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Stoddard partners with SkillsTech Australia to sharpen edge

12 December, 2008

SkillsTech Australia, a lead trades and technician training TAFE Institute, recently presented twenty Stoddart Manufacturing employees with Certificates in Competitive Manufacturing in Brisbane.

SkillsTech Partners employed contractor Glenn Seaby to deliver the Competitive Manufacturing Initiative (CMI) training which made significant, measurable improvements to Stoddart’s business operations. These have led to significant cost savings throughout all divisions of the organisation.

SkillsTech Australia Managing Director Steve Ghost said the CMI program was delivered in the workplace by highly skilled ‘Lean Consultants’ who coached and mentored the participants through projects designed to make sustained business improvements.

The training covered:

- problem solving
- mistake proofing
- redesigning workshop layout
- continuous improvement meetings
- project scheduling
- workshop capacity forecasts
- stock control and flow

At the presentation, Stoddart Managing Director Bill Stoddart reinforced his personal commitment to competitive manufacturing as the way for Australian business to compete domestically and internationally.

Stoddart said competitive manufacturing delivered major business improvements and cost savings to Stoddart Manufacturing.

The economic downturn has hit the Australian manufacturing industry hard, with the latest Performance of Manufacturing Index falling for the past six months. The Australian Industry Group says new manufacturing orders have slumped to the lowest level on record.

Bill Stoddart says dramatically reducing skills and training in the manufacturing sector during the downturn would be a mistake.
“We are competing with cheap overseas manufacturers and this is the way to work smart and weather the economic downturn,’ he said.

Stoddart also presented $250 cash bonuses to a smaller group of Stoddart graduates who attended every single CMI training session during the program.

He said the participants went from reluctant to enthusiastic participation in the program and in the end, delivered substantial cost savings.

Glenn Seaby said Stoddart recognised the challenge ahead to maintain momentum and enthusiasm for change.

“Having the skills and knowledge to deal with issues as they arise places them in good stead to do this.  It is only the beginning for Stoddart Manufacturing.”

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