Friday, 29 October 2010

West Midlands silverware manufacturing company takes a strategic view

Post by Navin Sood

Stephen Millington is the archetypal SME md - so involved with the day-to-day running of his business, he rarely gets a chance to step back and take a strategic view of the company.

Stephen runs LJ Millington, designers and manufacturers of fine English silverware in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter. A family business since 1966, it continues to employ traditional hand skills and processes. Their client list is testament to the quality of their products and includes John Lewis & Asprey.

Silver Candlestick by LJ Millington

Stephen joined the Interiors & Lifestyle Futures project and enrolled onto the Discovery process in May. Stage 1 of Discovery includes the Big Picture Map process, whereby two experienced facilitators find out what makes a business tick through a structured mapping process. Stephen and two of his staff participated in the day, and they really valued having a fresh pair of eyes to look at the business.

Facilitator, Paula Wardle said “This process has value for all companies, big or small, I’m really pleased that we’ve given Stephen fresh impetus.”

Freshly motivated, the Discovery process has offered Stephen the chance to enter into a collaborative group with three jewellery and giftware companies. The group plan to establish a consumer facing exhibition showcasing their products in the run up to Christmas.

Stephen added, “If I don’t get anymore from the process, I‘ll be happy for the experience of Stage 1 and what it gave my company.”

Stage 1 Discovery process is open to all West Midlands manufacturing companies that are involved in the interiors or lifestyles sectors.