Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Andrew Gwynne MP has visited Hyde Aero Products to see at first hand how one of the largest employers in Tameside, Greater Manchester, is beating the productivity challenge.
The Denton and Reddish MP toured Victoria Production Engineering (VPE), which is one of nine plants run in the area by Hyde Group, meeting the team and hearing how Hyde Aero Products has secured around £35 million in contracts since joining the UK’s aerospace business transformation programme Sharing in Growth in 2014.
Gwynne was also shown how the company had embarked on an ambitious growth plan supported by Sharing in Growth (SiG). The Hyde team has worked alongside SiG’s global manufacturing experts to implement best practice which had helped them win several new customers.
Since joining the SiG programme in 2014, the Hyde team has created a new strategy, changed its leadership practices, and improved its operational performance significantly through a new culture of continuous improvement. Achieving up to a 50% increase productivity across key areas of its business has allowed Hyde to increase turnover by 28% and invest in its future. This includes recruiting 60 new employees and increasing apprenticeship hiring from three to a current level of 25 apprentices. This number is targeted to grow continually year on year.
On his factory tour, Gwynne saw some of the latest investment, including £1 million worth of state-of-art machining technology, and heard the Hyde and SiG team explain how they had designed and built a new exemplar machining cell which will now be replicated to provide 50% more capacity for additional growth.
Said Andrew Gwynne: “Continuous improvement is a great learning opportunity for everyone. It creates a learning culture which helps drive up productivity for UK plc. Sadly UK productivity has been sluggish and needs to get better to compete with the rest of the world. No company has a given right to win contracts. Like Hyde, you have to keep moving forward because if you don’t compete, then you won’t have a company.”
Leading the tour VPE Managing director Scott Murray showed how SiG tools, such as visual management boards, had helped increase output in his plant fourfold, supplying key aerospace programmes such as the Airbus A350 and A400M. He said: “Through Sharing in Growth we have adopted best practice tools, techniques and ways of managing that is giving us sustainable operational advantage.”
Said Hyde Aero Products Joint Managing Director Matthew Smallman: “It was great to be able to demonstrate how Sharing in Growth has transformed how we think and what we do and helped everyone of us achieve fantastic results. As a high value-added engineering company, we are probably the largest private company in the area so it’s essential that we continue to improve and grow in the same way as it’s essential that the UK aerospace industry must be supported to improve and grow.”
Said Sharing in Growth Head of Operations Alistair Gower said: “We are supporting more than 60 companies like Hyde so they can compete against overseas competition by implementing world-class best practice to typically double in size. Companies on the Sharing in Growth programme have secured more than £2.8 billion in contracts, so the programme is well on target to secure 10,000 UK jobs by 2022 and has successfully demonstrated how to beat the UK’s productivity challenge.”
Sharing in Growth is the UK’s aerospace business transformation programme, set up by industry in 2013 and supported by the Regional Growth Fund and more than £150 million in private investment. It is endorsed by Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Thales because it is helping the UK advanced manufacturing supply chain to become more competitive and win a larger share of global aerospace contracts.
There are limited places left on the government-supported Sharing in Growth programme. Companies interested in how the programme can improve their competitiveness and productivity should register at: www.sig-uk.org/apply.