Bangor firm 3M is celebrating savings of more than £700,000 thanks to assistance from Invest Northern Ireland. 3M which manufactures masking tapes for the global market, made the savings via improvements in production processes and a reduction of machine downtime.
Assistance from the Invest NI Company Development Programme allowed 3M to significantly enhance its involvement with a training programme called Six Sigma which assists companies in training staff to eliminate errors and improve production processes. More than thirty 3M employees attained accreditation through Six Sigma. Other members of staff completed a range of college based training, again assisted by Invest NI.
The result was 3M’s most profitable year in recent history, with the company witnessing a significant increase in production output levels. The £700,000 saving has now been more than doubled as a target for 2004.
Commenting on the 3M success, Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest NI said: “By developing relevant skills training at all levels, 3M has clearly demonstrated how investing in people can drive business success.”
Jon Nixon, Site Manager at 3M’s Bangor plant added: “These are challenging times for local manufacturing and Six Sigma is our most important driver in remaining competitive. The Invest NI Company Development Programme was crucial in helping us to offset associated training costs as well as providing expert business guidance and support.”
The Invest NI Company Development Programme helps companies to improve business performance by providing practical and financial support for training and development activities aimed at raising the skills levels of managers and workforces.