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Blackburn manufacturer targets sales after support

John Fairhurst MD of Fairham Mouldings web

A specialist rubber manufacturing firm has increased sales and created a new job after improving business processes and reducing lead times with support from the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund.

Fairham Mouldings are rubber component experts, manufacturing precision rubber components for industrial sectors including aerospace, automotive, transport, manufacturing and food & drink. The business currently employs 18 people.

The business was in the running to win some new large contracts, but they identified gaps within their systems and processes. John Fairhurst, Managing Director at Fairham Mouldings realised that the business needed to implement new processes to increase capacity and reduce lead times to deliver the new contracts, whilst developing existing systems to ensure quality and consistency in production.

John said:

“It was critical that the business reduced lead times and production costs, whilst increasing productivity if we were to be successful in delivering these contracts. That’s why we called upon the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund for support.”Fairham Mouldings web 2

The support delivered

Alan Reid, the fund’s dedicated manufacturing advisor for Lancashire met with John and the team, getting to know the business and the site. Together they saw an opportunity to upskill the production workforce and management teams to implement lean manufacturing techniques which would help them achieve their objectives.

The business received a grant from the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund to bring in a Lean Manufacturing specialist who supported the implementation of 5S and Value Stream Mapping processes, whilst upskilling the workforce in waste reduction, problem solving and KPI facilitation and understanding.Fairham Mouldings web 1

How this helped the business

Commenting on the impact of the support, John said:

“By implementing 5S we have found it has improved our way of working, saving us valuable time in our manufacturing process. An impact of this has been to increase our capacity, which has led us to being able to take on and fulfil larger orders.”

Following completion of the project the business won the orders they were targeting and were able to enter new supply chains.

“The support we have received has enabled us to make improvements to our business which has seen us increase sales by £16k so far and we have taken on a new full-time member of staff to help us meet demand. Funding from the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund has moved us towards our growth aspirations.

“The new business that we have won means we’re continuing to increase capacity and I anticipate this will continue. We expect to see a further increase in turnover in our year-end reporting.”

Alan added:

“Fairham Mouldings are an example of a business that were operating well, but could achieve much more by refining their processes and maximising the use of data.

“These lean manufacturing techniques will expand through the whole operation, driving the business towards a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence, which is only achievable by setting KPIs and benchmarks. It is really remarkable to see such positive results from a relatively small investment from the business.”

Are you a Lancashire-based manufacturer with growth aspirations? For more information and to apply for the grant please contact Boost on 0800 488 0057 or:

Alan Reid, Manufacturing Advisor, Lancashire Business Growth Fund
Email: alan.reid@growthco.uk
Phone: 07734 776559
Website: www.manufacturingnorthwest.com

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