Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS)
The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) provides funded support to manufacturing SMEs based in England, helping them to improve and grow.
The definition of SME is used by MAS for companies with:
• Less than 250 employees
• An annual turnover of less than €50m or a balance sheet less than €43m
• Not part of a group which itself exceeds one of the above criteria
MAS is set up to deliver strategic and technical support to manufacturing companies. For example streamlining processes, developing advanced manufacturing capabilities, reducing operational costs, helping companies become more energy efficient and the creation of high value jobs.
Companies that are eligible for MAS support are manufacturing companies of all sizes but mainly SMEs. MAS uses the following definition of manufacturing:
“The modern definition of manufacturing is broad. The full cycle of activities from research, design and development, production, logistics and service provision to end of life management.”
Using this definition for manufacturing distinguishes the difference between production (the physical process of making) and manufacturing (the overall process of converting raw materials into goods and their associated services). A company which outsources its production activities remains at heart a manufacturing company.
MAS support begins with a hands-on Manufacturing Review which is free of charge. These reviews are carried out by experienced MAS Advisors and highlight the areas of opportunity or action needed to be taken to improve the business. MAS Advisors have a wide range of experience in implementing change and can advise on strategy, culture and planning.
MAS also have a wide range of consultants they can call upon to deal with more complex issues.
The areas where MAS can provide consultancy support include:
• MAS Strategy – business planning
• MAS Innovates – developing new business ideas
• MAS Efficiency – improving business processes
• MAS Connects – growing the business supply chain
MAS offers funded consultancy support for manufacturing SMEs under the following guidelines:
• Foundation Project for basic improvement projects – up to £1,000. 50% of total project cost, up to a maximum of £300 per day subsidy towards consulting cost.
• Step Change project for more complex projects – up to £3,000. 50% of total project costs, up to a maximum of £300 per day subsidy towards consulting cost.
The manufacturing company has a completely free choice of supplier, and the delivery contract will be with that supplier.
To be able to deliver MAS-funded projects in assisting manufacturing SMEs to improve and grow, the Consultants must be registered on the MAS Directory. The Directory is an on-line searchable directory which allows owners of such companies to search for a specialist consultant. There are a number of different search filters to use when browsing the Directory.
Barry van Eupen
Sources: MAS Website www.mymas.org
Additional information provided by Jenny Wilton, MAS Advisor for the East of England
Jenny can be contacted on 07824 491333
The MAS helpline number is 0845 658 9600