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Defence Company – This organisation is vital to the defence of the UK. It is implementing a new ERP system, to bring together a variety of applications into one integrated system. They realised that many parts of their large organisation of 5000 people were able to achieve a variety of professional qualifications, but the planning community were being left out. So some ‘Basics of ERP’ courses were run for the planners and their managers, so that they could appreciate what integrated systems are all about, and they could appreciate the possible professional qualifications that they could progress to.


Cake Manufacturer – This client attended a Sales & Operations Planning Breakfast Briefing, that was hosted jointly by MLG and the IOM, at which Robin was one of the speakers. They realised they were having problems with their current S&OP process, and invited Robin in to have a look. He spent some time understanding how their overall systems work, from daily orders arriving early in the morning to cakes on the shelf in the stores the following day. He looked at their S&OP process, and identified clear shortfalls in what they had put in place, making clear recommendations as to the actions required to get the process generating the expected benefits.


Institute of Operations Management – For many years the IOM has used Robin to conduct some of its public and in-house client courses. These courses have been very well received by the delegates over the years, and some of the public courses have led on to in-house courses, which sometimes have been delivered many times. The public courses are run 2 to 4 times per annum, and have been gradually improved over time.


The topics covered included the following :

•     Material and Capacity Requirements Planning

•     Master Planning (covering Forecasting, Order Servicing, S&OP and Master Scheduling)

•     The basics of MRPII, Manufacturing Resource Planning

•     The mechanics of MRPII

•     Supply Chain Management

•     Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP

•     Demand Planning & Demand Management


Robin has also been a member of the IOM Qualifications and Awards committee, including a spell as committee chairman. The committee looks after the quality and integrity of the Institute’s qualifications – the Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Operations Management. This includes committee meetings 4 times per year, validation visits to new centres, and moderation visits to existing providers to ensure that they are doing a professional job in looking after their students.


Oil & Gas Industry Manufacturer and Remanufacturer – This client manufactures and maintains steering devices for the sub-sea drill string. They became part of a large US Corporation, and it was decided that they should implement the company’s standard ERP system. For various reasons the implementation was squeezed into less than 6 months and the planning team felt that the system was driving them in ways that they did not understand. Robin’s involvement commended with a 2 day ‘Introduction to MRP and MRPII’ course, which opened the eyes of the attendees and started to explain why certain things were done in certain ways. They asked Robin if he could work with them to improve their use of the system. This became about an 18 month assignment, in which Robin helped them to drive the system in the way they wanted it to work for them. The client took control of the system.


The assignment included addressing various areas of the system :

•    Medium Term Planning – S&OP was introduced

•    Demand Planning – ensuring that MRP could ‘see’ all of the demand

•    Understanding MRP – unravelling the multiplicity of Action Messages

•    Stock Record Accuracy – introducing the concept and planning implementation

•    Engineering Change Control – ensuring they understood system impacts

•    Integration of manufacturing and remanufacturing

•    The repair loop – introducing relevant performance measures


Further Education Colleges – Robin has worked at a number of centres, delivering the IOM’s Certificate and Diploma in Operations Management. He has also delivered the CILT Diploma in Logistics and Transport. Some of these have been delivered at college, but one was an in-house programme, in which the IOM Certificate was delivered twice, which generated sufficient students to then run a Diploma programme. More recently these have been delivered as partial distance learning programmes, in which there are monthly tutorials supplemented by private study, for which email communication is welcomed. One centre in particular ran a full distance learning programme, for which Robin was one of their tutors.


Cake Manufacturer - This client also makes a range of cakes for a variety of retailers. They are part of a US Corporation, and were implementing a worldwide ERP system. They realised that one of the most important ingredients for the success of such an implementation is education. There were about 36 people involved with the implementation, to varying degrees, so we set up an education programme that went from basics to intermediate to advanced. All 36 attended the basics, 24 went on to cover the intermediate level, and about 12 went on to cover the advanced level, in which we covered the details of the calculations. The MD attended the basics. At the end of the day, he concluded that S&OP could not be left until phase 2 of the project, should be included in phase 1, as good medium terms plans are vital for the short term plans to stand a chance of being delivered on-time, in full every day.


Paper and Plastic Cup Manufacturer - This client worked in FMCG, providing a wide range of goods to the fast food sector. They had many plants around Europe. They had divided into Sales Business Units and Operations Business Units. They too had noticed that accountants and engineers often had professional qualifications, but demand and production planners had none. So they looked for suitable professional qualifications and chose the IOM to deliver, using Robin to conduct courses. They introduced the idea of a Basic Planners Academy, which was a 1 week course, to be attended by all demand and production planners and managers around Europe. This whole programme was supply chain oriented, as the justification for the programme was to improve the performance of the supply chain. The delegates left the first week with specific actions to put in place. Some people then progressed to the Advanced Planners Academy, which included the IOM’s Certificate in Operations Management.


Contract Pharmaceutical – In another example, Robin conducted a Master Planning course, which was attended by the planner for a small pharmaceutical company on the south coast, and a copy of Robin’s S&OP pocket guide was given to all attendees. The planner happened to show the booklet to his MD, who borrowed it, read it on holiday, and returned to say to his management team that we need to implement S&OP. Robin conducted an executive briefing, at which the whole management team committed to the process. This was followed by the establishment of an implementation team, with project manager, then training and a workshop with the team to develop the process. Robin then worked with the team to plan and develop the typical stages of an S&OP process, and sat in on the first S&OP meetings, and worked with individuals to ensure that their parts of the process were up and running. Once the in-house team felt self-sufficient Robin was able to leave them to run the process.


Turbine Manufacturer - Robin was asked to go to Romania to help out the local plant of a major US steel company. They had tried to implement S&OP but it was not generating benefit, and the Order Fulfilment Manager asked Robin to go out there to help. He provided a 2 day S&OP workshop to get the process started, and then the local people did a good job in developing the process. The need for the process was quickly seen group-wide, and Robin went to USA to conduct a 4 day workshop, with representatives from 5 plants on 3 continents. They developed the process and started with demand planning worldwide, then splitting the demand across the 5 plants, local S&OP meetings, then a group meeting, followed by a group executive meeting, in which they were clearly making vital decisions about production worldwide. This company is now implementing S&OP worldwide in all divisions, and Robin was asked to contribute to a management workshop in China at which the project was being launched for the Far East Region.


What kinds of consultancy do we provide?


ERP/Supply Chain system selection and implementation and improvement projects


(Executive) Sales & Operations Planning implementation and improvement projects


Audit of system implementations


•     ERP

•     Supply chain

•     (Executive) Sales & Operations Planning

•     Demand planning & demand management

•     Master scheduling

•     Material planning, MRP

•     Capacity planning, CRP


Action planning & execution as a result of audits


Implementation of Lean principles


Factory, Supply Chain simulations






Some MBE assignments

Here are some sample assignments MBE has carried out for clients.


To look at our impressive list of clients: click HERE

To find out what we can do for your business contact Manufacturing Business Excellence on

01249 89 25 26

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