Sweet music for £6m hi-fi business as MAS helps find its rhythm

Posted on 10 Jan 2013 by Tim Brown

The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has helped Southend-based Rega Research to meet the demand for its Hi-Fi products by providing assistance to install a new MRP system.

Founded in 1973, Rega Research is a world leader in the design and manufacture of value-for-money, high quality turntables and a range of other products including speakers, CD players and amplifiers.

The award-winning company employs 74 people and has a turnover of over £6 million. Rega’s philosophy is to make high quality products at sensible prices, as a means of reproducing music as faithfully as possible.

“Demand for our Hi-Fi equipment has partly been fuelled by people, including the younger ‘iPod’ generation, who have discovered that listening to music on our equipment sounds better than anything they have ever experienced before,” explained Rega Research accountant John Tozer.

With turnover growing by 50% in recent years, the company recognised the need to implement a MRP (material resource planning) system and turned to MAS for support.

MAS, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), works for manufacturers and through experienced advisors can help shape strategy, create new products, reduce waste and review supply chains.

Companies can take advantage of a free review that identifies key priority areas and funding is available for improvement projects focused on increasing efficiency, developing new products, strengthening supply chains and boosting sales.

Prior to the MRP implementation, Rega had relied on spreadsheets for stock control but needed to introduce a more sophisticated system to deal more efficiently with the increase in orders.

“The MRP is still a work in progress but we are already reaping the benefits, including being able to ensure we hold correct stock levels of crucial parts and also safeguard against tying up money by overstocking,” explained Mr Tozer.

“MRP is also playing a vital role in the capacity planning of production, which allows us to provide better feedback and information on delivery dates to our customers,” he added.

Mr Tozer worked closely with MAS Advisor Barrie Hughes, who became a regular visitor to Rega whilst the system was being installed.

“Barrie was very encouraging and helpful from the first day he walked into the factory.  The combination of his in-depth experience and insightful approach put everyone at ease straight away. He also ensured that all members of staff were fully trained and ready for the changes ahead.

“When the current recession began to bite, many of our competitors battened down the hatches, but we took a conscious and deliberate decision to do exactly the opposite. We hired new sales staff and brought out a range of innovative new products that paid dividends.

“Continued innovation and providing quality, cost effective products allows us to keep one step ahead of our competitors and has always been at the heart of our ethos. Bringing MAS in when we did was certainly the right decision. Barrie showed a genuine interest in our products and manufacturing techniques and we would certainly turn to the organisation again for advice and expertise in the future.”

For further details on MAS visit www.mymas.org or follow @mas_works on twitter.