Funding support to help grow the business
The Manufacturing Advisory Service launched its latest offering at the start of 2012. Funding for consultancy has been available since 2003, although up to now there were 9 separate regions, all with their own management and administrative teams. The current state of the public finances has meant that a slimmed-down service is now operational; however, this is still a £57m commitment stretching to 2015. The new service is run from PERA and virtually all the administration is based there. This means that there is more money to target at SME manufacturers that are (ideally) aiming to grow their business – coming after a period of recession; this could mean much of the furniture industry! To summarise:
- The funding is for SME's only (up to - 250 staff, approx. £40m t/o, £30m balance sheet)
- Funding is now available for a wider variety of consultancy projects, including:
o Manufacturing operations
o Training - Lean etc.
o Finance - controls, costing etc.
o IT - specification of systems etc.
o Sales - strategy
o Design - product design, material selection etc.
- Three potential 10-day part-funded projects per year are allowed:
o 1st one at a £3.0k maximum grant
o 2nd one at a £2.4k maximum grant
o 3rd one at a £1.8k maximum grant
- The maximum grant is for 50% of the project fee.
Further details may be found on the MAS website
The procedure for applying for funding is simple and most of the work is done by MAS. The main stipulation is that the business should be looking to “grow.”
If you are interested in taking advantage of this funding arrangement the BFM has secured the services of Jeff Holt of Oxford Holt & Co. Ltd. who is a registered consultant with MAS. The Company has completed many projects for a range of manufacturers across most industrial sectors, including BFM members. We are told that these have realised an average savings to fees ratio of 11:1, meaning that these short interventions are highly cost effective.
In addition to funding support, further consultancy discounts are available for BFM members. There are fee reductions of between 10 and 40% for BFM member companies - depending upon the size of the company.
For further details see: