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Home is where the manufacturing heart is This growth is being fuelled, in part, by massive investment in automotive and offshore wind and a surge of high-profile infrastructure projects about to kick-off. High Speed 2 and the new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point immediately spring to mind. A stagnant Eurozone and global conflicts throwing up market uncertainly are making export more difficult and creating an inertia in trading that is leaning back towards the UK. Our latest Manufacturing Advisory Service Barometer offers the clearest evidence yet of how these trends are impacting on the thinking of SME manufacturers, now referred to as the driving force of our industrial base. Of the 900+ respondents, more than twothirds (67%) said they considered increasing domestic sales to be important to their long-term expansion plans, compared to just 36% who felt international expansion was an important main driver of future growth.


teven Barr, Head of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), reflects on why smaller manufacturers are looking closer to home Home definitely appears to be where the heart is for England’s army of smaller manufacturers.

Now this does not mean companies are choosing not to export; in fact, 20% more firms will be exporting in 2018 than are currently doing so today. We have numerous examples of SMEs increasing market share in the EU, the Far East and even international powerhouses like the United States.

What it does suggest is that our companies The domestic economy appears to have kicked back into believe there is more potential domestically life, with British GDP outperforming the entire group of G7 than overseas at present and for the nations for the second quarter of 2014. foreseeable future.

MANUFACTURING: Special Report The 67% statistic in itself is not surprising, as homegrown sales will naturally make up the majority of the turnover for most SME manufacturers. However, dig beneath the figures and the picture that emerges is that increasingly production is being reshored back into the UK and creating a lot more opportunities here. The biggest challenge facing our firms is making sure they are in a position to take advantage. This is where MAS comes in. Working with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), we are delivering ReshoreUK, a dedicated one stop shop to bring work home and build capacity in the supply chain. Our role falls firmly with the suppliers. We have dedicated Manufacturing Advisors working with firms from every sector imaginable on developing strategies that will allow them to bid and deliver the work.

market opportunity and what it will take to get there.

And this demand for new employees shows no sign of slowing down. A record 55% of Interestingly, the MAS Barometer companies are planning to hire in revealed that 61% of SMEs feel the next six months and, looking that strategy is a major strength, into the future, firms feel that with the quality of their leadership there will be a 32% collective rise teams being its biggest in the number of people advantage. employed in industry by 2018. This would not have been the case five years ago and shows the steps many manufacturers have taken to get away from daily firefighting to putting the platforms in place for sustained growth. However it’s not plain sailing and there are still plenty of challenges ahead of English manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, access to skills came out as the biggest threat to long-term growth, with 71% of companies reporting issues around being able to recruit the right people or losing valuable skills as older workers retire.

This has been building for more than two decades and a lot of the This is often simply a case of getting the management team to problems are coming home to take a step back from day-to-day roost now our businesses are activities and giving them time to looking to boost staff numbers to meet increases in customer look at their demand. strengths/weaknesses, the

This naturally is great news, but how we manage the issue with the opportunity will be crucial. There is no simple answer either. It requires MAS and other business support providers like GrowthAccelerator, SEMTA, the different industry skills agencies and education – at all levels – to work together to up-skill, develop more apprentices and inspire young children about a career in manufacturing. The MAS Barometer has been another shot in the arm for the smaller manufacturer and optimism, both in the short and long-term, appears to be the common theme. What it has told us is that whilst exports still offer potential, it is very much closer to home where they see real growth lying.

For further information see 0845 658 9600, Twitter: @mas_works

MANUFACTURING: Special Report Case Studies Here we take a look at two British manufacturers aiming for expansion in 2015

Muller signs up to MAN and signals sales aim Muller Holdings Ltd, one of the UK’s leading precision machinists, has recognised the power of collaboration by becoming the latest firm to join the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN).


manufacturing systems, not to mention splitting exhibition and The management team believes marketing costs. working in partnership with nine other like-minded manufacturers “It’s 21 years since we will give it the capability to quote performed the MBO and the right for larger, more complex time to look at moving the assemblies and increase its company forward again,” Muller, which provides CNC market share in new and existing explained Paul Bethell, Managing milling, turning, multi-spindle and markets. Director at Muller Holdings Ltd. conventional escomatic capacity, “We’ve been growing steadily is looking to tap into the group’s They are also expecting to secure other softer benefits by through a combination of global reputation and tendering sharing best practice on skills, investment in new machinery, power to smash the £15m sales business planning and getting the right people in place barrier for the first time in its

MANUFACTURING: Special Report Case Studies

and looking at new opportunities. For example, we are now producing products for the gas and medical sectors, making up nearly £2m of turnover in the last year alone.” He continued: “I’d seen what MAN has been achieving and wanted to be part of a collective that not only promotes the region’s manufacturing strengths, but actually works on safeguarding contracts and bringing new work back home.” Muller Holdings, which first moved to Shropshire in 1941 to avoid wartime bombing raids, currently employs 150 people and annual sales stand at £14m. It operates from four sites in Cleobury Mortimer, Wednesbury, Redditch and South Wales, whilst also running a successful joint venture with Preciturn in India for over a decade.

MANUFACTURING: Special Report Case Studies

Steel firm tackles growth plans after ÂŁ15m deal

An engineering company owned by a former England rugby player is projecting further growth after securing a game-changing contract with Network Rail. Loughborough-based Adey Steel is creating up to 20 jobs after securing a ÂŁ15 million deal to supply fabricated overhead line electrification structures for the Great Western Electrification programme (GWEp). The programme will see a 150-mile stretch of the track modernised to make trains quieter, more efficient and greener as they run between London and Cardiff.

The family business, which is led by former Leicester Tigers forward Garry Adey as its Executive Chairman, has ambitions for continued growth as a result of securing the deal and will continue to work closely with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to help deliver its longterm strategy. Robert Hall, HR, Safety and Quality Director at Adey Steel, said the opportunity to work with Network Rail on such large infrastructure projects as GWEp is hugely exciting to the business and provides the grounding for growth after a

MANUFACTURING: Special Report Case Studies

challenging five years within the construction industry. “We’ve managed to maintain a stable business in recent years, but our growth plans have been reviewed as a result of the Network Rail contract and controlled expansion is now very much on the agenda. “Being awarded the contract has allowed us to set longer term plans as it provides a baseline of work for the next four years and firmly establishes us in the rail sector, which is an area of the construction industry with promising levels of sustained investment.”

MANUFACTURING: Special Report Case Studies

Powervamp 'Big Win' With London City Airport

Powervamp, has supplied ten mobile electrical ground power (MEGP) units to London City Airport, as a replacement for their mobile diesel units used to power all aircraft – in what represents a UK manufacturing first. Powervamp Ltd, based in Luton and employing forty people, is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of specialised equipment for powering all types of aircraft and vehicles. London City Airport made the decision to switch to mobile electric power as part of its plan to reduce Co2 emissions. With aircraft parking and maneuvering space extremely tight the fixed installation of ground power units was not possible. The battery powered Powervamp GPU carts can be moved in to place quickly by one person as soon as the

aircraft has parked. It is estimated that Powervamp’s “green” electric GPUs will eliminate 2,000 tonnes of Co2 annually and produce fuel savings exceeding of £200,000 per annum. According to Director Ken Walker, the deal represents a major achievement for manufacturing in the UK. “We score over the major multinational companies that have tended to dominate the ground power industry because we can respond quickly to a customer’s unique requirements using our team of exceptionally talented graduate engineers. “It is our ability to make decisions quickly and work closely with the client, backed by our engineering and service support capacity, that gave the customer the confidence

in the Powervamp product and company.” Powervamp already supply its products to more than 60 countries and with new products being continuously developed and launched see a growing world market for its products and services. Co-director and company Founder Richard Roller said: “Airports and Airlines are under ever greater commercial and environmental pressures. Both are embracing electric power not diesel as the way forward. “Clean and green products are the future and Powervamp are recognised as the specialist in this field. Our products cut pollution but simultaneously cut operating costs too.”

The london business journal volume 2 issue 1 january 2015  

The London Business Journal Volume 2 Issue 1 January 2015

The london business journal volume 2 issue 1 january 2015  

The London Business Journal Volume 2 Issue 1 January 2015