Frequently Asked Questions
What is NMCL?
To put it simply, NMCL is an Assessment model that uses a range of tools and techniques to provide information which then acts to support investment decisions, to ultimately improve the competitiveness of a manufacturer. After the investment has been made, the NMCL Assessment then acts as a report on the benefits realised and provides a Return on Investment summary. The assessment is suitable for assessing the competitiveness of any manufacturing company, regardless of size, shape or sector.
The NMCL Programme consists of an initial assessment, conducted by a trained and licenced assessor. The output of the assessment is a programme pack and business case for improvements which, if undertaken, will improve the organisations competitiveness. Organisations can then decide which of the improvement activities they would like to complete and apply to access a £26m fund to conduct the improvements, in partnership with any one of a list of pre-approved Improvement Providers.
One of the elements which makes the programme so unique is that it’s effectively cost neutral to the manufacturer; only asked to match funding “in kind” with time of employees to work on the improvement activities. Once the improvement activity has been completed, an assessor returns to reassess the facility and completes a full analysis of the return on investment and the benefits realised. New recommendations can then be made and these can then either be undertaken as private, self-funded activities, or a new application for public funding can be made.
The NMCL programme is referred to as NMCL Automotive for the automotive sector, and SC21 Competitiveness and Growth (SC21 C&G) in Aerospace.
What is Industry Forum's involvement in NMCL?
Industry Forum’s involvement in the NMCL programme is extensive, dating back many years. Having led the engagement and bid support processes with BEIS for the overall automotive NMCL programme on behalf of the SMMT Automotive Council and the industry, Industry Forum has been working in parallel alongside ADS, securing the £16M BEIS automotive funding as part of the sector strategy as well as securing statements of support across UK regions and from the key major customers. The equivalent Aerospace programme, SC21 C&G, secured a further £10M and uses the NMCL Assessment and model.
From the development of the assessment itself, on behalf of its parent company the SMMT, to the training, coaching and mentoring of the NMCL assessors, Industry Forum’s understanding and of the programme is unrivalled. Industry Forum supports ADS in the development of the Improvement Modules used by the improvement providers to deliver the improvement programmes identified as part of the assessment. Industry Forum is also an approved improvement provider for the programme. All of this extensive experience makes IF incredibly well placed to assist organisations negotiate the process of conducting improvements via this programme.
How did the NMCL Assessment evolve?
Since its foundation in 1996, Industry Forum has a long established history in delivering gap analysis activities as part of its Supply Chain improvement programmes, combining QCD diagnostics, transactional activity assessments and process improvement and TPM diagnostics.
In [YEAR], the Industry Forum Partnership Assessment was mandated by the then Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) (now BEIS), National Supply Chain Group programme for the automotive and aerospace sectors.
A broader version of the assessment was used by suppliers and customer to agree performance gaps as part of the funded AMSCI Offroad vehicles and Niche Luxury cluster programmes. The assessment was then used to enable suppliers involved in the Long Term Automotive Supply Chain (LTASC) programme to self-diagnose and prioritise skills improvement activity.
Industry Forum, on behalf of its parent company SMMT, conducted a review of the best practice assessment approaches to support businesses to be more competitive. It was identified that whilst there are many good specialist assessment methodologies there were none that enable an organisation to:
- Rapidly understand its business capability across all areas in a holistic manner
- Give clear linkage between capability and improvements in competitiveness to customers.
- Provide direct alignment between activities undertaken and the impacts on financial performance (and versus financial benefits that would have happened anyway)
Industry Forum developed the NMCL assessment process to provide an understanding of strengths and opportunities across all areas of an organisation. Developing a model of competitiveness covering six dimensions – Quality, Delivery, Cost, Flexibility, Technology & Product, Customer Experience – enabling a consistent approach to analysis by companies and their customers to identify the improvements required to maintain and grow business.
The capability assessment breaks out the key themes required to be competitive, separating the Foundation activities required to establish business stability from Progressive activities that drive competitive advantage. The assessment provides a repeatable approach to link competitiveness self-assessment, customer assessments and the capability assessment to develop a Workstream activity plan ensuring all training and support identified has direct business impact potential. The output is a simple financial assessment model to enable the financial impacts of implementing activity to be measured and the return on investment (financial and time) to be validated.
Industry Forum led the implementation and roll out of the NMCL Assessment tool on behalf of the SMMT and working with ADS delivered the pilot assessments in automotive, aerospace, rail and civil nuclear sectors. In addition, Industry Forum is the organisation responsible for developing and conducting the training of all the NMCL Assessors, coaching and mentoring Lead and Assistant Assessors to be self-sufficient in delivering assessments.
Industry Forum actively supports ADS in the development of the Improvement Modules used by the improvement providers to deliver the improvement programmes identified as part of the assessment.
Providing our breadth of implementation expertise to help define the range of potential modules required to support organisations in delivering the activities, such as:
- Alignment of modules vs capability assessment areas to enable accurate module identification
- Developing module draft definitions and supporting the industry alignment workshops used to refine and agree content.
Industry Forum is now supporting the programme both providing Assessment and Provider Capability:
- Providing Master Assessors, Lead Assessors and Assistant Assessors
- An approved implementation provider approved to support implementation activity across over 90 modules in both automotive and aerospace.
- Leading the continuous improvement of the assessment process on behalf of the SMMT, together with establishment of a community of practice
How do I express interest in joining the programme?
To express interest in participating in the NMCL please contact us.
Why should I choose Industry Forum as my Improvement Provider?
Given Industry Forum’s unrivalled knowledge of both the NMCL Assessment and programme, there is no better company to help up realise the maximum potential improvement and RoI. In addition, IF is one of only a few improvement providers who can assist across all themes of the framework so we can reduce your admin burden by being a “one stop shop” for your improvement works. We work with a number of selected providers to provide specialist support where required so can ensure the best expert is always on hand to provide every aspect of your improvements works. As we are so familiar with the assessment itself, we are able to make sure all of the improvement works are perfectly aligned with the assessment for the best possible outcome.
We know from our extensive involvement in programmes of this type, that project management is vital to achieve the best possible outcome. We provide a project manager for all large projects with multiple improvements schemes to make sure you can concentrate on getting the most of the activity. You will always have a named contact at Industry Forum who is responsible for driving the project forward and responsible for reporting on the activity.
How can I request a proposal for improvement services?
Automotive? Request your proposal now
Aerospace? Request your proposal now
Industry Forum’s competitiveness assessment approach at large
Most recently, Industry Forum has been working on a major supplier development programme in Vietnam. Working alongside World Bank Group and the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the main objective of the programme is to help Vietnamese suppliers to become more competitive and able to supply products to multi-national enterprises. Industry Forum has been involved in both the selection and assessment of beneficiary companies to identify where improvements should be made. Once the assessment has been made, Industry Forum then provides experts to work strategically with these companies to deliver tangible improvements. Beneficiary companies unanimously agree that the programme is well designed and delivers extensive benefits to all the organisations involved. The project has been featured on Ho Chi Minh City TV’s Towards Sustainable Industry Programme.
The tried and tested Industry Forum competitiveness assessment approach and our supplier development programme model is suitable for any manufacturing organisation and has been used in a number of territories with brilliant success.
If you are interested in licencing the Industry Forum competitiveness assessment approach model for your region or territory, please contact us.