Businesses across Cornwall are being urged to take advantage of a support project that offers 12 hours of free expert consultancy to help them to improve their productivity and grow their business.
The Advanced Advisory Service is part of BIG Productivity, the £3.15m investment programme for small and medium businesses operating in Cornwall who qualify for ERDF support.
The service aims to help small and medium sized businesses in Cornwall with distinct challenges that they are looking to solve. Each business is provided with a dedicated consultant who works alongside the business to identify solutions.
Examples of support from the Advanced Advisory Service includes:
- Innovation – how to develop a new product or service
- Efficiency – how to increase production, productivity and save money
- Leadership – support for professional development and management strategy
- Opportunity – diversify into other markets and grow your customer base
- Funding – signposting to funding opportunities
- Growth – finding new customers to grow your business
Nigel Woodruff, lead consultant for the Advanced Advisory Service, said: “Our hand-picked consultants act as a critical friend to a business, working collaboratively on a plan of action and then implementing it.
“The approach and the outcome will vary from business to business, but the results are tangible. We are passionate about what we do, and our aim is to have a significant and lasting positive impact on the performance of the businesses we help.”
One Cornish business that has already benefitted from the Advanced Advisory Service is Falmouth-based Tom Raffield, which makes handmade, steam bent lighting and furniture. It was looking for alternatives to its existing manufacturing software system.
Chris Pritchard, Head of Operations at Tom Raffield, said: “The process of applying to the Advanced Advisory Service was really simple and the actual process of working with the consultant was fabulous. It was flexible and we could make best use of the hours as we saw fit.
“I would definitely recommend the service because it’s really allowed us to take an objective view on what we need and what we should be investing in. To have that objective advice and objective opinion is really valuable.”
Another Cornish business in the electronics industry saw its production times slashed by 30% after working with the Advanced Advisory Service to reorganise its production processes, representing a huge saving in time and money.
And a business working in advanced materials needed help prioritising which markets to target for growth. The Advanced Advisory Service arranged for Innovate UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult to visit the company for two days to observe the factory floor and share good advice. It also arranged for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, based at Sheffield University, to offer five days to help explore the autosport and advanced aerospace sector.
To find out more about the Advanced Advisory Service email BIGTeam@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk or call 01872 322368.