The Business Improvement Technique (BIT) Team at Crowcon Detection Instruments has won the Manufacturing Team of the Year category of the recent Manufacturing Champions Awards run by Manufacturing Management magazine.


Abingdon-based Crowcon specialises in the production, development and manufacture of gas detection instruments and is 18 months into a three-year programme of incorporating LEAN efficiency techniques into the business with the help of Gosport-based LEAN business specialists, Fedden USP.


The objectives of the LEAN programme are to improve productivity and customer service levels and increase innovation, which will improve the overall bottom line of the business.


Ten employees from Crowcon initially undertook the six-day LEAN Business Improvement Techniques (BITs) NVQ Level 2 Workshop, delivered by Fedden USP in conjunction with MIT Skills. In parallel with the Workshop, the delegates individually identified and ran improvement projects that have been approved by the Crowcon board, with 12 months of onsite project support provided by Fedden USP. Upon completion of these projects, the delegates were awarded an NVQ national-recognised qualification based on their ability to deliver tangible improvement to operational performance.


The Manufacturing Champions Awards saw over 50 companies from all over the UK enter eight award categories and the judges were particularly impressed by Crowcon’s entry saying that: “this entry ticks every one of the judging criteria, and then exceeds them. If you’re looking for a Champion manufacturing team, look no further than Crowcon.”


Winning the award crowns a whirlwind time for the company and its operations director, Frazer Mackay, who commented:


“I am immensely proud of the team on winning this national award and I know they are all delighted and rightly so, as its due recognition of the fantastic achievements they delivered through the programme.  Having made the changes, the greatest reward for me is seeing everyone’s increased pride and productivity, which in some areas is greater than 50%.  The BIT programme ensures we can now continue on our excellent LEAN journey. Another measure of success is that we are in the process of signing up the next cohort of people to do the NVQ and, as we know, this will offer the business productivity and the individuals a national qualification, so it’s a win-win situation.”


Fedden USP owner and Managing Consultant, Neil Fedden, said: “Congratulations to Crowcon on winning the award – it is very well deserved. We are really enjoying working with the team who were all keen from the start to learn about LEAN working techniques and implement improvements to their processes where required. It’s also good to see that they have so much more pride in their work and can see the benefits of their improvement projects on the business and this will spur them on to greater success over the coming years.”