The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), one of the Government’s most successful business support initiatives, is celebrating its sixth anniversary having provided advice to more than 2,000 companies and saved more than £60 million across 415 businesses in the region.
One of ten regional centres across the UK, MAS South West is a leading light in its development of innovative and responsive services focused on improving competitiveness and productivity of manufacturing businesses across the region. Its creation of a range of strategic and operational leadership programmes, for example, which have been taken up by hundreds of manufacturers, has focused on the need to develop the skills of managers, executives and decision-makers working in the highly competitive, modern manufacturing environment.
Arthur Richardson, chief executive of South West MAS said: “Our impact figures over the past six years are impressive and we are very proud of what we have achieved in the South West.
“With the current shifts in the UK economy, growing overseas competition and increasing costs, the manufacturing industry is constantly evolving and we strive to deliver flexible support which is relevant, adds value and enhances productivity and competitiveness. The essence of the MAS is in its innovation and ability to translate theory to best practice which in turn delivers real bottom line business benefits.”
Working alongside a network of world-class associates throughout the region and beyond and through its strong relationship with Business Links, the service delivers a mix of skills and practical knowledge to tackle even the most complex of manufacturing issues.
Richardson adds: “Manufacturing remains one of the South West’s key industries – worth over £11billion and employing nearly 300,000 people. One of the most important aspects of the industry’s success in the region to date has been its ability to be lean and innovate in its production processes. We intend to build on this success and make the region, which is renowned for its engineering prowess, innovation and enterprise, a leading light in UK manufacturing.”
The MAS will continue for at least another three years until March 2011 and plans are underway to extend the service to cover areas such as supplier sourcing, new product development and a new micro-manufacturing business support programme being launched and delivered in partnership with the South West Business Links. This ground-breaking service will focus on the specific needs of businesses employing fewer than 10 people. These new services will complement existing support in operational efficiency, people and skills development and business growth and innovation aimed at SMEs.
For more information on the MAS visit www.swmas.co.uk or call 0845 608 3838