Free help for East manufacturers

MANUFACTURERS in the Eastern region are being offered free help to overhaul their business and improve their chance of success in challenging economic times. Practical one-to-one support is available from experienced advisers, using structured approaches

MANUFACTURERS in the Eastern region are being offered free help to overhaul their business and improve their chance of success in challenging economic times.

Practical one-to-one support is available from experienced advisers, using structured approaches designed specifically for small and medium-sized manufacturers, to help them deal with falling revenues, shrinking margins and increasing competition.

The Manufacturing Transformation Programme (MTP) is being run by the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) with funding from the Government's Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) under its Economic Challenge Innovation Fund, and Essex County Council through the Essex Development and Regeneration Agency (ExDRA).

It is designed to need as little time as possible from busy management teams and to deliver real, long-lasting improvements to the businesses that take part.


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"Many manufacturers are struggling at the moment," said Dr Derek Ford, who leads the IfM's team of advisers supporting smaller companies. "It can be difficult for them to see how to solve their problems - or even to work out what their problems are - when their energies are spent trying to keep the business going.

"Our programme demands the minimum amount of time from the company and is designed to pinpoint critical areas where change can really make a difference."

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Funding from HEFCE, ExDRA and other support agencies has enabled the IfM to offer the programme free of charge to a limited number of companies. These must be based in the Eastern Region and have between 10 and 250 employees.

INFORMATION: More details of the programme are available at www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/working/consultancy/sme/. Companies interested in taking part should contact Alyson Lee on: 01223 766141 or by e-mail to arl44@cam.ac.uk

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