Quickgrind

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Quickgrind's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Quickgrind is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.quickgrind.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | CLOUD ELECTRONICS
customer base who account for around
55 per cent of revenue and a growing
export distribution network with over
40 countries represented.
Five years ago, we opened our USA
office in Park City Utah with the
objective of competing in the most
lucrative background music market in
the world. The USA office supports
and serves all the Americas and
Japan. Sales and growth in this highly
challenging market have been steady
without being dynamic, although the
brand’s reputation is highly regarded
and respected throughout the US
andCanada.
Changing the track
The 2009 recession was a particularly
challenging time, with sales declining
by 50 per cent causing considerable
stress on the business, but our
reputation, along with aggressive cost
controls, saw the business survive and
recover during the resurging years.
Since then, considerable investments
have been made in the operation,
in the infrastructure and particularly
in growing the research and
developmentdepartment.
Our open market economy makes it
increasingly difficult for British electronics
manufacturers to compete on the
world stage. We have no meaningful
protection or security from importing
competitors who can flaunt our flimsy
European safety regulations, while
British exporters of audio electronics are
blatantly restricted from importing to all
the world’s leading markets by the use
of tenuous electrical safety compliance.
The emerging economies such as the
BRIC nations all have clear strategies
to challenge any competing importers,
while UK businesses continue to pay
their domestic taxes and comply with
any and all legislation.
The sound of music
Staying competitive and relevant is
always the challenge for small niche
manufacturers, and we believe this
should be the main focus of our
business. This can best be achieved by
investing in new product development
that best leverages our world-
renowned brand equity, our long
heritage and loyal workforce.
This strategy is starting to take shape
with the introduction of our first range
of low-energy digital 100v amplifiers
aimed squarely at commercial
buildings, hospitality venues, hotels
and larger retail applications such as
car dealerships, gyms and hotels. With
end users increasingly concerned about
their energy consumption, they are
looking to better reduce this cost.
We have a world of competitors but
will continue to improve product
technology and market reach to grow
our reputation and sales around
theworld.
Every Cloud
commercial audio
product has been
designed with a
particular
application in
mind, and all are
built to the most
exacting
professional
standards using
only the most
reliable and
proven
components
available
Continuing to invest in
product development
39QUICKGRIND |
INDUSTRY & PRODUCTION
Chairman & Founder
EddieHowell and Managing
Director RossE.Howell
Quickgrind HQ, Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury’s Quickgrind Ltd designs, develops and
manufactures solid carbide and high-performance
steel cutting tools for companies all around the world.
Managing Director Ross Howell says the company delivers its
tooling expertise to the aerospace, automotive and engineering
sectors – as well as to a variety of F1 teams. Ross tells
TheParliamentary Review
about Quickgrind’s tools, which are
available both off the shelf and custom-designed.
After over 50 years of operating from our Tewkesbury base, we are undoubtedly
the best-kept cutting tool secret in the UK and are the tooling expert behind some
of the most well-known aerospace, aircraft, automotive, defence and medical
subcontract companies. Our constant quest for innovation, higher quality and
service excellence makes us their go-to partner for success.
Key to our success has been maintaining the financial stability of the company,
ensuring we continue to make money by maximising our return on investments
both now and in the future. In order to achieve this, our number-one priority is
to ensure our team members are fully committed and have secure and satisfying
employment. All of our employees are actively encouraged to be involved in the
continuous improvement of the company and are fully aware of our goals.
Training the next generation
Despite the general consensus in engineering being of an ageing workforce and a
shortage of skilled younger workers, this is certainly not the situation at Quickgrind.
Many of our operatives are in their early twenties, and a good few of them did not
FACTS ABOUT
QUICKGRIND
»Managing Director:
RossE.Howell
»Chairman & Founder: Edward
“Eddie” Howell
»Commercial, Marketing and IT
Manager: Tim Darch
»Established over 50 years ago
»Based in Tewkesbury,
Gloucestershire
»Services: Manufacture and
remanufacture of round shank
solid carbide cutting tools
»No. of employees: 38
»80 per cent of turnover from
export
Quickgrind
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
40 | QUICKGRIND
have any previous engineering training.
Our employees come from a wide
variety of backgrounds, but what they
have in common is a very positive and
flexible can-do attitude.
This transition from non-engineering
careers is facilitated by our advanced
cloud-based IT systems and a
McDonald’s-like system approach.
Our systems are unique and highly
customised to our
modus operandi
,
having been designed in-house and
coded by our own team members.
A flow-based model
In order to avoid being trapped in a
departmental silo style of working,
we have adopted a “flow based”
operating model. This means we view
the business as one system: from the
time the order is received until the
money is in the bank.
Adopting the flow-based approach
revolves around the first law of
manufacturing, which states: “All
benefits will be directly related to the
speed of flow of relevant information
and materials”.
When everything is flowing well,
service and delivery performance
is good, and you are able to meet
customer and client expectations.
Quality improves too, as fewer
mistakes are made, and when quality
and service is consistently high, market
share tends to grow.
This model requires maximum flexibility
from our team members, and many of
them are trained in numerous different
operations, meaning they can cover for
another when a member is absent and
the flow is not interrupted.
Infinite Possibilities
We also pride ourselves on our flexibility
and our focus on innovation, which has
been integral to our success since the
beginning and is the basis of our Infinite
Possibilities ethos and “Total Solutions
Engineering”programme.
The Infinite Possibilities ethos
challenges the way buyers and
programmers choose their cutting
tools. Determining the best tool for the
job has always meant turning to thick
cutting tool catalogues and selecting a
tool based on what the manufacturer
wants to sell you.
In today’s fast-moving world,
companies need to push the
production strategy envelope and are
always looking for innovative ways
to stay ahead. Standard tooling can
serve a purpose but can also lead
to compromise that costs time and
money: “Infinite Possibilities” means
you can customise, not compromise.
A specialised cutting tool, combined
with an optimised cutting strategy,
means you can produce highly
accurate, better-finished parts without
hurting your bottom line.
Total Solutions Engineering
The Total Solutions Engineering
programme is an integrated approach
which includes QuickLab, an
examination of a client’s current tooling
usage; QuickCam and QuickCam Pro,
for advanced machining techniques;
QuickVend, the in-house tool
Tooling expertise across
multiple industries
Infinite Possibilities
The Infinite
Possibilities
ethos
challenges the
way buyers
and
programmers
choose their
cutting tools
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
40 | QUICKGRIND
have any previous engineering training.
Our employees come from a wide
variety of backgrounds, but what they
have in common is a very positive and
flexible can-do attitude.
This transition from non-engineering
careers is facilitated by our advanced
cloud-based IT systems and a
McDonald’s-like system approach.
Our systems are unique and highly
customised to our
modus operandi
,
having been designed in-house and
coded by our own team members.
A flow-based model
In order to avoid being trapped in a
departmental silo style of working,
we have adopted a “flow based”
operating model. This means we view
the business as one system: from the
time the order is received until the
money is in the bank.
Adopting the flow-based approach
revolves around the first law of
manufacturing, which states: “All
benefits will be directly related to the
speed of flow of relevant information
and materials”.
When everything is flowing well,
service and delivery performance
is good, and you are able to meet
customer and client expectations.
Quality improves too, as fewer
mistakes are made, and when quality
and service is consistently high, market
share tends to grow.
This model requires maximum flexibility
from our team members, and many of
them are trained in numerous different
operations, meaning they can cover for
another when a member is absent and
the flow is not interrupted.
Infinite Possibilities
We also pride ourselves on our flexibility
and our focus on innovation, which has
been integral to our success since the
beginning and is the basis of our Infinite
Possibilities ethos and “Total Solutions
Engineering”programme.
The Infinite Possibilities ethos
challenges the way buyers and
programmers choose their cutting
tools. Determining the best tool for the
job has always meant turning to thick
cutting tool catalogues and selecting a
tool based on what the manufacturer
wants to sell you.
In today’s fast-moving world,
companies need to push the
production strategy envelope and are
always looking for innovative ways
to stay ahead. Standard tooling can
serve a purpose but can also lead
to compromise that costs time and
money: “Infinite Possibilities” means
you can customise, not compromise.
A specialised cutting tool, combined
with an optimised cutting strategy,
means you can produce highly
accurate, better-finished parts without
hurting your bottom line.
Total Solutions Engineering
The Total Solutions Engineering
programme is an integrated approach
which includes QuickLab, an
examination of a client’s current tooling
usage; QuickCam and QuickCam Pro,
for advanced machining techniques;
QuickVend, the in-house tool
Tooling expertise across
multiple industries
Infinite Possibilities
The Infinite
Possibilities
ethos
challenges the
way buyers
and
programmers
choose their
cutting tools
41QUICKGRIND |
INDUSTRY & PRODUCTION
vending solution; and QuickEdge, our
proprietary remanufacturing service.
When implementing Total Solutions
Engineering, our clients have seen cost
reductions of up to 50 per cent over a
two-year period.
This last strand of the Total Solutions
Engineering approach, the QuickEdge
remanufacturing service, is one of the
most important parts of our business
model. This sees many thousands
of tools being shipped back to our
UK facility, weekly, from all corners
of the world, to be refurbished to
“asnew”standard.
Remanufacturing is often confused
with resharpening, but they are very
different with resharpening being an
inferior process. Remanufacturing, on
the other hand, means the tools are
returned to their original profiles.
In fact, our new tools are designed
at the outset to undergo this process
up to seven times, a huge cost
saving for their clients and another
advantage of dealing directly with the
manufacturer. We actively encourage
the remanufacturing process as the
production of new raw material leaves
a large carbon footprint.
As well as supporting the United
Nations’ Sustainable Development
Goals Initiative we also, through
our education programme, partner
with several university engineering
departments, assisting with subsidised
tooling, practical advice and support.
We also differentiate ourselves from
our competitors by dealing directly
with our customers. Key to this is our
Trusted Adviser scheme, in which
specialists liaise directly with clients to
ensure all their specifications are met.
Clients appreciate the added value that
comes with the care and protection of
a specialist partner, a Trusted Adviser
who can identify the best solution for
their business.
Through the use of our QuickDirect
programme and by dealing directly,
rather than through distributors, the
end user gets the best possible price
and advice as well as the best delivery.
Businesses must be supported
Like most businesses, the uncertainty
of Brexit for the last three years has
been a nuisance but nothing like the
annoyance caused by the way it has
been handled by the government and
MPs in general. In fact, it has been a
humiliating, national disgrace.
However, once that is resolved, the
future looks very promising, but the
government does need to play its part
in creating the climate for companies
to continue to invest and create jobs.
In our view, the key issues that need
to be addressed are the lowering of
corporation tax, the introduction of a
100 per cent first-year allowance on
all capital expenditure and a complete
overhaul of the antiquated import and
export process.
Despite all these issues, we believe
our business model and strategy
has created a business fit for the
future, and we are excited to
take on the challenges of being a
worldwideenterprise.
The future
looks very
promising, but
the
government
does need to
play its part in
creating the
climate for
companies to
continue to
invest and
create jobs
Quickgrind Technology
Centre

www.quickgrind.com

This article was sponsored by Quickgrind. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development