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"Following the launch of the NEAA in March 2015, my involvement has largely been with the Business Excellence programme. The fundamental principles of this program is to measure, understand and deploy manufacturing excellence in the northeast and provide the necessary mechanism for self-improvement.

Whilst still in the early stages of this project, the NEAA have implemented key activities such as cross company benchmarking, best practice visits and more recently the establishment of key activity focus groups; working on improvement ideas coming from each best practice visit as well as common industry issues.

The best practice visits to date have all been well supported by each member company, and have provided a unique inside opportunity for other companies to witness first hand different manufacturing practices. These best practices are as diverse as they are game changing.

When we consider the presence of some of the OEM’s operating in our region, it probably comes as no surprise that we have best practice in our area. However historically until now these ideas are rarely shared and therefore opportunities are missed. The business excellence program now provides a self-improvement mechanism that will harness manufacturing excellence opportunities and deploy within our region.

I support these initiatives, which are industry-led but have been implemented & facilitated by the NEAA."

 Peter Watson, Plant Manager, Kasai UK


"The NEAA SME Supply Chain Development Programme has exceeded our expectations. On joining the programme we envisaged a best practice workshop would take place once a month or even greater, but these have been coming in thick and fast and we have already attended four of these in two months.

We have also been able to bring best practice and business excellence initiatives back into the business, as well as findings from our diagnostic report which is helping us identify areas of opportunity for improvement that are beneficial to the company.

Each part of the NEAA’s SME programme is helping us to become more immersed into the automotive sector and its way of thinking."

Nick Morton, General Manager, MICC

Spearhead Interactive

"I’m pleased to be a part of the NEAA’s Business Excellence activity, which has definitely won the trust of suppliers based on the principle that we share best practice for the good of the region. Calsonic Kansei has welcomed the opportunity to showcase our pre-employment training programme with R-TEK and are pleased to see this best practice has been implement within their business."

John Barnett, Operations Manager, Calsonic Kansei