Grantham firm joins Sharing in Growth with aim of increasing turnover to £12m by 2023

Growing Lincolnshire- based engineering firm SL Engineering Ltd has joined Productivity experts Sharing in Growth (SiG)’s business transformation programme.

SL Engineering, based near Grantham, produces specialised rigid tube assemblies, complex fuel manifolds, core engine pipes and flexi-metallic rigid pipes used in some of the world’s most demanding fuel, hydraulic and other critical fluid conveyance applications.

The company has experienced 87% growth in the last three years, particularly from aerospace where its customers include Rolls-Royce, Eaton Aerospace, Safran Aerosystems, Kawasaki, and GKN.

To continue this rapid growth, increasing its turnover from almost £6 million to over £12 million by 2023, the company applied for SiG’s support to ensure it can efficiently deliver this growth, improve existing customer satisfaction and successfully compete to win even more new business. After a detailed and robust business diagnostic, it has now been accepted onto the government-supported, industry-led programme.

Joint managing director Shaun Stevenson said: “SL Engineering has a great reputation with our global customer base and we’ve worked hard and invested heavily in business systems, machinery and people to achieve this phenomenal growth.

“But, like most UK supply chain companies, we face growing fierce competition from low-cost countries and need to successfully deliver cost savings and simultaneously achieve steep production build-rate increases.

“At the same time, we are dealing with the challenges of doubling in size while ensuring that we maintain our existing sound customer relationships built on trust and integrity to continue to meet our quality and delivery promises to customers.

“So, having worked with the ADS led SC21 aerospace improvement standard, we recognised that it was time to scale up and join Sharing in Growth in order to undertake a total business transformation.”

Among the first priorities for SL Engineering on the SiG programme will be to create a lighthouse cell for one of the largest volume product lines. This will enable Sharing in Growth to support the implementation of world-class productivity standards which can then be shared across other production cells in the business.

There will also be a focus on supply chain management, cost reduction, cash flow and increased machining efficiency. This will be supported by structured data gathering and analysis and engaging the workforce through effective communication and involvement to ensure that, despite increasing their headcount by 60% to more than 80 people, the whole team can become involved to support change and expansion.

With SiG’s support, SL Engineering will also be looking at options to build ambitious future capacity through planned infrastructure growth such as a new factory and the creation of additional jobs.

Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page added: “I am delighted to welcome SL Engineering onto our Sharing in Growth programme. We understand the challenges they face and have more than 2,000 years of industry expertise across our team to help them fulfil their ambitions. We’ve now supported over 60 beneficiaries to secure more than £4 billion in contracts two years ahead of schedule.

“This is equivalent to over 7,000 jobs so we are well on target to safeguard 10,000 UK jobs by 2020. Our programme is effective because it has the unique scope and scale, commensurate with the challenge of helping programme participants to win a larger share of the global aerospace market.”

A not-for-profit organisation, Sharing in Growth is supported by the Regional Growth Fund and by more than £150 million in private investment.

Over 60 companies, with some 10,000 employees, have benefitted from the Sharing in Growth programme across the UK. Each company participates in a bespoke and intense training and business transformation programme which focuses on leadership, culture and operational capability delivered by SiG’s own 100 strong team of business coaches as well as a bank of world-leading experts including The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory.