Whether you’re starting a new business, in the early stages, looking to scale-up an established business or simply looking for some great business support, the Boost Relationship Management team can help you navigate the business support landscape to find the right support for your business.
Today, Alan Reid, a Chartered mechanical engineer with over 35 years industrial experience, talks about his role as a Boost relationship manager.
What do you see is your role as a Boost relationship manager?
In my Boost relationship manager role I am often the start point for companies looking to access and benefit from the wealth of business support available in Lancashire.
My key objectives are to understand how an individual business operates, what it wants to achieve, what the current priorities are and what obstacles and challenges may be in its way.
What kinds of businesses have you helped recently and what areas of support were they seeking?
Because of my background, I predominantly work with engineering and manufacturing companies from sole traders up to the limits of SME rated businesses. There is a significant increase in the desire of manufacturers to increase productivity, upskill workforces and integrate state of the art systems across their processes.
Most business I have worked with over the last 12 months have also been looking to recruit additional staff to their teams to meet growing order books.
How do you feel you have helped them?
Whilst we are blessed in Lancashire to have such a wide range of business support, this can also be a challenge for a company when it tries to understand which routes are best to pursue. Company owners and directors are often time poor and having a trusted partner to understand the issues across their businesses and then lay out a roadmap of how best to access the support is a major part of what I do.
However, having been on the other side of the fence, I also appreciate the benefits for a senior decision maker to be able to spend a little bit of time simply talking about their business away from the day-to-day operations.
What are the key challenges for Lancashire businesses at the moment?
The number one conversation I have is around skills and recruitment. Business ranging from furniture manufacture, construction, printing, metal fabrication, engineering, industrial equipment builders and food production all report issues of finding suitably skilled staff to be a challenge.
Similarly, many companies are also looking to develop their existing staff with suitable training and recruit additional apprentices and also find these areas to be a challenge.
Why it is so important to help Lancashire business leaders?
Leadership of any kind can be a lonely role. Having an independent ear to share thoughts, dreams and concerns with can bring a leader perspective, direction and renewed drive. Lancashire has been a lifeblood of the UK economy since the industrial revolution, but in 2021 it has many challenges across the county, from deprivation to skills shortages and poor productivity.
I believe the key to addressing many of these issues lies in buoyant and growing private business sector, underpinned with Boost Lancashire support.
Alan Reid is a Chartered mechanical engineer with over 35 years industrial experience ranging from project management, machinery design and building, process specification and general business management. Over the last 4 years, as well as retaining a formal role in industry, he has been sharing this knowledge and experience across a wide range of businesses in Lancashire and the North West.