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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One of the key questions in any change programme is ‘Why?”

Manufacturing Institute Principal Practitioner Consultant Carl Tomlinson takes a look at how starting with ‘Why?’ means that leadership teams first look at themselves to really understand why change is needed.

I recently started a large change programme with a workplace organisation intervention in the management team office. This was a surprise to the participants but starting with the management team was done deliberately.

The management team thought this was all about getting rid of the, admittedly, vast amounts of clutter. But as we got into the programme they realised at the end of the first day that success of the programme was dependent on their behaviours as a leadership team. By creating a management office they could be proud of it set the tone for creating a shop floor environment the whole workplace can be proud of.

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As the election draws near, it is worth asking what the mind boggling array of possible outcomes will bring for manufacturing? 

Cast your mind back to 2010 and you may recall a repeated emphasis on the desperate need to rebalance our economy away from its ill fated reliance on the financial services sector.

The sudden realisation that exporting more tangible goods, making more of our own manufactured goods and thus importing less would have a significant impact on the current account dawned.

Indeed, key economic commentators at the time stated that a 10% increase in exporting and a 10% decrease in importing would wipe out the current account deficit.

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Find out how Lean Principles can be applied simply and Improve Your Organisation

PROUD WINNERS OF THE 2014 Newsprinters are the manufacturing division of News UK and operate from three purpose-built plants that stretch the length of the UK.

Recently the Newsprinters Eurocentral site has been awarded the prestigious ‘Shingo Prize’ for Operational Excellence building on previous awards such as – Winners of the 2011 British Excellence Award for Lean Manufacturing, Newspaper Manufacturer of the Year Award 2011, Environmental Company of the Year 2011, and Newspaper Printer of the Year 2013.

In addition Newsprinters Eurocentral is the home of the World’s Largest Press and the first of the group to gain
accreditation for the three standards:
ISO 9001:2008 (Quality)
ISO 14001:2004
BS OHSAS 18001:2007
(Health and Safety).

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Chris Merriman, Managing Consultant at The Manufacturing Institute, has extensive global expertise gained from over 25 years experience in multiple manufacturing, service and IT industries. He takes a look at how leaders and managers are very different – but every business needs a good mix of the two to be successful.

For me a helpful quote than defines the difference between managers and leaders is from Stephen R Covey: “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” Managers spend a lot of time looking at the financials, and the operations in order to achieve objectives – but that doesn’t always mean they are doing it right.

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