Scheme to solve UK’s productivity problem pays off for component manufacturer

 Read time: 5 mins      Added: Date: 27-03-2020

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An advanced manufacturing business has grown through acquisition and is seeking new opportunities thanks to an executive training programme supported by Lloyds Bank.

Geometric Manufacturing Ltd is a pioneer in Computer Aided Manufacturing, supplying bespoke components to blue chip customers in a wide range of sectors.

Managing director Paul Wenham has hailed the transformative impact of Be The Business (BtB), an initiative designed to help firms improve their productivity and become more competitive.

Funded and supported by the UK government alongside Lloyds Bank and a selection of Britain’s leading companies, BtB has established a range of collaborative networks, executive training and mentoring programmes to make leadership and management training more accessible.

Paul joined BtB’s Productivity Through People scheme (PtP), a year-long programme delivered by UK universities that shares the latest techniques, thinking and research to transform businesses potential.

Paul said: "There was a mix of masterclasses held at Bath University, led by some very knowledgeable and talented academics and business consultants.

"We also visited businesses which are demonstrating some best practice and improvement activities that they had implemented or were rolling out.

Learning from experience

"Another major part of the program was Action Learning; peer-to-peer structured discussions around a particular problem that we might be experiencing in our business.

"This is a surprisingly powerful way to reflect and take impartial input from people who might have experienced similar issues themselves."

Paul Wenham, Managing director, Geometric Manufacturing Ltd

And Paul found he was able to apply many of the learnings from the programme in his business.

He said: "PtP pairs you with a mentor and I was so impressed with mine that I persuaded him to join us in an advisory role.

"He attends our Senior Leadership Team meetings and is helping me shape our strategy and direction.

"Last year we acquired a rubber moulding business which has now been integrated into the business and has provided much needed space for us to expand our core operations.

"I’m not sure that without the experience of PtP and the exposure to other business leaders through BtB I would have had the confidence to take this step."

Tangible results

Since being advised by BtB, Geometric has also elected an Employee Forum to support better communication throughout the business and has broadened the experience in its leadership team by hiring a Director of Quality and HR Director.

Keith Softly, Managing Director, Asset Finance at Lloyds Bank, said: "This is a tangible example of how BtB can support companies as they move to improve their productivity, become more efficient and support the real economy.

"It is a programme that creates genuine benefit and I would encourage the industry to get behind BtB as much as possible."

Operating from two sites totalling 36,000 square feet at Junction 9 of the M5 in Tewksbury, Geometric Manufacturing has around 45 staff with revenues approaching £5 million.

It is now exploring ways to access new overseas markets and is targeting 30% growth in 2020.

Paul said: "Exposing yourself and your mind to new thinking or different views can make you a better business leader and give your business a much better chance to grow and be more productive."

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