Improving Productivity in the UK

Improving productivity in the UK

The UK has fallen behind many of its competitors but why?

Germany is 34.5% more productive than the UK, whilst the G7 average is 16% higher than the UK. This has slipped since 1995.

The UK has not adopted lean management techniques to the same extent as other industrialised Nations.

The words “six sigma”, “world class manufacturing”, “lean management systems”, are often banded around as the new buzz word and even to add a scientific approach to it. Whilst the statistical element of lean management is no doubt a powerful tool, it also makes it incredibly difficult for the average worker to understand, thereby creating a barrier to adoption. Lean seems to be exclusively seen as a manufacturing or engineering methodology, even the awarding bodies for qualifications are predominantly engineering based.

Real lean management is fundamentally common sense and is most effective by cultural implementation rather than sat behind a spreadsheet or a PC screen with statistical software installed, generating a mass of statistics, that the majority do not understand. 

The lean management thinking programme has been running in Scotland for the past 15 years with over 450 organisations taking part from a diverse range of industries including veterinary suppliers, events management companies, even the Scottish FA. They’re about as far removed from engineering or manufacturing as they can be, yet the results of the programme speak for themselves. Using ERDF funding the programme has consistently delivered a fully auditable trail of GVA (Gross Value Added) of around £100K per participating organisation on the first lean project. 

So why is this?

This programme is pragmatic and simplistic involving senior management as well as hourly paid staff. It uses simple techniques and delivers cultural change by engaging all in the process from start to finish ensuring all have a vested interest in the outcome, which is sustainable continual improvement. The programme arms all levels with simple, easy to use techniques that are embedded in the minds of those that take part, thereby becoming a way of life rather than the latest management buzz word.  

Are we missing a trick by trying to overcomplicate simplicity?

RKMS can deliver the Accelerate Programme (lean management thinking) with up to 95% funding via the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) through workplace apprenticeships. If you would like to know more about the programme please get in touch  and one of our team will speak with you about the programme.

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