The migrant magic

With 12,000 employees operating production lines on a total outsource basis and working in his recruitment business, Andy Hogarth discusses the positives and negatives of employing migrant workers, and offers some timely advice

Part of the furniture

Office furniture maker, Herman Miller, explains how the company has introduced lean manufacturing across the business to shorten lead times, increase efficiency and reduce costs, and how it uses IT to support the lean movement

Driving production

Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) is powering ahead in the new product introduction stakes, securing the tenders for production of the Qashqai and, most recently, the Micra replacement. Anthony Timmiss discusses the driving force behind this success

Liquidity management

Most businesses are aware that monitoring energy consumption can save money. But are the potentially big bottom line benefits from practising water efficiency being overlooked? Becky Done reports on an important environmental issue that, correctly tackled, could benefit companies in numerous ways

Let the engineers engineer!

With today’s ever-tightening budgets, companies can no longer afford the luxury of a large maintenance workforce, with the result that existing maintenance engineers are experiencing greater demands on their time. Outsourcing the operation of the company’s MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) and stores and maintenance spare parts procurement is often the solution, says Paul Jenno of ERIKS Integrated Solutions, a division of ERIKS UK

Arrested development?

Mark Young explores recent developments in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Train to Gain and Apprenticeships – three of the most prominent schemes when it comes to industrial training – and attempts to unravel the spaghetti junction of skills agencies that provide the courses they offer

Chalking up the success

British Gypsum’s business has gone through a complete transformation in the last seven years. From tightening production schedules, reducing waste and energy costs to setting industry safety records and establishing plasterboard recycling plants, as well as bringing on board two new capital investments – worth £130m – early, under budget and with vertical start-up, it is justifiable to describe the company as an exponent of World Class Manufacturing, says Will Stirling

Virtually reality

Behind engineers’ computer screens and CAD tooling menus, a fierce battle is raging. Multinational companies are investing millions of dollars into 3D computer aided design, or CAD, software, digital prototyping, freeform modelling and digital product life cycle management. Mid-range solutions are reaching up and the high-end players are reaching down to the SME market and everyone wants the same thing: your engineers. Will Stirling reports

Buying power

Implementing effective purchasing strategies should be a fundamental best-practice exercise in all economic conditions. In a recession, applying the most effective purchasing strategies becomes imperative. Mark Young explores both new tactics and tried and tested tools used by three manufacturers – BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, Willerby Holiday Homes and Brompton Bicycle – for the building of a smooth procurement plan