Company Goes to Press for Less

Dec 14, 2005

As a result of taking part in Invest Northern Ireland’s Business Improvement Agent (BIA) programme, Graham and Heslip, one of Northern Ireland’s leading printing companies, is anticipating savings of nearly £400,000.

The savings are the outcome of reviewing production and process techniques and focusing on recycling waste. Over the three year period of the project the company implemented improvement processes that it anticipates will save £373,000, equivalent to 35 per cent more than its original target.

The BIA programme helps companies add significant value to their operations by applying knowledge-led business improvement techniques. The programme part-funds a dedicated member of staff, the Business Improvement Agent, with the objective of achieving savings for the company of at least three times the BIA’s salary for each year of the programme.

Graham and Heslip prioritised three areas for improvement: waste and losses; performance improvements; and process improvements. Studies of work flows led directly to the purchase of new equipment which dramatically improved productivity.

Graham and Heslip’s Managing Director, Ken Cleland says: “One of the most rewarding projects was to see the reduction in the amount of waste previously sent to landfill as a result of our recycling programme. As well as contributing significantly to the cost savings the environmental impact has been impressive.”

On top of achieving significant cost savings the process has reinforced the ethos of continuous improvement in the workforce.

“Our staff have been directly involved in the changes that have brought about these cost savings and as a result are now much more aware of how processes and production techniques can impact on profitability,” says Mr Cleland.

Victor Jordan, Invest NI’s Director of Business Improvement Services, says that the BIA programme can help companies gain a competitive edge.

“By using best practice techniques companies can realise significant efficiencies and introduce a culture of continuous improvement that will maximise performance and therefore position them for faster growth.”

Graham and Heslip’s participation in the Invest NI Business Improvement Agent Programme was part funded by the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.

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