£300,000 new initiative for Humber manufacturers

Small to medium sized manufacturers in Humberside can now access specialist support to help them enter larger company supply chains.

Pera Consulting has agreed a £300,000 deal with the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership to offer a collaborative approach to opening up new opportunities across all sectors with a primary focus on engineering, food and drink, medical and chemical.

Funded by the Regional Growth Fund, Wave 2 Growth Hubs Programme, the Humber Supply Chain will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and will look to create 60 jobs and safeguard a further 100 between now and March 31 2015.

The aim is for MAS specialists to work with larger manufacturers to perform an opportunity analysis of their supply chains, identifying current requirements, mapping those opportunities and communicating them to local suppliers.

Alongside this activity, advisors will also be working with companies on creating long-term strategies and improving processes so they are able to meet standards expected by larger tier ones and OEMs.

The final strand of support will be a coordinated promotional push with local business support agencies across marketing material, online campaigns and a series of dedicated supply chain-ready workshops.

Ian Palmer, who leads the Humber Supply Chain Programme with Mark Oldridge, explained: “The Humber is proving a great place to manufacture at the moment, with the recent Siemens announcement highlighting the popularity of the area and creating a whole host of new opportunities.

“What we are keen to do is ensure that these are filtered down into the supply chain so that our small to medium sized manufacturers can use their expertise and experience to win work and create jobs locally.

“Our Advisors are already working on the ground with manufacturers and, through our successful Manufacturing Forum, we have direct access to the larger organisations.

“The Humber Supply Chain Programme is all about forging stronger links, recognising the benefits of local supply and then ensuring our firms are in a position to meet quality and volume demands.”

Eltherington Group, a supplier of architectural aluminium and bespoke manufacturing services, is one of the local companies that could benefit.

It employs 160 people and supplies the leisure market with portable building industry and specialist fabrications for customers involved in construction.

“There are a lot of exciting opportunities coming up for East Yorkshire, but we need to ensure our supply chain is in a position to take advantage of them,” explained Guy Stubbs, Group Operations Director.

“We have to be able to rely on companies that invest in the right machinery, the best people and are committed to world class quality…the Supply Chain Programme will help more firms work towards these standards.”

He continued: “Offshore wind is an area we are keen to get involved in and we are confident that by next January we will have secured ISO: 9001, 14:001 and 18:001 accreditations to support this vision.

“We are also in the process of recruiting and need to find skilled people in production, shopfloor scheduling and CAD designers who are used to working with sheet metal.”

Additional services

MAS, which is managed in Yorkshire & Humber by Pera Consulting (UK) Ltd, has recently launched two other new services aimed at delivering critical support for local manufacturers.

The first, ReshoreUK, is focused on attracting production work back into England and making the supply chain fit for purpose.

GROW:OffshoreWind aims to help companies stake claim to a significant share of new supply chains and offers technical expertise, market intelligence, supplier matching and access to technology centres.

Matched grant funding of up to £10,000 is available for a wide variety of business improvement activity projects, and up to £500,000 is available for eligible capital and innovation projects.

This can support investment in land, buildings, plant, machinery, equipment and various intangible assets and also meet up to 50% of relevant costs for advancing R&D projects with technology partners.