Drivers benefit from MAS help

Posted on 2 Oct 2012

Two printed circuit board manufacturing companies run by a father and daughter have benefited from business support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Mark Knowlton (left) and manufacturers Stacey and Steve Driver. The family's two PCB companies have benefited from MAS's business improvement techniques

Sales at Waterlooville-based PCB manufacturer Spirit Circuits, led by managing director Steve Driver, have grown month-on-month in 2012 and some of its success is thanks to the help of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) with a range of continuous improvement projects.

Mr Driver said: “Our… growth, in this economic climate, has been a real challenge. We owe our business growth to strategic planning and always advocate a focused and targeted approach to business.”

Daughter Stacey Driver runs Stickleback Manufacturing, providing both PCBs and chemically etched signs for a range of industries including machine manufacturers, architects and the home market.

Moving to St Mary Hoo in Kent recently, Stickleback has grown substantially in UK and overseas markets.

MAS advisor Mark Knowlton is supporting both companies. “The initial business diagnostic carried out highlighted very different opportunities at each company. Funding and specialist support from MAS has enabled Spirit to make further improvements to their environmental and waste management systems in order to achieve ISO14001 compliance.”

MAS arranged specialist support from Parachem Consulting Chemist in Portsmouth to help Spirit Circuits implement an effective and compliant environmental management system.

Mr Knowlton worked with the Stickleback team over five-months carrying out a structured strategic review using interactive mapping techniques and established short, medium and long term objectives.

At Stickleback, on time in-full delivery improved from 65% to 97% and, the company says, gross value added increased by 113%.

Knowlton said: “A clear implementation plan with key performance indicators was developed to deliver their agreed strategic objectives.

“Coaching and leadership development skills were introduced to the management team in conjunction with the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques.”

 He added: “Steve is a fantastic ambassador for UK manufacturing and well known within the PCB industry. It’s great to see the next generation emerging with Stacey at the helm, driving the business forward.”

Steve Driver speaks at several MAS events and MAS participates annually in the Institute of Circuit Technology conference hosted by Spirit on Hayling Island. Stacey Driver appeared on a BBC News bulletin in September, talking about how her company is growing in spite of recessionary pressures.