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MANUFACTURERS NETWORK 

Manufacturing Specialists: 

Empowering Lasting Business Improvements

We are manufacturing specialists - not consultants who preach and disappear. Our approach is based on knowledge transfer through organisational assessments, education, on-site support, and peer-to-peer learning. 

Who we are 

By manufacturers, for manufacturers.  

We have a proven track record of helping manufacturers make significant and lasting improvements to their businesses.  

We have a wealth of manufacturing expertise from working with and listening to thousands of companies. Our practitioners and coaches are manufacturing professionals with in-depth knowledge and experience in implementing Organisational Effectiveness to world-class standards. Our approach is to transfer this knowledge and capability to our clients.  

As our name suggests, we work with manufacturing companies across all sectors, including automotive, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, chemical, paper and board, food and drink, and apparel – to name a few.   

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Competing in the current market demands a new approach.  

In recent years, manufacturers have experienced an unprecedented rate of change. From the persistence of hybrid working to the high cost of raw materials and fragile supply chains, it’s become essential for manufacturers to remove complexities and think differently. Manufacturers need to operate with agility to be robust, working fast and to the highest standards to remain competitive.

To help manufacturers prepare for their future, we have created a global community of diverse manufacturing professionals – Manufacturers Network.  

As a team, we have spent the last decade running one of the UK’s leading Management Consultancies focused on manufacturing. During this time, we have developed unrivalled knowledge of the manufacturing sector. To continue offering the highest delivery standards, we recognised that we needed to change too – we needed to get closer to our customers to better understand their challenges and opportunities. So, we developed new ways of working and support programmes fit for the pressures of today.  

We were explicitly set up to achieve our vision: to build a knowledge-sharing community, developing and challenging each other to be better every day. Through our team of expert practitioners and bespoke solutions, we aim to redefine what’s possible for manufacturers for the good of the sector. 

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Foreword

Mark Leeson

Founder and Managing Director

“In recent years, we have been lucky enough to be on our own improvement journey, working with some of the world’s most effective manufacturing organisations and leading minds in the sector. This has helped us to discover a phenomenal amount about ourselves and how we can enhance our level of service delivery, developing an armoury of fresh ideas on how we can support businesses with knowledge transfer and accountable learning. 

And so, the Manufacturers Network was born. It isn’t just a management consultancy or an education provider – it’s a network of manufacturing professionals with a common goal: to be the best we can be for our customers. We don’t pretend to have all the answers. Instead, we supplement our education and onsite support programmes with knowledge-sharing experiences to facilitate opportunities to learn from each other to identify solutions through self-discovery. 

We’re incredibly ambitious and look forward to sharing new support services with our customers.”   

Our journey so far 

We’ve supported manufacturers to combat challenges, achieve goals, and enable them to future-proof their business – through assessments, education, coaching, and peer-to-peer learning. 

As we grow, we’re helping more manufacturers and students. So far, we’ve:

Educated more than 70 students on our Management and Leadership Programmes 

Educated over 170 students on our Lean Continuous Improvement Programmes 

Helped students deliver over 45 improvement projects in their sponsoring organisation 

And we’ve done this around the world – the countries we’ve supported so far are: 

What our customers say

9/10

On average, 9/10 delegates would recommend our education programmes to a colleague

100%

Almost 100% agree our practitioners are knowledgeable and experienced in their subject areas 

4.7/5

Feel our education programmes are relevant to their needs 

“We developed a great partnership with the Manufacturers Network. They’ve helped us to look at things differently by exposing us to best-in-class organisations outside of our industry and delivered excellent Lean and Six Sigma change management training.

This was followed up by coaching and mentoring from their world-class coaches. We appreciate their flexibility and attention to detail, along with their creative approach to helping us achieve our Continuous Improvement ambitions.”

Brendan Coward

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We would be nothing without our clients

We’ve had the privilege of working with some incredible manufacturers who are raising the bar for the industry – on a global scale

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Our support services

Our Practitioners and Leadership Coaches have all worked in the manufacturing industry and been in your shoes. They draw on their experience and expertise to understand your systems, clarify your goals, and co-create a strategy to empower you to achieve your ambitions. With our tailored support, your team will develop the essential skills and knowledge to succeed – and make every day your best day. 

1. Study

We recommend all projects start with a full assessment of your organisation. Subject to the scale of the project, we will propose our Organisational Assessment. We specialise in Organisational Assessments and have helped businesses worldwide truly understand their current state.

2. Plan

We take the results from our Organisational Assessment and co-create a future state roadmap which aligns with your vision and strategic objectives. We build a detailed activity plan during this phase to achieve your ambitions. We don’t have a fixed model that we expect all our customers to go through, we will utilise our experience and bring to the table what has and hasn’t worked for our clients, but our service is truly tailored to you.  

3. Do

Onsite deployment and execution support from world-class practitioners typically includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Knowledge transfer and capacity building through our education programmes with our Accountable Learning Framework

  • Support and develop system thinking

  • Practical application – through selected improvement projects focused on accelerating Safety, Quality, Cost, Delivery, and People (SQCDP) metrics

  • Manufacturing Visits and Study Tours to help lift the ceiling on what is perceived as possible

  • Coaching and Mentoring – Managers, leaders, and executives to help make change sustainable and not reliant on us

  • Internal and external stakeholder communication – often an undervalued step when deploying improvement programmes, change is uncomfortable for most of us, so explaining why, how, and the impact of the change programme will significantly improve employee support and engagement.

4. Check

Co-develop and analyse leading and lagging measures. What measures do we take to know if we are winning or losing? 

5. Act

What lessons have been learned? And how are we adapting and deploying a systematic approach to programme learning and improvements?  

Onsite Support services tailored for your manufacturing business. 

Our core capabilities are based on a deep understanding of the tools, systems, and principles required to transform manufacturing businesses and deliver Organisational Excellence. We have a broad range of expertise that spans from strategic to practical – crucially, we understand how to link these together. 

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Strategy and Culture – Embedding strategic and cultural change. 

Much of our onsite support work is helping our customers achieve a more profound transformation by embedding the principles, culture, and behaviours that drive transformational change.  

Systems – Bringing a systematic approach to excellence.  

We understand how to build effective systems which sustain the deployment of lean tools and ultimately help businesses to drive continuous improvements.  

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Tools – Expert solutions in manufacturing tools and techniques. 

Our practitioners are grounded in deploying and refining the latest tools and techniques, with an unrivalled understanding of engaging and educating shop-floor associates to deliver sustainable improvement. 

Education Programmes – delivered through open programmes or tailored in-house solutions 

Sustainable change is delivered through education. Our highly acclaimed programmes help to create successful leaders and businesses by educating people in the latest manufacturing techniques and thinking.  

From the factory floor to the boardroom, we have an unrivalled track record of providing progressive programmes for business leaders, managers, and shop floor associates. Hands-on manufacturing professionals deliver many of these programmes accredited by leading institutions, including the Chartered Management Institute, Lean Competency System, and the Shingo Institute. We also develop and run bespoke in-company courses tailored to specific needs.

 

To transfer skills and knowledge back into manufacturing businesses as quickly as possible, students completing courses follow our Accountable Learning Framework, designed to embed learning through practical application, assessment and deployment. New learning is achieved only when it can be shared and delivered to others. 

Accountable Learning
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Learn it. Practice it. Share it.

Our Accountable Learning Framework is about being given the opportunity to learn and develop with access to best-in-class education programmes. But more than education is needed. We measure and assess the students’ ability to deploy their new knowledge. So, all our courses have an appropriate assessment and practical application through project delivery, which our practitioners support – offering an immediate return on investment.   


Whether students discuss learnings with a colleague, train others, or showcase in a benchmarking visit, we believe that education is genuinely embedded when they can share their new knowledge with others

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Get In Touch with Us

Keep up to date with the latest courses and discounts offered

What to expect from us during 2023

Manufacturers Network Organisational Excellence Model launch. 

We know the Shingo Model well. One of our practitioners, George Donaldson, led the UK’s only Shingo Prize recipient at Newsprinters Eurocentral. But, whilst Shingo certainly has its value and is one of our specialisms, we’re fearless in doing things differently if it’s best for our customers. 

We felt there was a better way to assess and implement Organisational Excellence – one that was holistic and people-centric. And so, we created the ‘Manufacturers Network Organisational Excellence Model’. Six core disciplines (people, partners, purpose, plan, process, and performance) result in agility and sustainable Organisational Excellence. 

Carrying out an assessment is vital as it will enable you to understand your business’ performance and culture. The model is employed as a benchmark, so you can pinpoint best practices, strengths, and opportunities and prioritise areas for improvement. 

Our assessment rates your organisation’s maturity by how effective your systems, processes, tools, and working practices are in regard to the six disciplines – alongside four specific lenses and six stages of maturity.

 

The assessment process has four phases: 

  • Preparation

  • Assessment

  • Feedback

  • Ongoing support (optional). 

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Subscription Platform

Subscription platform launch – including Apple IOS and Google Android Apps.

Our subscription platform pushes boundaries. Available to people in the manufacturing sector – from directors to operators – it disrupts traditional networking, education, and training by delivering a unique, holistic method of sharing experiences.  

This is a members-only space, bringing together like-minded professionals so they can impart knowledge on what ‘good’ looks like and test their thoughts on how others have navigated their careers. There’s also a library of relevant self-development content (including masterclasses, interviews, and roundtables), helping those in their sector develop their career path. 

You’ll gain: 

  • An understanding of what sector challenges could mean for your business 

  • Exposure to leading industry professionals across the globe, including trailblazers 

  • A discovery of ideas and innovative ways of thinking and doing to better develop yourself, your people, and your organisation  

  • An ability to learn new skills or refresh knowledge through online courses 

  • A personal support network of like-minded professionals who’re experiencing similar challenges to you  

  • The opportunity to lift the ceiling on what you think is possible by learning how others have achieved high-performance outputs 

What else can you expect from Manufacturers Network? 

We will only ever give our best – and to do so, we need to lead the way and dare to do things differently. We genuinely care about our customers and the sector. As a result, you can expect to receive: 

Growing practitioner team and service offering

We have a mammoth plan for growth. That’s why we're expanding our practitioner team and service offering. We’re constantly innovating to create new concepts, ways of working, and how to succeed. We also provide bespoke solutions that work specifically for your business. As a result, our service offering continuously meets your needs. 

Manufacturing site visits and study tours 

On best practice visits and study tours, you’ll get first-hand experience applying the principles of organisational excellence and meeting the people responsible for making it happen at every level. And you’ll be able to discuss the insights, successes, and opportunities they’ve encountered throughout their journey.

Events and conferences 

You can attend in-person events, conferences, and online webinars. This will allow you to develop your learning further, gain deeper insights and experiences, and network with other professionals in the industry. 

New ways of delivering

When appropriate, we deliver with a fresh, innovative approach to best meet our customers’ requirements – like state-of-the-art technology. We work together and take your feedback on board, so we can provide new and better ways to deliver the very best education for your business. 

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Our HQ and training environment

Based in Manchester, our head office is at Cobra Court, Trafford Park – a short trip from the city centre. We didn’t choose this site just for us, though. It also serves as a training environment for our clients. 

We designed our base to support organisations’ learning requirements. There are meeting rooms for hire, a bright, airy space for workshops, and facilities suited for small events. Contact the team for more information.

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Amenities

The amenities include: 

  • 2,000 square feet of flexible space 

  • Free car parking 

  • State-of-the-art equipment 

  • Catering services 

  • On-site event support team 

  • Filming 

  • Photography 

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How to find us 

If you’re travelling by car, we’re only five minutes away from Junction 9 on the M60. Alternatively, we’re near Manchester City Centre and have strong travel links via bus, Metrolink, and rail – meaning that you can reach us wherever you are in the country. 

0161 533 1617 

1 Adbaston Road, Cobra Court, Trafford Park, Manchester, M32 0TP 

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