Brown & Holmes Case Study


Improving the bottom line in manufacturing: Employee engagement

Brown & Holmes (Tamworth) Ltd specialise in the supply of standard and semi-standard CNC cubes and Tombstones, test rigs, jigs and fixtures, special machines and gauges. They also offer high precision machining and complex work.

Brown and Holmes is also the sole agent for Forkardt work holding equipment within the UK and Ireland

Following a successful implementation of ‘lean’ techniques on the shop floor during 2006-2007, Brown & Holmes asked us last year to conduct an assessment of their employee engagement. The goal was to highlight specific areas that required improvement to promote employee innovation and to enhance their continuous improvement model.

The six month programme began during September 2011 and has delivered a number of measurable benefits to the business. The key areas of improvement have been a reduction in customer delivery times, reduced staff turnover, greater levels of employee innovation, improved output and a higher order book.

Kevin Ward, Director at Brown & Holmes said “We are very pleased to be working with Assess Improve Measure Ltd to achieve our goals.”

John Sanders – Director of Assess Improve Measure Ltd commented “It is rewarding to see a manufacturing SME expanding their commitment to employee engagement and leadership development. The use of our structured programmes will allow Brown & Holmes (Tamworth) Ltd the opportunity to benefit from improved employee engagement which in turn will offer an even higher level of customer advocacy”

For more information, please contact Nick Vincent –
07400 663003


Arrowsmith Engineering Ltd


Arrowsmith Engineering

Established in 1967 Arrowsmith Engineering specialises in the machining of components for the Aerospace industry. Their facility based in Coventry includes multi access CNC machining centres with all associated finishing capabilities. Machined materials include steel, aluminium, pneumonic and machine-able plastics.
Arrowsmith have a ‘blue chip’ clientele Including Rolls Royce, Goodrich, Eaton, Pattonair and Meggitt.
In 2009 Arrowsmith acquired Exhall Grinding, and required a smooth integration of this acquisition into the Arrowsmith culture. We also identified this as the ideal time to further implement lean manufacturing principles.
The grinding company was temporarily relocated whilst a brand new facility was built. Our operations director, Glyn Jenks planned the new factory layout to ensure optimal process flows in line with ‘lean’ principles. Glyn was central to the introduction of team leaders, and the implementation of ‘lean’ principles, also he supported the introduction of a new MRP (Manufacturing Requirements Planning) system – training key personnel in the use of the system. The new company was successfully integrated and Arrowsmith continues to grow in the Aerospace market and gained the “Made in The Midlands Achievement Award” in 2010. Glyn continues to support many initiatives at Arrowsmith where the Managing Director is a keen advocate of ‘Lean’.


O.L.D. Engineering


O.L.D. Engineering

O.L.D. Engineering was formed on February 28th 1971 founded by 3 partners, Mr Olner, Mr Lusty and Mr Drackley. The first letter of each surname was used and so O.L.D. Engineering came into being.
In 1979 Mr Lusty acquired overall control of the company, and in February1980 the Company moved to its present address on Sketchley Lane Industrial Estate.
In 1984, the premises were extended to 22,000 sq. ft., and C.N.C. Machines were introduced to allow the company to expand further and take on more complex work. That philosophy has continued to this day, and the Company now hosts a full range of C.N.C. machines, including Lathes, Machining Centres, Grinding Machines and a co-ordinate measuring machine.
In 1996 Mr Lusty retired passing control onto his family. To this day the company is still a family owned concern, giving a more personal environment and assured continual reinvestment.
Having grown to a point where the company was turning over in excess of £10 million, they started to face a serious downturn in business through the last recession.
The challenge was to change the culture, return the company to profitability, and reposition it in the marketplace.
O.L.D chose AIM as their partner to meet this challenge and following an internal rationalisation the Managing Director signed off on a rebranding and lean implementation programme, to remove ‘waste’ in company processes.

The company collateral was rebranded and a new website created for repositioning, following which a series of ‘lean’ initiatives were carried out over a period of two years to strip waste from all processes. Reorganisation of the factory layout resulted in speeding the flow of components and materials throughout the business.

A return to profitability followed and the company has successfully diversified into the aerospace sector, and continues to grow whilst retaining the principles of ‘Lean’.


Lotus Cars Ltd.



Lotus Cars is a British manufacturer of sports and racing cars based at the former site of RAF Hethel, a World War II airfield in Norfolk.
The company designs and builds race and production automobiles of light weight and fine handling characteristics.
Following the successful entry of the Lotus Elise model into the USA and the growth of the Japanese market, Lotus Cars Ltd embarked on a supply chain initiative in 2006 designed to maintain and improve quality, and support a robust business model going forwards from 2006. This meant working very closely with their key suppliers through ‘tailored’ programmes to suit each individual supplier.
The whole supply chain programme was project managed by Glyn Jenks and his team of experienced ‘lean’ professionals, who worked closely with the Lotus Supplier Quality Engineers and their suppliers.
Now the production lines flow without any disruption and supplier performance is at World Class levels.
Lotus is currently two years into a dynamic five year brand reinvigoration plan with the goal of returning the marque to its original status alongside other prestigious sports car manufacturers. The plan includes an entire new range, the first of which will be the return of the iconic Esprit in 2013.


Rochford Engineering Co. Ltd.


Rochford Engineering Co. Ltd

Founded in 1980 Rochford Engineering Co Ltd is a privately owned Business operating from 4500 sq. ft. premises in the heart of Birmingham.

Rochford supply metal components to a variety of industries including, earth moving, bicycle, glazing, leisure and automotive companies

Rochford Engineering is fully committed to providing high quality products to ensure complete customer satisfaction. It is their policy to ensure the continual improvement of the company’s overall performance and aim towards satisfying the expectations and needs of their customers. To achieve this objective, the company operates a Quality Management System that meets the requirements of ISO9001:2000.

Facing a major turndown in their order book during 2009, Rochford decided to be pro-active and implement a structured methodology for new marketing initiatives to develop new business. They also made the commitment to implementing ‘lean’ processes through-out the factory to cut waste. The third arm of the new programme was to increase customer service levels to prevent churn and ensure retention of their existing customer base.

Rochford chose AIM’s structured Strategic Re-alignment Program (SRP) as the methodology for managing the new programme. They now have a growing order book, have substantially cut waste and are developing their own in-house major account management strategy.




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ProjectBoard™ SRP in a programme management environment

The European operations of Tata Steel (formerly known as Corus) comprise Europe’s second largest steel producer. With main steelmaking operations in the UK and the Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, material handling and other demanding markets worldwide.

Corus required an outsource partner to manage a three year programme within their marketing division to improve customer service levels. The programme consisted of several projects to run concurrently, with multiple challenges:-

  • Conduct a customer satisfaction survey; perform a GAP analysis on customer satisfaction goals. Createand document a methodology to achieve the goals. This was to be achieved within a six month project timeframe.
  • Specify, select a vendor and manage the implementation of a new call centre. This was to be achieved within a one year project timeframe.
  • Document a specification for a knowledge management system (KMS), perform a vendor selection process and manage the selected vendor through the implementation phase of the KMS. This was to be achieved within a two year project timeframe.
  • Manage the process and acquire BS5750 certification for the sales process within a nine month project

Corus chose ProjectBoard™ SRP during 2004 as the methodology for managing the programme. ProjectBoard SRP was the only methodology that melded Lean techniques seamlessly into a structured, self-validating process for maximising human capital.


Canon Europe


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ProjectBoard™ SRP in a collaborative development environment

Canon Europe had a requirement to integrate their multifunctional devices (MFD’s) with Microsoft’s Share Point Portal Server (SPPS), to integrate a knowledge management solution for a specific important customer in Madrid. The software supplier for the MFD’s, eCopy Inc., had no knowledge of SPPS; Microsoft was not interested in such a small project; Canon had no in-house technical resource to address a problem of this kind and the end user only spoke Spanish. Finally there was no specification in place for either the system itself, or the customer’s requirements Working in collaboration with Canon Europe, who managed the language problems, we used the ProjectBoard™ SRP methodology to manage the different aspects of human capital on the project. This led to the successful development of a specification, a set of user requirements and subsequently a connector that met fully all of the prime requirements of the customer.

We had already worked on the eCopy software at another customer site, we had knowledge of Canon equipment, SPPS expertise and access to a .NET development team, which we managed using SRP through-out the development. But the key to the success of the project was to gain buy in from the staff of the different companies involved and meld them into a cohesive team, with a single purpose, that aligned with the strategic goals.

The project was delivered on time and within budget.

The customer received a system which complied exactly with their requirements; Canon made a sale of MFD’s that would otherwise have gone to a competitor and eCopy now had access to a connector that made their product compatible with SPPS, enabling them to pursue more sales with Microsoft..