his vision of helping innovative ideas and companies cross the valley of death into mainstream production; today, that become a reality, with the Right Honourable Dr Vince Cable MP performing the opening ceremony – well done Richard! Read more about opening of The Proving Factory in our news story below.

    I would like to thank all 40 of you who participated in our survey which we undertook during January as part of our NAA Strategic Review for 2015.  While I am still awaiting the final report to be able to share it with everyone, I thought it would be good to give you a flavour of the content.

    • We were really pleased with the fact that on the whole the perception of what we do matched what we think we do!
    • What you would like us to do is what we are doing plus lots more. Although as all of you know, a business has to live within its means or it isn’t sustainable, hence the need for you all to become paid members of NAA
    • The descriptions for the analogies were the key response, and again reflected well the image that we try to create and maintain
    • The membership came out clearly saying that they obtain value for money; our comment as always is that joining is only the starting point, you have to participate as well and then you will get value for money.
    • Moving forwards we obtained a clear message that there are three areas on which we need to focus: Networking, Funding and Representation.

    Linked into the Strategic Review we are modifying the content of the newsletter to include articles from members on the impact the NAA has had for them, linked into our member benefits. This month is the first one showcasing Oaktec, many of you know Paul Andrews, but I would encourage you to read the article as it shows how the NAA has been able to assist Paul in his journey.

    Now, some dates and events for your diary:

    • 13 March: This is the date that you need to register an interest in this year’s SMMT Meet the Buyer event which will be held in London on 12 May. The event is by invite only, so if you don’t submit an expression of interest form by this date, then your information won’t be shared with the buying organisations and you won’t get an invite, so do it now – follow this link:

    • 18 March: This is the first of the 2015 SMMT Open Forums, for members it is free to attend and is an ideal opportunity to be updated on the latest happenings within the industry, mix with attendees from all companies within the industry, and to see the exhibition that accompanies the event. The NAA will have a stand in the exhibition, so if you decide to attend, please come and see us and bring us up to date on all your news.
    • 25 March: This is your chance to visit the BAC Mono factory in Speke and see these fantastic cars being manufactured; in addition you will also get the opportunity to hear the inspirational speaker Hugh Dickerson from Google. Even if you heard Hugh at the SMMT Open Forum event in November, this presentation will be different and you will leave just as inspired! Numbers are restricted because of the size of the factory, so don’t wait, contact Zoe to reserve your place now.

    Now for three admin items; firstly, many of you have been challenged in the accessing of the download of our membership form. Our aim is to make it easy to join, so we have introduced a new online form. If you are not a member and our IT system has prevented you becoming one, then please go to the form and join us today:

    Secondly, I will be having an operation mid-February which means that I will be off work for between 6-8 weeks, but I’m certain that everything will continue as normal with Martina, Amanda, Zoe and Martyn fully capable of running the business without me around for that time. However, if you do need to speak to me, please contact Martyn, who will either provide direct support for you, or will be in contact with me when I have recuperated sufficiently to have visitors.

    The third item is a late addition to the newsletter and that it is with regret that I am advising you that Amanda will be leaving us in March; I’m sure that we will all miss her enthusiasm for the NAA and we wish her all the best in her future role, she will still be working in the NW so it is likely that you will see her at some of our future events.

    And finally, you will be having a guest writer for this newsletter introduction for March and potentially April: one of my fellow NAA directors Steve Williams of Performance Springs has ‘volunteered’, so please read his article the same as you do mine!


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