Manufacturing Institute Managing Consultant and Six Sigma Lean Master Black Belt Chris Merriman, has extensive global expertise gained from over 25 years experience in multiple manufacturing, service and IT industries, most of which have been in senior leadership positions.

He was formerly Director of Quality and Client Experience of Global Enterprise Services at Unisys where he led a culture change programme based on the Shingo Model of Enterprise Excellence leading to new behaviours and results.

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Rebecca Sandham, Production Manager at Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd, water pump manufacturer is on a mission.

The 34 year-old who is currently studying on The Manufacturing Institute’s MSc in Manufacturing Leadership wants an opportunity to sit on the board at the internationally renowned company based in Kendal.

Her ambitions have been fuelled during the 3-year course which comes to a close in a few weeks when she hands in her dissertation.

Says Rebecca who has been Production Manager for 5 years: “I want an opportunity to be on the board of directors here. I’ve still got a lot to learn but the MSc will give me the tools and skills to get there. I manage 16 year old apprentices coming into the business and I want to give them opportunities and technical experiences. The MSc has helped me to manage difficult and challenging times in this aggressive industry. It has helped me get respect from my peers and from my team on the shop floor. It has given me the confidence to try new things to see if they work or don’t work. I’ve learned to be more of a mentor and to be patient.”

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Polystyrene and packaging manufacturers Linpac are enjoying increased productivity and reduced costs after working with The Manufacturing Institute on a comprehensive improvement programme.

Between 30 and 40 articulated lorries leave Linpac’s Featherstone site every day – around the clock – delivering rigid polystyrene trays to the meat packing industry, and some expanded polystyrene trays to the fast food industry.

Darren Viles - LinpacOverseeing it all is UK Logistics Manager Darren Viles who covers Linpac’s two sites at Featherstone near Pontefract and St Helens and has been with the company for 31 years.

When Darren was faced with a challenge to improve the productivity of his staff, and reorganise the shift patterns to align more with delivery schedules he called in The Manufacturing Institute to help out. Linpac have been associated to The Manufacturing Institute for a number of years, with education and training and, more recently, Shingo workshops.

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Steve Bamber felt the benefits of his Masters in Manufacturing Leadership even before he’d finished his studies, securing a promotion from Head of Manufacturing to Head of Operations (Astute) with a year of the course still to run.

Now responsible for over 600 men working on the £5 billion Astute submarine programme at BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness, Steve says the knowledge and insights he gained through the Masters made a significant contribution to his promotion.

“I’m convinced it had a big part to play. It definitely enhanced my understanding of leadership, and how to apply different leadership strategies in different contexts, whether it’s a small management team or the whole workforce,” says Steve.

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