Adopting Japanese processes

Leading companies in the Andover Business Community are successfully competing in the international market as a result of adopting business improvement processes pioneered by the Japanese car- maker, Toyota, a world leader in high quality production techniques.

Twinings Tea, based on the Walworth Estate, has implemented an improvement plan for its production processes which has improved efficiency of production and underpinned its reputation for consistently high quality. Efficiency is continuously compared with ‘world class standards’ throughout the production process and the company is penetrating the international market, even to the extent of exporting tea back to China and Japan.

Vitacress Salads, based in St Mary Bourne, but with farms in California, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Kenya as well as the UK, has implemented strong continuous improvement systems for its totally organic products even using local mineral water drawn from the River Bourne in its washing process. Vitacress provides high quality prepared salads to Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys among other leading food retailers.

Stannah Stairlifts supplying and installing its stairlift products internationally are also sustaining an international market. Alongside these leaders of the local economy, are many other local companies including RH Technical Industries, who are competing successfully in world markets as a result of meticulous attention to continuous quality improvement processes. Local Business School (Westley Business Solutions formerly known as ‘Services to Business’) based in Andover College, is supporting the drive to compete effectively at international level through the provision of business improvement and management training.

Currently, 50 managers are on programmes sponsored by Twinings, Stannah, Le Creuset, Vitacress, Aspire Defence and Lee Filters among leading companies locally.

Member of the chamber of commerce and business school manager, Les Savins said: “Our management students are making a significant impact in the drive for continuous development in their companies and they contribute to improvement of processes and increased effectiveness.”

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