The interaction of the Company Capability Assessment with the Company and Customer Competitiveness Views enables the NMCL assessor to identify where improvement is required. The top priority is to understand where the company’s capability is potentially ‘order losing’ and improve their performance to at least match that of their peers.
Advancing a company’s competitive performance from ‘order losing’ brings with it an obvious need for improvement. Other improvements may be more nuanced with ‘parity’ being good enough in some areas whilst the Customer Competitiveness View may point to the need for improvements within particular themes. All of the required improvement activity is recorded in the Programme Pack so that potential investors can see what is essential, what would be nice to have and what would not be regarded as a value for money (VFM) investment. The ability to say that a particular theme is ‘good enough’ for company at this stage in its growth journey is key to supporting VFM investment decisions. Accepting that somethings are ‘good enough’ removes the, all too common, temptation to engage in improvement activities that do not realise meaningful benefits nor generate a return on investment.
Improvement needs are recorded in the Programme Pack and Business Case along with an indication of the cost and scale of the improvement activity.
The improvement activity itself is provided outside of the NMCL organisation largely by Sector Led Programmes including those from the aerospace and automotive sectors.
However, NMCL can be used to aid an investment decision that could result in a bespoke improvement activity funded by the company itself, a bank, LEP or other funding source.
In some cases the improvement activity may utilise more than one funding route or more than one provider of the mentoring, coaching or training activities. Where possible, the NMCL Programme Pack will signpost the company to suitable and relevant improvement programmes and providers including the existing ‘national resources’ such as universities, catapults and technology centres
Preparing the Programme Pack is a fundamental part of the NMCL Assessor’s role. Utilising all of the views and assessments to date, the Assessor produces a pack that includes:
- A Business Case
- Detailed project plans – actions and timings
- KPI impact assessment
- Risk planning
- Financial impacts and assumptions
- Investment plan
- ROI and payback period
Following the improvement activity, the NMCL Assessor reviews the project and undertakes:
- A further Company Capability Assessment to record the improvement that has taken place within the company
- A Customer Competitiveness View in order to ascertain the current customer view of the company
- A Customer Revenue Profile to understand whether the company is now ‘selling more’ or during periods of downturn, whether a company is ‘holding its own’.
In this way the assessor can evaluate the company’s current NMCL assessment and understand the value of the improvement activity that took place. All of this vital information is reported not only to the company, but also to the investors that backed the activity in the first place.
Details of the benefits realised and return on investment is powerful information that can aid future investment decisions for the investor and stimulate the company to consider further improvement activity.