2022 A Year for Continuous Improvement – Think LEAN, It’s Smart Made Simple

During 2021, leading UK Electronics Manufacturing Service Provider (EMS), SMS – Smart Made Simple, invested heavily in their pursuit to take LEAN to the next level within their organisation.

Their strategic plan would see their LEAN focus shift from that of a shop floor responsibility, to see the bigger picture of wrapping a LEAN mindset across the entire business.

Visionary Leadership

Smart Made Simple (SMS) appointed Andy Elms as their Director of Operations in September 2018 with the aim to facilitate process improvements, LEAN projects, and quality control.

From 2018 until the present day, Andy has demonstrated his passion to empower his team through coaching, mentoring, and driving a culture of continuous improvement, by implementing ‘best practice’ at all levels of the company.

Andy moved forward with his philosophy but has expanded to take the principles of LEAN to encompass SMS in its entirety.  In 2021, he invested further by introducing the company to the impressive ‘Continuous Improvement Award Winner and Owner/Director of Go Six Sigma Ltd, Barry Moss, BEng, MBA, CEng, FIMechE, Tech IOSH, LSS BB.’

The Search for Excellence

Under Barry’s training and development, SMS’ commitment to excellence through continuous improvement began. Excellent companies are successful in their management of the basic fundamentals, with respect to their environment, customer service, competitive advantage, productivity improvement, innovation, and risk taking.  In order to ensure that their key values and objectives are understood and practiced throughout the organisation, Andy and Barry put emphasis onto ‘simplicity and motivation.’ Simple structures, simple strategies, simple goals, and simple communications.  After all, it is Smart Made Simple!

Make LEAN, Smart and Simple

To ensure inclusivity and to motivate everyone within SMS to look within not only their own departmental functions, but beyond and take a holistic approach throughout the entire organisation, Andy and Barry put together a comprehensive series of events, (Discovery Days).  The aim, to educate everyone on the benefits that LEAN will bring to them, their role, their department, SMS, and their customers.

At these events, Andy and Barry asked for internal volunteers to head up their LEAN steering committee, which forms the backbone, guiding the company through their LEAN journey, to positively transform their approach to waste throughout the entire organisation.  These individuals became the companies LEAN ambassadors and advocates, whilst training and mentoring others to continuously pass that baton onto others, keeping the LEAN journey fluid and dynamic with no finish line. 

LEAN is a Lifetime Journey

At the Discovery Day events, Andy defined what LEAN would mean for SMS.

“LEAN is considered a philosophy of continuous improvement. A LEAN organisation focuses on increasing customer value, the elimination of waste, and optimising operations. The key components of LEAN can be applied to all types of businesses, processes, and across all departments.”

Commenting further Andy stated, “Under the ownership of Andrew Maddock and Craig Taylor, Smart Made Simple – SMS, has become a legacy business.  Within our manufacturing home in Nottingham, UK, we have over a century of electronics experience and expertise.  During this time, the company has witnessed many disruptions in the UK’s political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal landscape, and as a result, we’ve learnt to proactively adapt. LEAN is part of our progression to ensure that SMS will be here for the next 100 years, offering a competitive design and engineering solution for our UK Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

At SMS, we understand that LEAN improvements benefit our business.  Everyone in our ecosystem feels the advantages. Us, our suppliers, and our customers. It’s a win/win for all.”

The Road Ahead

Now that LEAN has been embraced by all of SMS, the road ahead is an optimistic one.  SMS recognises the power of good people. LEAN involves people in the pursuit to make a positive difference.  The level of engagement has been incredibly encouraging with practical training commencing this month, January 2022, and this will continue every month for the next two years.  16 colleagues, from across all departments, have moved forward to become our ‘waste hunters’ and these individuals will now work with Barry to start this process of training, coaching, and mentoring.

About Smart Made Simple

SMS – the U.K.’s leading Manufacturing Service Provider

From concept to creation, to commercialisation, to customer, for all technology companies. Whether you are a start-up, or an established household brand name, if you have a design, engineering, manufacturing or supply chain problem, thanks to the diversity of our experience and scalable service, SMS has the solution.

Since 1920, SMS has manufactured electronics products from the same home in Nottingham, U.K. For over 100 years, we have been the company behind the ideas, offering agile and adaptive supply chain solutions, that bring products to market faster, smarter and simpler.

Leader in the specialist low volume, highly complex manufacturing services market space, SMS has earned critical industry facility certifications, that brings full viability and credibility to the aerospace & defence, communications, industrial and medical markets. SMS brings the right scale, capabilities and competitive solutions to customers needing high-reliability attention, product realisation and supply chain optimisation.

For further information, visit www.smartmadesimple.com.

About our dedicated Development Centre: https://smselectronics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/About-our-Development-Centre_FINAL.pdf

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If you have any questions about this article or any services/solutions that Smart Made Simple (SMS) offer, please contact Director of Sales & Marketing, Steven Blyth.