Through his role as Supply Chain Advisor, Jim Barr works with companies to make them aware of lean techniques. Most recently NEL Fund Managers have benefited from Jim’s expertise and advice.
Lean is a way of thinking about creating needed value with fewer resources and less waste, it is continuous experimentation to achieve perfection with zero-waste. Jim explains:
“Through Supply Chain North East, I met with Dawn Chambers from NEL Fund Managers. Initially, I provided some awareness sessions on the tools and techniques of Lean/Improvement to the Quality Circles Team.
“We then discussed potential projects to apply some of the learning and agreed upon the New Recovery Loan Scheme as the best candidate. Using the online application MURAL, we then went about capturing the “Current State” process for this new product, and over subsequent sessions, continued to build and review this process. This allowed the wider team within NEL to jointly agree on the steps, and sequence of this, and subsequently help in developing the Digital project File to match this.
“I was particularly impressed by Dawn and the teams’ approach to continuous improvement, through their Quality Circles regular meetings, and the successful delivery of several improvement projects, over the last couple of years including, the move from a Paper to a Digital Case File. The sessions were well attended which demonstrated a strong commitment to improvement, and they were a great team to work with as well and were very receptive to learning about new ways in which the business could use tools and techniques to further improve and learn. Special mention for Steven their IT person, who really embraced the use of MURAL to develop the process maps and was a big help in getting the project outcome from this work.”
“The Quality Circle was born out of the NEL team’s determination to provide the best service to our customers and stakeholders and to ensure we are agile enough to adapt and grow in line with changes in the marketplace.
“The Quality Circle has been successful in delivering many process improvements and innovations within the company over the years, however the urgency to adapt all processes quickly so that we could swiftly begin investing under the Recovery Loan Scheme was a challenge.
“Following my first conversation with Jim Barr, it was evident how his expert skills and experience could complement the group and really accelerate the work we had started. The knowledge and methods he shared with us not only enabled NEL to accelerate its processes to invest under the Recovery Loan Scheme but will also shape future process improvements and Quality Circle interventions.
“The whole team thoroughly enjoyed working with Jim and each member took away valuable tools and techniques. Not only that, but Jim really took the time to get to know us and understand NEL and its products which were what really made the difference. I would highly recommend Jim and the Supply Chain North East to any business serious about continuous improvement.”
Supply Chain North East brings together four key partners to work with over 800 businesses through to 2021, supporting them to identify opportunities in new and existing markets. An integral part of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, that has the vision to create 100,000 more and better jobs between 2014 and 2024. Supply Chain North East is delivered across the region by RTC North, Generator, North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).
Supply Chain North East is a multimillion programme aimed at revolutionising the way SMEs diversify their offering and embrace new markets. The programme has received more than £3m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund, which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
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