Free Scottish Enterprise asset review service launched for manufacturers

New service to help with future investment 

Scottish manufacturers can now take advantage of a free review to help them identify where they need to invest to build their global competitiveness.
They’re entitled to access a new asset review service launched by Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), which offers a structured approach to reviewing and planning asset management by looking at all aspects of the business to fully understand the impact of equipment on capacity, performance and productivity.
The review is free to all manufacturers and typically takes between a half-day and two days, depending on business size and complexity.

Following the review, businesses will be encouraged to develop compelling investment plans that will drive their competitiveness through plant, machinery and new technology options to aid overall effectiveness and productivity.

Companies can also be referred to potential sources of capital expenditure funding to help any investment recommended by the asset review, such as Scottish Enterprise’s Regional Selective Assistance grants and high street banks.

To book a review, companies should click here or call 0845 607 8787.

The asset review service is one of the first milestones achieved as part of Scotland’s strategy for manufacturing, A Manufacturing Future for Scotland, which was unveiled in February 2016.

Supported by £70 million of investment, the strategy outlines how government will work with industry and with higher and further education institutions to stimulate innovation, improve productivity and increase investment in Scottish manufacturing in order that it can better compete globally.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “This increased support for Scottish companies furthers Scotland’s competitiveness as a global manufacturing location of choice.

“By stimulating company investment and sustainable growth of manufacturing facilities in Scotland we can also reinforce manufacturing as a career for our young people, who are the foundations of our manufacturing future.”

Nick Shields, director of SMAS, said: “Manufacturing continues to be a vital component of our economy. It provides over half of Scotland’s international exports, half of our research and development spend and employs nearly 190,000 people.

“However, comparable economies continue to out-perform Scotland, particularly when it comes to making capital investment in manufacturing. If we want Scottish businesses to be globally competitive, we must support them to make informed capital investments in their business.

“Investing now means future productivity and competitive gains. Working together, we can ensure Scottish manufacturers remain globally competitive.

“We know our collaborative review approach with manufacturers works. During 2014/15, our SMAS practitioners delivered 203 business improvement projects with companies, which cumulatively have efficiency savings and productivity gains for these businesses valued at £81 million over the next three years.”

The asset review will challenge current and future priorities within a company. The approach is adaptable to any business and focuses the discussion on investment at the right time and in the right place, moving the business forward and ensuring it is set up to be as competitive as possible.

It helps to demonstrate the impact of equipment on the business including areas such as running costs, maintenance, premises, bottlenecks and also future opportunities for things such as targeted automation.

The review also helps the business understand the implications for any investment including both the capital cost and the project management needed for successful investment and the wider resource requirements.

One company that has been piloting the asset review service is Inverness-based vegetable producer, Nessgro. The company takes a fully integrated approach to farming 200 hectares of fertile Morayshire soil, from planting the seed through harvest, packing and delivery.

Over the last five years, Nessgro has worked with SMAS to transform its production line, processes, decision making and culture by introducing concepts like value stream mapping and lean practices to generate productivity gains.

Steven Jack, managing director of Nessgro, said: “Our previous work with SMAS has brought huge benefits to the business, but we knew there were inherent limitations to our productivity due to the machinery and layout we were using. Working with Callum McCafferty at SMAS on an asset review has helped us understand what the options are for increasing our productivity through new equipment.

“Being able to do a structured analysis has also meant we can prioritise our investment, as well as quantify and measure the actual benefit to our business. When we invest in new machinery we’re making a 10 year commitment to that equipment, so it has to be right and it has to increase our capacity, efficiency and productivity. The asset review has given us confidence that our decision to bring in certain items of new equipment is the right one for us.”

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