Sharing in Growth programme payback

13 Mar 2019

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Family-owned precision engineering firm JJ Churchill of Leicestershire has secured more than £100 million in contracts, increased its headcount by 35% and its export forward order book from under £1 million to more than £37 million after five years on the Sharing in Growth productivity and competitiveness programme.

The Market Bosworth-based company was one of the first aerospace suppliers selected for Sharing in Growth in 2013 when its ambitions were to overcome risks caused by the oil crisis by expanding its aerospace export business. The company now manufactures high precision aerospace gas turbine components as well as high horsepower diesel engine components and assemblies for global customers such as Rolls-Royce, Safran, Cummins and Siemens.

Since then, with support from Sharing in Growth, it has redefined its strategy to focus on people, customers and new business development. As a result, JJ Churchill has increased turnover by almost 30% from 2015/16 and now has plans to hit more than £38 million and add around 20 new jobs by 2020. Consequently, the company has been able to make a £10 million investment in plant and equipment.

The Sharing in Growth programme at JJ Churchill’s represented a £1.1 million investment from the Regional Growth Fund with the company more than matching that, in time spend on business transformation. Sharing in Growth does not require any cash input from beneficiaries, just a commitment to dedicating time to improvement activities. JJ Churchill is now looking to continue its relationship with Sharing in Growth in order to maintain access to the programme’s unrivalled expertise.  

Said executive chairman Andrew Churchill: “Sharing in Growth is an excellent example of the government and engineering working together to make our industry more effective, more efficient and future-proofed. This is increasing opportunity, sales and jobs.

“Working with Sharing in Growth, we have invested in our people, our efficiency and our technology so that we can delight customers by delivering quality products in full, on time and with world-beating competitiveness. Last year we signed one of our biggest ever long-term agreements worth around £70 million to supply precision machined blades to Rolls-Royce. I don’t think it gets any better than that.”

Examples of practical business transformation made at JJ Churchill include improvements to employee engagement, the visibility of mission, vision and values, business planning, the new product introduction process, supply chain management, cost-reduction, shop floor lay-out, processes and visual management, and staff were trained in Business Improvement Techniques NVQs.

Sharing in Growth has now helped aerospace suppliers across the UK secure more than £3.6 billion in contracts. This is equivalent to around 30,000 man years‘ work or securing almost 7,000 high-value jobs.  The not-for-profit programme is so successful that it is providing a 60:1 return on public investment, with the majority of companies on the programme growing at five times the rate of their industry peers.