News & Events

News & Events

2017 Lean Consortium Programme

The next Lean Consortium programme will be starting in Autumn 2017 – please contact us now if you’re interested in improving your business with this unique approach, combining consortium learning with tailored consultancy. This is our flagship Lean Programme, a unique and highly effective business improvement framework developed and refined over the last 15 years. "Probably the best Business Improvement Programme in the UK" - invest £20k to gain a minimum of £50k payback, and transform your operational effectiveness.

Politics and Populism; Lean and Empowerment

Have we reached peak democracy here in the UK? The referendum on Scottish Independence, the Brexit referendum, Mayoral elections, the General election, and further from home the US Presidential elections and now the French Presidential elections. And so it goes on.

Is Brenda from Bristol right in despairing "Not another one!", or do the results of the elections reflect a rise in populism and the despair of large sectors of the poulation who feel powerless in the face of globalisation, automation and austerity?

And what does this mean for Business Leaders? Do we simply bury our heads in day-to-day survival, stand frozen in the headlights and let uncertainty excuse us from action, innovation and progress?

"Solid and Stable Leadership" might be what's needed in the world of Politics right now but in my view Business Leaders need to provide much, much more than this. Now, more than ever, Business Leaders need to step up to the plate, embrace change and empower their people to make a difference:

  • Make crystal clear the "What and Why" of the Business. Get the Strategy right, deploy it and make it happen.
  • Recruit, retain, develop, motivate, recognise, reward and promote those who share the values, deliver real value and make it happen.
  • Train, coach and empower people to delight customers, drive out waste and continuously improve (in other words, "embrace Lean Thinking").
  • Invest and Innovate - in people, in products, in processes, in plant and equipment and in new technology.

Individually we can only do so much but if enough UK Business Leaders step up to the challenge then collectively we can create the high skills, high pay, high productivity economy that the UK once again needs to become.

Latest article by Andrew Nicholson - posted on LinkedIn

Best Practice Visits / Exchange Forum

We're introducing a number of ways in which our clients and associates can exchange Best Practice hints, tips and advice - including structured site vists. If you're interested in sharing Best Practice with your peers from other non-competing businesses please email us at or complete our contact form. This is a great way to expose staff to new ways of thinking, to accelerate your improvement journey and to learn from your peers in other industries and sectors.

Your 2017 Business Goals - Cus, Bus and Us

For some of our clients 2017 will be their best year ever. They're keeping it simple, focusing on the vital few, and improving something every day. Instead of a wish list of New Year Resolutions, they've set "SMART" objectives and they're using the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to keep on improving. They're focusing their efforts in three areas - Cus, Bus and Us (benefits for the CUStomer, for the BUSiness, and for US - the employees). Here's a quick guide - published on LinkedIn - to applying this thinking in your own business:


Manufex 2016 Workshop - Continuous Improvement? We did that years ago!

Our Managing Director Andrew Nicholson presented at the Manufex 2016 / North East Expo at Kingston Park Stadium, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Most organisations start improvement activities but many struggle to sustain them.

Manufacturing Consultant Andrew Nicholson has spent 20 years implementing change programmes and another 15 years helping other companies to improve, succeed and sustain.

In this short, sharp workshop session Andrew talked about the mistakes that we make, the barriers that get in the way and how to successfully navigate through the minefield.

Drawing on 35 years of successes and failures – and on thousands of hours of education, training, reading and learning – Andrew’s whistle-stop tour showed how to achieve and sustain real business improvement:

• Why are we here? (the three things that a successful business does)
• Why are customers so unreasonable? (they seem to want perfection these days!)
• Where do we start? (there are three choices and most people get it wrong!)
• What steps do we take? (roadmaps and the proven path)
• Employee Engagement – is it important? Can we do it?
• I’m a good leader – why don’t they like me?
• How to sustain Continuous Improvement – the wheel and the ratchet

If you'd like to receive a copy of the presentation or if you'd like to talk to us about how we can help you get Continuous Improvement right in your own business, please call us now on 01325 328855 or email

Brexit - the "Six R's" that UK Manufacturing Leaders need to action...

A short, sharp blog post highlighting the "Six R's"  - Reassurance, Resilience, Rates 1, Rates 2, Routine, Remember -