SL Engineering, based near Grantham, produces 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 past three years, particularly from aerospace, where its customers include Rolls-Royce, Eaton Aerospace, Safran Aerosystems, Kawasaki, and GKN.
To continue this rapid growth and help increase its turnover from almost £6 million to over £12 million by 2023, the company applied for SiG’s support. After a detailed and robust business diagnostic, SL Engineering has been accepted on to the government-supported, industry-led programme.
Says joint managing director Shaun Stevenson: “We have 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. However, like most UK supply chain companies, we face growing fierce competition from low-cost economies and need to successfully deliver cost savings and simultaneously achieve steep increases in production build-rate.
“At the same time, we’re dealing with the challenges of doubling in size, while ensuring that we maintain our existing sound customer relationships built on trust and integrity,” he adds. “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 its largest volume product lines. This strategy will enable SiG 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 focus 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.
Says SIG’s CEO Andy Page: “I’m delighted to welcome SL Engineering on to our 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’re well on target to safeguard 10,000 UK jobs by 2020.”