Precision manufacturer joins competitiveness programme

Kenard Engineering Group, a precision subcontract manufacturing specialist, has been selected for Sharing in Growth (SiG), the government-backed supply chain competitiveness programme to help take advantage of aerospace growth opportunities.

The Kenard Group, a privately-held business, manufactures complex, critical components at its facilities in Dartford and Tewkesbury. The company has successfully developed over the past 50 years through continuous investment in skills, advanced technologies and improvement processes.

“We see this as a fantastic opportunity to invest in our ability to deliver globally cost competitive performance, with thought leadership on the latest best practice and applications in manufacturing at its core,”said Keith Ellis, Kenard Group Managing Director.

“The SiG programme will build on the high levels of professionalism and capability within our team and help unlock the full potential of our business, to the benefit of all our stakeholders and industry.”

Kenard has a long history of supplying aerospace, both civil and military applications, with a proven track record of supporting customers through the development and prototype stages, into full production. The SiG programme was a natural next step for Kenard, which is primed to move to the next level.

Engaging with SiG through an intense diagnostic phase helped the management team to develop a vision and strategy for the future. As a result Kenard has set itself ambitious growth targets, as well as cultural, process and digital transformation goals, that will benefit from the specialist coaching and training that SiG will provide across all areas of the business. The initial focus of the four year programme will be to drive operational excellence, business development, people development and management control and reporting.

Established in 2013, the SiG programme is endorsed by Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Thales. To date suppliers on the SiG programme have secured around £2bn in contracts and around 3,000 jobs.

The four-year SiG training and development programme is focused on leadership, culture and operational excellence delivered by SiG’s own 120 strong team of lean coaches as well as a bank of experts including the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory. This fully integrated change programme makes normally unaffordable blue chip expertise accessible to smaller but ambitious suppliers because the Regional Growth Fund pays for the training and development.

Companies interested in joining the SiG programme can complete an expression of interest form which is available at www.sig-uk.org/apply or, if they qualify, attend SiG’s annual best practice sharing event on 23 May in Nottingham – bit.ly/SiGevent.

“Kenard Group has demonstrated that it can win export orders and together we will work to continue to improve their capacity and capability so they are agile enough to compete globally, particularly in the face of aggressive bidding from low cost countries,” said Andy Page, CEO of Sharing in Growth.

SiG is currently recruiting companies with similar growth ambitions to Kenard to fill the remaining funded places.

“We are already working with 55 companies, so they can fulfil their world-class manufacturing and business ambitions. With our support, the first 43 companies on the programme have secured around £2bn in contracts to date – almost 20% of which is for direct export. Consequently, we are well on target to hit our ultimate objective of safeguarding 10,000 UK jobs by 2022,” page continued.