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LEAN Funding extended to support SMEs

Gosport-based Lean business specialists Fedden USP, working in partnership with MIT Skills, has recently been awarded an extension to the European Social Funding they receive to deliver LEAN business training to companies up to the end of August 2016.

On successful completion of the training, candidates receive a nationally recognised Certificate in Business Improvement Techniques (LEAN) NVRQ Level 2 qualification.

As Neil Fedden, MD and Principal Consultant of Fedden USP, said: “Being awarded this funding is really good news and we have enough to deliver training to 20 companies or 200 people. It means that we can continue to deliver real and sustainable business benefits to companies in terms of improved process efficiencies, reduced lead times and improved problem solving capabilities. It’s not unusual for a business to see potential savings of £50,000 from the LEAN training we deliver.”

The LEAN Operations – Business Improvement Techniques (BITS) NVRQ Level 2 training course consists of a 5-day Lean Workshop (normally 1 day per month) supported by 10 visits of individual mentoring over a 12 month period. In parallel with this, delegates run an improvement project within their own business and are awarded the NVRQ qualification based on their ability to deliver a tangible improvement to operational performance e.g. improvements in productivity.

In terms of costs, the training can be provided heavily subsidised to the employer providing they have at least 10 participants, subject to funding qualification.

The training certainly pays dividends for the companies who call on the services of Fedden USP, as Oxfordshire-based Siemens Magnet Technology found out. This company has been working with Fedden USP over the last four years and in September 2015 won the overall Factory of the Year 2015 prize at the Best Factory Awards in London. It also scooped the People & Skills Development Award as well as Best Engineering Plant Award and the company firmly believes that LEAN working gave it the edge over its competitors on the night!

Head of Manufacturing, John Laister commented: “For many years we have been living the LEAN philosophy within manufacturing and have benefitted significantly from both a financial and cultural perspective. It is now time to unleash the power of LEAN and continuous improvement techniques in the office environments and, to achieve this goal, we engaged with Fedden to train and develop our ‘Emerging Talent’ group. Once trained these key individuals, with further support from Fedden, will act as change agents to deploy and embed Lean techniques throughout the office environments across the business. This will ultimately create a consistent Lean culture across all functions at Siemens Magnet Technology and hopefully become ‘business as usual’ for everyone”.

‘Operations Manager, Frazer Mackay, added: “Winning the awards is a fantastic achievement for Siemens Magnet Technology and earlier in the year, we also achieved ‘World Class’ status from a Global Lean assessment, so as you can imagine, we are thrilled with all these accolades. Embedding and thinking lean in our daily working lives required a cultural shift and throughout our journey we have been fortunate to work in partnership with Neil Fedden and the team at Fedden USP and MIT Skills, who have been instrumental in our success at the Best Factory Awards. They understand our specific demands and have tailored the training accordingly. We already have a cohort of trainees lined up for the next NVQ2 and NVQ3 courses”.’