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Supply Chain Social - Jim Barr

Created on Thursday, 22nd Jul 2021

Supply Chain Social - Jim Barr

Tell me about your career to date.

I spent 27 years in the Microchip and Aerospace sectors, in a variety of high-profile engineering and operational roles, delivering on complex and high technology projects, such as Eurofighter Project, DRAM manufacture and the US Navy Helicopter Dynamic Helmet programme. I then moved into management consultancy, primarily delivering improvement projects into SME companies, firstly as an independent consultant for 2 years and then with the Manufacturing Advisory Service for 7 years and the last 5 years with RTC North.

What does your current role involve?

I am a bit of an anomaly in that I have a split role, which divides my time 50/50 between supporting Alan Whittaker on the Supply Chain Northeast and latterly managing and delivering commercial consultancy across the whole business. Essentially, I spend a lot of my time in both cases, delivering virtual and face to face improvement-based project support from short interventions up to 50 Day interventions, in a diverse range of environments, from Seafood Deli’s, to Shipyards, and everything in between, and also across a large geographical area, from Aberdeen down to Portsmouth.

What makes Supply Chain Northeast different?

I would say the main thing, is the Team itself, which has a wide and diverse range of skills and experience, which can be brought to benefit recipients and who work well together towards that aim. The quality of the delivery, the range of different offers we have and the relationships we have as a programme, ensures that each and every client can tap into something which is valuable for their business.

My 3 most notable achievements to date would be.


2000 - Setting up the Eurofighter Defence Aid Sub System Project from 1 person to a 70 strong group of operatives and engineering staff, including a class 100 cleanroom, running this for nearly 6 years.

SC21 – From 2003 onwards, becoming a trained Practitioner and delivering over 20 interventions using this Supply Chain set of Assessments over the last 18 years.

2007 - 3-month interim Director role at a company in Fife, producing high tech mini lcd displays for the US Navy and High End Filmmakers. I doubled output during this very short period, by introducing a productivity system to record and monitor day to day progress.


2016 - Winning and delivering over 500 Project days on the Scottish Manufacturing Lean Programme.

Instigating the use of the virtual workspace application MURAL within RTC as a means to delivering support during and after Covid.

NMCL Programme – Becoming an accredited provider on this prestigious Aerospace and Automotive programme, and the development of a comprehensive suite of material to support this, and finally in Jan-21 delivering this to clients.

Various Client engagements including the following which have delivered significant benefit and publicity to the client and RTC North:

A&G Precision & Sons Ltd – First UK mainland business to achieve SC21 GOLD.

Latimers Seafood – Delivered 3 different improvement projects over 2 years, covering process and layout improvements, both in operational and business areas, and also marketing support which helped the business survive, and importantly thrive coming out of Covid in terms of their health and turnover.

Tell us about your day so far.

Today I’m actually undergoing some relationship management training as part of the SC21 programme. However, a typical day for me, will involve, some initial planning and priorities for what I need to achieve in the day, and will invariably involve preparation for virtual workshop sessions, checking on the status of C4’s on the programme, and ensuring that systems are up to date against where I’m at with client engagements.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

My main interest outside of work is music, whether that be attending gigs, collecting vinyl, band photography which have appeared in several publications. I also actively support my son who plays in a band, and who has released music in various formats, with transport, guitar repairs, and being his roadie..

And finally, leave us with one interesting fact about yourself.

I used to run a Mexican Café and Delivery Business, well before these current and trendy Burrito Bars became fashionable… I’m also a qualified Football Referee, so I may pull out the Red card if need be…