MAN Group, 2014
MAN Group is an innovative alliance of 11 companies operating within numerous supply chains including automotive, aerospace and renewables amongst others, who have joined together as suppliers to share best practice and create a stronger combined force when tendering for contracts. They provide complete technical and engineering solutions for customers developed from the combined engineering expertise and technology provided within their network.
Speaking with Tony Hague, Chairman, MAN Group, and Chief Executive PP Electrical Systems, he provides further insights. “MAN Group is a set up as a non-legal membership entity to promote, market and develop business for its members. All members have complementary skills bases so that no two businesses competes directly with any other.
“In all there are 11 members, soon to be 12. These include a range of Midlands businesses – Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, FW Cables, Grove Automotive Design, MEC Com, my own business, PP Electrical Systems, SMT Developments, Westley Engineering. They each pay an annual subscription, which, when combined, amounts to over £100k a year. This contributes to a small admin capability and to marketing and promotion. The companies involved promote their mutual services through their own sales teams when they are out and about on the road, selling both their own businesses and those of the group and of course we have a web presence too.
“The businesses buying the services can either purchase those off each company independently or via a lead partner. This is up to the customer. Profile has increased enormously from this arrangement and we have just announced over £1m in additional business to members of the group. Whilst some members may benefit more than others in a shorter time frame, over a period all members have benefitted.
“MAN Group emanated out of an Accelerate funding stream, having been coordinated by MAS and focussed on stimulating greater diversification amongst auto suppliers.”
Tony Hague is enthusiastic about the opportunities provided through re-shoring, saying, “I do see some really some great opportunities here for businesses, especially in some areas, such as in wind turbines.”
“However, I am just back from a three day visit to ‘Meet the Mittelstand’ in Germany. If we look at how their supply chains are so joined up and financed for the longer term there – there is simply no comparison between us. In the UK we tend to have lots of little initiatives, not joined up, that come and go, running out of money, energy and steam. It is all very disjointed. It makes you pretty cynical in business and ready to carry on – whatever the latest ‘fad’ in government might be. We really do need initiatives that will carry on regardless of the colour of the government. We need continuity and clarity. We would like to be ‘worked with’ rather than ‘done unto’. It’s really about getting things done properly and in a business- like manner if we really want to change the picture and improve the chances for younger people coming through.”