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Final external evaluation of Glasgow’s Business Efficiency Initiative and Lean Management Thinking


Glasgow’s Business Efficiency Initiative (GBEI) and Lean Management Thinking (LMT) includes the following programmes: Lean Management Thinking (LMT); Innovation and New Product Development (NPD); and Environmental Audits/support to achieve ISO 14001. The programmes have common objectives, namely, to offer companies support which will: raise productivity and make them more competitive; and secure a positive effect on the environment by assisting in the process of generating greater outputs from the same inputs.


The research involved 43 interviews with companies which had taken part in Lean Management, constituting 56% of participating companies able to be interviewed and 49% of the total population of companies which participated.


The report finds that there has been a good level of leverage from LMT - the £325,000 cost to the public sector has stimulated approximately £1.4m in investment (including staff time) among the assisted businesses. Most practical changes within companies so far have related to production processes, physical shape of production, administration and stock control. Over 80% of businesses have experienced some form of benefit, the main ones relating to: overall reduction of waste (54% of companies); stock/inventory levels reduced (37% of companies); and bureaucracy reduced (37% of companies). Regarding the other two programmes, the Environmental Audits in Glasgow have had reasonable impacts; but the pilot Innovation and New Product Development workshops have been less of a success, although lessons have been learned from this and are already being acted upon. NB the economic impact calculations in this report do not wholly adhere to the Scottish Enterprise Economic Impact Assessment Guidance launched in 2006, therefore please treat these figures with caution. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you need more information.


It is recommended that there could in future be stronger links between these programmes. There are four main recommendations relating to LMT: recruitment to LMT could be directly aimed at Account and Client Managed companies; follow up support to companies should be predicated on a commitment by the company to develop measurement systems; a structured approach to support and aftercare is valuable and a single point of reference for queries or visits and an LMT network would also be helpful; and there should be an emphasis on the need to recognise the importance of the sustainability of new practice over time. Regarding New Product Development, it is recommended that an innovation programme be redesigned which specifically focuses on embedding innovation capabilities within firms and which recognises the varying needs of different types of firms. Future programmes should articulate clearly the desired outcomes for participating firms. Regarding environmental audits, support to undertake environmental reviews should continue but companies should show their own commitment by contributing to the costs in future. There should be greater stress on the need to measure the effects of change.

Author Alan Brazewell Economics Ltd; IBP Strategy and Research
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Equity
    Sustainable development