#SMEsuccess: JJ Churchill – Sharing in Growth

JJ Churchill, a precision engineering company based in Market Bosworth, East Midlands, are experts in the production of gas turbine blades from forgings, castings and solid billet.

The company uses technology to drive prototype development and supplies individual spares demand, through to kitted production volumes, on a wide variety of programmes including: developmental blades for the Airbus A350’s Trent engine and Joint Strike Fighter engine.

JJ Churchill joined the AGP’s Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme in 2014 and has benefited extensively across the business.

Engaging in the SiG programme, setting strategies for the future, enabled JJ Churchill to weather the turbulence in the oil and gas sector and, at the same time, reshape the business with a greater focus on the aerospace market.

Andrew Churchill, Managing Director of JJ Churchill, explained:

“Working with SiG we were able to identify the structural and process weaknesses in the business and to put a plan in place to address these. And this wasn’t just at a strategic level. The SiG team supported our teams to implement structured problem solving.

“SiG gave us access to experts across a range of functions, including Lean and logistics, who sit in our management meetings. Their coaching adds real value to our working processes and systems. This level of expertise would normally not be available to a company of our size.

“Mentoring from SiG has enabled us to re-shape the business and put in place a regeneration plan, supporting a transition where we look at customers and markets from a new perspective. We are now endowed with modern manufacturing processes and best-practice systems”.

JJ Churchill credit one of the key achievements of SiG as enhancing the skills of the workforce. A number of elements in the SiG programme concentrate on improving employee capability; to develop measurement practices, measurement experts the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) worked alongside SiG and JJ Churchill’s engineers.

As part of the skill enhancement element to SiG, 16 engineers achieved an NVQ qualification. The NVQ project analysed and addressed three areas: reducing waste in an aerofoil development programme; reducing damage to a production part; and lost staff time across the organisation. The project resulted in a vast range of benefits: reduced time spent looking for tools; material for jobs easily identified; improved layout; time saved cleaning down machines; improved visual appearance of work areas.

Andrew Churchill said:

“SiG is an excellent example of the Government and the engineering industry working together to make our industry more effective, more efficient and future-proofed. This is increasing opportunity, sales and jobs. And with the resurgence of Industrial Strategy as a political imperative, we know that we have the support we need.”

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