Sheffield heavy engineering specialist, DavyMarkham, showcased its inspirational business turnaround story at an industry networking event.

The company hosted a Member Connect event in partnership with the manufacturers’ organisation EEF for manufacturing managers, operations directors, apprentice programme leaders and businesses interested in lean manufacturing and operational excellence.

The programme consisted of presentations by Andy Tuscher, region director – north at EEF, John Watson, director of production at DavyMarkham and Peter Winebloom, director of apprentices and skills at EEF.

The event included a tour of DavyMarkham’s shop floor for delegates from businesses including MTL, Newburgh Engineering, Spaw Engineering and Darron SBO.

John Watson, who has worked for the company for 22 years, said: "The Member Connect event was a great opportunity for DavyMarkham to strengthen our reputation as leading industry experts and to share best practice and expertise with our peers.

"The event was attended by more than 30 business leaders from South and West Yorkshire and the Humberside interested in seeing first-hand how we have successfully developed our working practices to boost manufacturing efficiency and trade.

"I spoke about the challenges the company has faced in the last four years, such as an ageing workforce and the need to invest in apprentices. Four years ago the working practices of the company were entrenched in the 70s but communication and engagement with the whole workforce has been central to successfully turning things around.

"The event was a huge success and I received lots of positive feedback about what we have achieved at DavyMarkham."

John also spoke about how the company introduced the Japanese housekeeping 5s programme, which has been implemented throughout DavyMarkham’s production departments and workshop, providing higher levels of efficiency and creating greater capacity to take on key projects.

The programme has helped DavyMarkham make 10% efficiency improvements with more projects successfully delivered on time since implementation.

John also discussed DavyMarkham’s most recent successful contract wins and how the company has expanded into new markets, particularly in Peru and Canada.