Bion fighting the case for British Manufacturing

We were delighted to be able to showcase our premises on the BBC 10.00pm news on Tuesday 1st April 2014, which we were originally approached by the BBC at the end of February in relation to a feature that Robert Peston was doing in relation to the productivity puzzle.

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We were keen to showcase our factory and spent the weekend rehearsing possible question scenarios in relation to what we see as being critical in the issue of the said puzzle.

When the day arrived we were disappointed that the main man himself was not on hand to carry out the interview.

The filming was an “interesting” experience. The BBC were keen to show shots of our oldest machinery and to capture the view of people driving around in the background on fork-trucks, or doing the most labour intensive tasks. However having now seen the film we were relieved that they had put together something that was not a million miles away from what life is like at Bion on a typical day, whilst at the same time satisfying what the BBC no doubt wanted to achieve creatively and to back up the story they were telling.

We do not employ a host of people performing tasks so we are unable and unwilling to misrepresent manufacturing by painting a picture of one man one machine. The investment we have made at Bion in terms of our perforating and levelling facilities ensures that the line can run un-manned after initial set up, albeit with inspection at periodic points.

The productivity puzzle is about addressing why when productivity increases the output per man hour does not increase with it and why this is. So again for the media it is all about the person doing the tasks rather than what the company has done to streamline the process and minimise tasks – that is what we call productivity.

As for the news piece itself, well it probably raised more questions than it answered. Certainly manufacturing output last month was disappointing for the UK as a whole. It is only really possible to tackle productivity when needs must. The economy would have to truly be back where at its pre-recession peak us to really draw a comparable. I believe we are not alone at Bion for believing this is still some way off.

View the News item here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26846253