Since 1854, Amann has been one of the leading international manufacturers of high-quality sewing threads, embroidery threads and Smart Yarns. From universal sewing threads to highly technical specialised yarns, they offer a wide range of various applications.
Amann have taken up the offer of fully funded training provided by Instep UK as part of Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Skills for Growth programme, which is fully funded through the European Social Fund, to upskill their employees.
In 2022, they started their support from the project by investing in Lean manufacturing foundations training for their operatives throughout the business. Over the last six months, staff members have been attending exclusive onsite training sessions for three hours a week over four weeks around their shifts. As a result of the training, staff have developed new skills and knowledge to support them as individuals in their role to become more efficient whilst also aiding the organisations transition to a Lean business. For many individuals completing the Lean programme has been their first certificate for Level 3 training.
Kieran Rea (Amann Production Manager) and Joanne Scullion (Amann HR Business Partner) recently met with Sarah Qazi (Instep’s GMCA Contract Manager) to reflect on their experience to date and to review the impact the Lean training has had on their business so far, as well as to plan further support from the project for its workforce.
During the meeting, Kieran spoke highly of the training and support they have received from Instep. “The whole team at Instep have been so supportive, and they’ve taken the time to understand our operations here in Ashton. The training has had a real impact for us. Not only has it enabled us to identify new talent working within our business, but we have also had some great suggestions from staff on improving what we do.
One such suggestion has been implemented into our operations, supporting the business to improve our output for a major client for whom we had struggled to meet demand due to machine capacity constraints. Two of our operators, who undertook training with the Instep team, have effectively project-managed the planning and execution of this particular client’s orders with above 100% of the expected output. This was achieved by identifying the machine constraints and potential improvements. As a result, a Lean project was initiated with a cross-functional team (consisting of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Quality and Production members), resulting in completing orders over one calendar month, as opposed to what would have taken over 2-3 months against the plan. The increased capacity has also released the machine for additional orders. This leadership was undertaken without prompting or request and under their own drive to move the business forward through Lean initiatives. Furthermore, the individuals who made this improvement suggestion have been recognised with a quarterly award nomination and subsequent win”.
Talking of what is next for Amann, Kieran added, “We have just discussed and agreed on a plan to roll out more Lean Foundations training, but this time for our night shift teams! In addition, we have also committed to investing in training for our Leaders and Managers through Instep’s new Management Masterclasses. I could not believe how these aligned so perfectly with our business needs when Sarah talked me through them.”
Amann Threads UK Ltd is an organisation investing heavily in its workforce development, and it’s great to see them taking advantage of the support available through the Skills for Growth project.