MAS focusses on manufacturing business support and is funded by BIS – Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Their aim is to streamline processes, reduce waste, become more energy efficient while generally growing and improving businesses in the manufacturing industry. Many of the services from MAS can be accessed free and as previously mentioned, there is the opportunity to access grant funding to further specialist knowledge and improve the businesses overall performance.
Danny Littlechild, ISO 9001 assessor from QMS International and registered on the MAS directory voiced his views on the MAS funding saying “Through MAS funding I have been able to help more SMEs within the manufacturing supply chain implement ISO 9001, a standard which sets down a foundation for a quality management system. The funding gives manufacturers across the nation an increased accessibility to specialist knowledge, driving their business forward. In the current climate this is a fantastic opportunity and with ISO 9001 becoming more and more crucial in the process of winning tenders the funding can open up new markets and supply chains to manufacturers who previously would have been overlooked.”
There are a number of funding guidelines which businesses have to work within which can be found on the MAS website, the main criteria is that you are engaged in manufacturing, to access the funding and other free services you need to be classed as an SME, although larger companies can access materials at market rates. MAS defines an SME as an organisation of:
1. Less than 250 employees
2. An annual turnover of less than €50 or balance sheet of €43 or less
3. Not part of a group which exceeds either of the 2 above criteria
The implementation of an ISO 9001 certification can bring real return on investment for a business in the manufacturing industry, which very much rely on the quality of their products and their positive customer relations to build up their business. Visit QMS International’