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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Leaner, Meaner and Keener... but I wouldn't be without...?

On the BBC this week Business Correspondent Emma Simpson reported on a Foundry in Shropshire forced to lay off dozens of workers in 2009 that have now begun to see some evidence of recovery in their sector.

In its’ heyday the business generated £6m a year with 150 staff but this year they expect to make a £1m turnover with just 15 staff. 

To survive, the business has made dramatic changes in the way it operates.  The small workforce ‘mucks in’ and does everything, fighting for every order and keeping prices low. Company cars have long gone as have support staff and van drivers, but one area that raised an eyebrow for me was that they no longer have a bookkeeper.

I can only assume they must have access to someone with a good understanding of all things financial or how else would they know how to set their pricing, which of their products are financially viable, and where further savings can be made.

Which leads me to my question…  if you had to make savings in your business… what ‘essential’ would you really not be able to do without?

You can read the full BBC article here.


  1. I guess the question is - do we WANT to compete with the Chinese by emulating their life-styles - I think NOT. There has to be a better way than working ever harder for ever less return - if we lived forever that might be ok - but you only get one shot at this life.

    1. Very profound Peter. I had an interesting conversation about this article with my father. He claimed he would be happy to pay a ‘33% increase in price for goods he knew were made in the UK’. He also suggested that the government should subsidise UK manufacturing to help them retain contracts and win overseas business. Having worked in the the electronics industry in the late 80’s early 90’s I know we faced fierce pricing competition from both France and Spain whose Governments’ subsidised them.


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