Industry excellence programme could benefit £30 million to Scottish companies

Industry excellence programme could benefit £30 million to Scottish companies
Around £30 million of productivity gains could benefit almost 300 companies in the aerospace, defence and security markets by signing up to Supply Chain 21 (SC21), a UK-wide industry excellence programme, and undertaking business improvement projects, according to Scottish Enterprise's Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS).
Overseen by A|D|S and delivered in Scotland by SMAS, SC21 can offer Scotland's 330 aerospace, defence and security companies the key to increasing their bottom line and productivity savings through improved quality and customer satisfaction levels and wider visibility to its supply chain.
With over 600 signatories currently registered on the programme nationally, and only 34 of which are Scottish companies, Scotland has an enormous opportunity to seize, says new SMAS director Nick Shields:
"In an ever increasing globally competitive market, large manufacturing companies are demanding more and more from their suppliers to deliver on time, on budget and to a high standard. Their reputation and future business prospects depend on this and SC21 gives them the assurances and confidence that these suppliers can do just that."
Signing up to SC21 involves each company undertaking an initial free assessment to determine its readiness for the programme. Following this, a further assessment is carried out to score the company's compliance to the standard which results in a ‘continuous improvement plan' being developed.
At the end of this process, the company is then registered as an SC21 company and their details are entered into a nationally and internationally recognised website for key supply chain companies.
SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, is a global manufacturing leader in defence electronics markets and has one of its key sites based in Edinburgh. SELEX Galileo is a huge supporter of SC21 and has drawn many business benefits from this initiative.
Peter Laurie, responsible for supply chain development at SELEX Galileo explained: "While we have seen many benefits of being involved in the programme, I would say that improved relationships have been the major success for us, in particular building trust between ourselves and our strategic suppliers. This supports improvements to our lead time, more accurate planned vs actual labour costs, quality cost reduction and improved delivery performance."
SELEX Galileo has an active supply base of about 1000 companies, 100 of which have signed up to SC21.
Nick continues "SC21 not only puts companies in the ‘shop window' it also has commercial benefits such as helping to reduce the number of audits in this compliant heavy industry. For example, if a supplier works for multiple companies, they will be audited by all of them each year, whereas SC21 suppliers only require one SC21audit as this is recognised by all signatories."
The programme, which has been operational in the UK since 2006 but only been delivered in Scotland since September 2009, also recognises companies with exceptionally high quality and delivery performance standards through its bronze, silver and gold awards.
To earn a bronze award, a company must be able to demonstrate, over the course of a year, that it has achieved 90 per cent on-time delivery with quality standards at least 98 per cent, and for Gold those figures rise to 99 per cent and 99.9 per cent respectively.
Across the UK, there have been no gold awards granted, however, eight companies have received a silver award and 33 have achieved the bronze.
Only one bronze award has been won by a Scottish based company - Castle Precision Engineering Ltd based in Glasgow, which manufactures critical precision components. The company prides itself in its high quality standards and successfully achieved its SC21 at Farnborough Air Show last year. It subsequently went on to win The Manufacturer of the Year award at the end of last year, which managing director Marcus Tiefenbrun attributes, in part, to its SC21 compliance.
Marcus said: "We're a company that's committed to high quality standards. Combine that with our ambition for growth and this programme was right up our street.
"Being the first company in Scotland to be awarded an SC21 excellence award is a great achievement for us and we must thank the SMAS team for their valuable contribution in helping us achieve it."
Scotland's aerospace, defence and security sector currently employs over 23,000 people, has a turnover of £3.6 billion and produces a GVA of £1.4 billion.
Notes to editors:
About Supply Chain 21
Supply Chain 21 (SC21) is overseen by A|D|S and delivered in Scotland by SMAS to help accelerate the competitiveness and profile of suppliers in this sector through their commitment to improving quality and delivery performance.
For further information visit the A|D|S 21st Century Supply Chains (SC21) Website.
For more information contact:
Julia McLaren
Scottish Enterprise
t:01786 452022
m:07801 794046
e:[email protected]
Ruth Andrew
Scottish Enterprise
t:0141 228 2717
m:07768 615 154
e:[email protected]


Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Our role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. We support ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and help build Scotland's globally competitive sectors. We also work with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.

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SMAS is delivered throughout the Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise areas. A Manufacturing Review, which is free to all manufacturing companies in Scotland, involves a diagnostic visit from a SMAS practitioner, with a report following the visit stating the opportunities and actions for the company to improve productivity and competitiveness. Manufacturing companies of all sizes can enquire about a Manufacturing Review by telephoning 0845 609 6611 or visiting