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Operational Efficiency

Increased factory capacity secures new contracts for E&E Potts

The Business

E&E Potts are a niche engineering firm who remanufacture diesel engines and manufacture ancillary components for the construction and transport industries.

The business has operated from Salford for over 25 years and are one of the few firms in the UK with the expertise to offer these products and services. As such they have successfully secured several contracts with passenger transport providers.

E&E Potts employed seven people in 2017, with an annual turnover of £500k.

The Challenge

Brian Potts, Managing Director at the business had identified an opportunity to win several new contracts with local bus companies, and approached the GC Business Growth Hub for support. He said:

“Several of our clients had indicated that if we had the capacity to work on larger scale jobs within our facility they could place long term lucrative contracts with us. We would work on the entire vehicle rather than just the engine – obviously this in itself would increase the value of each order, but we could maximise this further by including a servitization package with the job.”

Geoff Crossley, Specialist Manufacturing Advisor at the GC Business Growth Hub, met with Brian to walk the factory and get to know the business.

Brian said:

“I met with Geoff to talk through these new opportunities and the barriers that we had to overcome.”

Together Geoff and Brian reviewed the factory layout and identified that they would need to invest in new access to the factory. Brian said:

“The size and scale of the vehicles we would be working on meant we had to reconsider how to safely and securely move the components around the workshop. Better access would allow larger vehicles into the workshop.”

Geoff helped the business to apply for a capital grant from the Manufacturing Growth Fund which would provide match funding towards the investment. Geoff said:

“Without starting work immediately, they risked losing the new contracts, so we quickly applied for the grant and implemented lean manufacturing techniques to increase capacity to help E&E Potts secure the new contracts.”

The Solution

Geoff and Brian worked together to implement the new factory layout, which would allow for the space needed for the vehicle access. Geoff also discussed implementation of 5s, which would reduce waste, manage customer lead times and create capacity in production.

Brian said:

“Once access was improved we let our customers know about our new service, and we have been inundated with orders. The increased demand for our new service means we are now looking to expand further and take on additional staff.”

“The support we have received from the GC Business Growth Hub has helped our business enormously. The workshop is transformed, not just by the capital investment, but also because of the guidance Geoff provided on techniques to improve our processes.”

“The future looks great for the business. The new contracts have seen us increase turnover by £50k already, and I project that will be £200k by the end of 2018. The next step is to start winning new customers, and we are now working with the Hub team who are supporting us with the second stage of our expansion.”

Find out how the GC Business Growth Hub can help you to improve efficiency, develop new products and increase productivity. 

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Geoff Crossley

Geoff Crossley, Manufacturing Advisor

Geoff is a highly skilled manufacturing specialist, practiced in supporting manufacturing businesses to implement lean tools and techniques which will increase efficiency. Geoff is passionate about helping manufacturers work smarter and to do more with less.

With a background in engineering design and experience running a successful business, Geoff is skilled at strategic planning, developing sales and marketing strategies to generate new customers and delivering sustained profitability.

To view Geoff's full profile including technical capabilities and industry experience, please click here.

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