Knowledge is power for energy meter maker

Bright sparks at a company that makes advanced energy meters are ensuring that the company powers up its productivity and remains globally competitive to keep manufacturing jobs in the UK.

Stockport-based Landis + Gyr is achieving productivity improvements of 15% year-on-year and believes continuous staff training is key to peak performance.

The company is taking advantage of government Train to Gain funding to tutor a quarter of its workforce in  lean manufacturing techniques. It is working with lean experts from Manchester’s Manufacturing Institute to pursue the Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) programme.

Paul Snowden, Operations Manager for Landis + Gyr, said: “We see BIT as the next step in developing our shop floor team so that they are multi-skilled and have the necessary skills to maintain our momentum of continuous improvement.

“We are working with lean experts from the Manufacturing Institute to put 25% of our staff through this practical learning programme and expect to repeat the course for other staff. All training is voluntary, but staff realise that higher skill equals better productivity and they can earn up to 15% more each year by hitting performance targets.”

The company expects to significantly increase production over the next two years as it gears up to launch its innovative smart gas meters into the European market and is eager to retain production in the UK by training its staff to work smart for lower cost performance.

Bill Tiplady, Skills Practitioner for The Manufacturing Institute, said:  “Lean business improvement transforms productivity, but progress often falters because the workforce doesn’t have the teamworking capabilities, or skills to make it stick. Our BIT programme empowers the manufacturing workforce to implement and sustain continuous lean improvement to deliver long lasting business benefits.”

Employers can benefit from full or partial funding towards BIT training under the government’s Train to Gain scheme. North West manufacturing SMEs may also receive further funding towards project support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

BIT provides a practical toolkit of skills that can immediately be applied at work and gets the factory team working together to apply these skills to improve efficiency and increase profitability.

The programme can be tailored to individual companies, but typically it will involve an initial business needs review and skills assessment and approximately 18 hours underpinning knowledge training in Business Improvement Techniques. It also involves assessment of each individual’s competency in applying the lean tools and techniques to qualify at NVQ level 2 or, where appropriate, level 3.
The Manufacturing Institute is a Train to Gain training provider and an approved centre for EAL – the leading awarding body for vocational qualifications in engineering and technology. The organisation also has the prestigious Matrix quality standard.

As one of the government’s Regional Centres for Manufacturing Excellence, The Manufacturing Institute delivers the Manufacturing Advisory Service in North West England and can offer access to additional funding for North West businesses.

For further information and for advice on funding visit:  or contact The Manufacturing Institute on 0161 872 0393.

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