Specialist brake disk manufacturer Alcon has made considerable savings and is on course to achieve record sales after linking up with advisers from the Manufacturing Advisory Service.
The Tamworth firm, which has customers including the Honda Formula One team and the entire Indycar grid in the US, is one of the companies which have benefited to the tune of £6.8 million this year following advice from MAS in the Midlands.
Each company helped has managed to increase sales on average by £175,000 after they received help from the organisation which gives businesses practical advice from experts with years of hands-on experience.
Companies who have used MAS have found it increases the value of their business through a combination of i ncreased turnover and reduced costs.
Alcon is on track to achieve record sales of more than £7 million in the next year and has generated considerable savings after being helped by advisers.
The company also supplies brake discs and callipers for World Rally Championship racing teams as well as making the world's biggest break disc for a production car which appears on the Bentley Continental.
MAS-WM helped to increase efficiency within Alcon's brake disc manufacturing cells, highlighted shop floor layout issues, and helped improve its overall working environment.
Advisers have helped identify 14 hours a day of time saving activities have been achieved across the manufacturing cells resulting in productivity improvement of 20 per cent.
David Fuller, operations manager at Alcon, said: "As a company we have invested heavily in R&D and advanced manufacturing operations in order to achieve the highest levels of product performance and quality.
"However, increasing global competition has meant that despite our success, we had to reduce the cost of production without compromising on quality and performance and MAS helped us to do this.
"It has allowed us to continue to manufacture innovative products but in a more cost effective way.
"The MAS advisers have saved us a considerable amount of money and we are pleased with the service we have had. We are now in a much more competitive position and this gives us a platform to achieve our ambitious future growth plans."
MAS, which employs 20 people at its base at Wolver-hampton Science Park, increased the number of indepth or funded specialist projects last year to 379, from 312 in the year before.
In its first four years, MAS West Midlands has handled 6,160 enquiries, made 3,023 advisory visits, and helped the region's firms with 1,197 in-depth projects.
Areas where MAS has helped companies add value include productivity, which has risen by more than a quarter nationally, and improving the use of space at companies by a third. It has also increased the efficient use of machinery by a third and reduced waste in the production process by 28 per cent.
Meanwhile the number of orders delivered on time has increased by 28 per cent following the intervention of MAS advisers.
Margaret Hodge, Minister for Industry and the Regions, said MAS had shown it could help manufacturers respond to the challenges of competition, raw materials costs and rising energy prices.
She said: "We do all we can to encourage and support high value manufacturing. The latest results show that progress has been sustained in the fourth year of a very successful programme."