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Join the 322 Scottish companies that generated £107 million worth of savings by becoming more efficient and increasing their productivity last year, by undertaking a manufacturing review.

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Sarah Jardine explains how SMAS can help Scottish manufacturers
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More Scottish companies are recognising the benefits of improving their business than ever before. 

A record £107 million worth of efficiency and productivity savings were made by Scottish companies between 2014 and 2015. £81 million of that figure was thanks to the support that the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) provided to Scottish manufacturers. 

The remainder of the efficiency and productivity gains came from other services that Scottish Enterprise provided to non-manufacturing companies to enhance their competitiveness. 

Business improvement projects are tailored for each company and involve working alongside staff and management to provide intensive assistance and expertise. 

What is a business improvement project?

By increasing efficiency and productivity, your company can free up time, resource and investment to add capacity, develop new products and find new markets at home and internationally. 

How can SMAS help you?

  • Embedding continuous improvement in your company
  • Improving your process and people
  • Expanding your export capability
  • Growing your supply chain
  • Developing new products

More Scottish businesses are looking to combine improvement tools and techniques with cultural and behavioural change. 

Maximising the skills and talent of people enables companies to exploit new opportunities and continually innovate. 

In the last year, business improvements projects have evolved to meet the changing needs of Scotland’s manufacturers. 

Projects have moved away from short-term solutions designed to deliver immediate gains. Instead they now focus on more complex, strategic projects that embed a culture of business excellence.   

This approach leads to higher productivity levels and increased global competitive advantage for businesses. Which in turn can affect a company's bottom line. 

Case study: Shand Cycles

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Shand Cycles talked to us about how SMAS helped to improve its production process
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Livingston-based Shand Cycles is a manufacturer of hand-built custom bicycles. The business has five members of staff including business partners Steven Shand and Russell Stout. 

The company produces various adventure touring bikes including mountain, off-road and road models. 

The manufacturing process takes place in-house at the company’s workshop. Recent growth encouraged the business to rethink its manufacturing processes in order to cope with increasing numbers of orders. Cash flow issues also had to be dealt with as a result of high levels of funds being tied up in stock.

SMAS worked alongside the company in a series of informal half-day sessions to map out the complete manufacturing process. This allowed them to point out areas where waste was also produced. 

SMAS is helping businesses improve production processes, so they reduce costs, boost competitiveness and improve productivity – all this ultimately leads to sustainable growth.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister

As a result of the project, the capacity of the workshop has doubled, allowing the company to expand its workforce while maintaining profitability.

Russell Stout, Company Director at Shand Cycles, said: “The assistance from SMAS has put us in a good position to cope with the increase in sales that we continue to experience.

“We’re a small business who wanted to grow in a sustainable and effective manner and with support from SMAS, we have achieved that.

“We don’t have a large workforce that we can commit lots of staff to hours of training which SMAS appreciated and worked around. The informal and flexible approach SMAS were willing to take to work with us was especially valuable.”

Apply now for a SMAS review