Knowlton Project Support
  • Welcome

    The aim of this site is to share knowledge, resources and experience with others who are keen to increase performance through continuous improvement. At KPS we work with businesses enabling them to grow and improve productivity whilst developing their individuals and teams.

    Our team of highly experienced specialists provide a broad range of Business Development, Marketing and Operational expertise.

  • Online Lean Benchmarking

    Benchmarking orgnanizations in a similar industry or sector, provides a focus for improvement and can give a business that vital competitive edge.

    This web based self assessment tool identifies current strengths and improvement targets across seven Lean competencies.

    The personalised report provides a detailed gap analysis as well as a series of key recommendations and actions required to take your organisation to the next level.

  • Online Sales Benchmarking

    Benchmarking orgnanizations in a similar industry or sector, provides a focus for improvement and can give a business that vital competitive edge.

    This web based self assessment tool identifies current strengths and improvement targets across seven Lean competencies.

    The personalised report provides a detailed gap analysis as well as a series of key recommendations and actions required to take your organisation to the next level.

  • Lean Benchmarking

    Do you need to reduce lead times, increase 'right first time' quality performance or improve productivity and bottom line profits?

    Organisations that develop Lean systems are more competitive and increase their profitability in spite of tough market conditions.

    This on site assessment carried out by a seasoned Lean practitioner benchmarks performance against businesses in a similar industry or sector.

  • Skills Coaching

    How are you developing the potential leaders within your business?

    Skills Coaching enables an organisation to tap into hidden capabilities, motivate key individuals and grow potential leaders.

    Through a series of monthly one to one sessions we work through nine recognised leadership competencies. The coaching sessions are designed to develop the necessary skills required in order to deliver the stated business objectives.

Before even thinking about introducing Six Sigma into your business, you need to know that it is going to produce the results you want right? Of course you do. Is Six Sigma just the latest management ‘buzzword’ or is it a quality management programme that produces significant results? Six Sigma only appears to be a […]   Read more...

Innovation has continued to drive a hugely competitive environment within the manufacturing industry. Today’s competitive environment leaves no room for error. But, how do you eliminate these errors. More importantly, how do you ensure your operational capability is way ahead of your competitors and implement a significant step chain in performance? The answer is Six […]   Read more...

Author: Daniel Knowlton    **Google x-ray search: site:twitter.com inurl:lists <insert search term> This tutorial will show you exactly how to use a hugely under-used Google search term to help find specific customers on Twitter. It will also outline what to do with these customers once you have found them to help build solid relationships. By following this tutorial […]   Read more...

Author: Daniel Knowlton    I cannot emphasise enough how powerful the free tool in this tutorial is for finding warm leads on Twitter. The short video below takes you through  the step by step process of how to find customers on Twitter through using this free tool. Once set up in 2 minutes (see video tutorial below), […]   Read more...

“We found KPS partnership after they followed us on Twitter. Daniel arranged a meeting at a convenient time and place for me and spent a morning learning all about our business and working out the best way to help us move forward.” Kim Duckworth and Debbie Down, Directors, Escape the Agent KPS spent 2 months working […]   Read more...

Download our free Social Media Content Calendar Template here to make applying this strategy simple and effective. Author: Daniel Knowlton    This blog will outline a step by step guide on how to apply a highly effective Social Media Content Strategy. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent […]   Read more...

Author: Daniel Knowlton    The reason for this update is due to Twitter recently enforcing ‘protective measures’ to Twitter growth tools such as Tweepi in relation to aggressive follow churn. This has hindered their effectiveness as of May 2015 (see image below). Don’t panic! This blog will provide clear, actionable steps on how to get around these […]   Read more...

Author: Daniel Knowlton    The following blog will outline exactly how I won two new contracts worth £7,920 as a direct impact of marketing myself on Twitter over a 3 month period. Clear, actionable steps will be outlined for you to follow to help achieve similar results yourself. The two contracts were the result of two clients finding […]   Read more...

Author: Daniel Knowlton    I recently got asked the following question by Anthony Jones on LinkedIn about my recent ‘How to grow a Targeted Twitter following in 5 steps‘ blog; Once you’ve got a targeted Twitter audience, how do you turn them into customers? What an excellent question. Some of my most valuable clients have found me […]   Read more...

’Download The Ultimate Quick Start Digital Marketing Guide for Beginners (FREE EBOOK)’ Author: Daniel Knowlton    The following blog will provide a step by step, quick start guide on how to use Social Media automation. Social Media automation allows any business to have the time to use Social Media Marketing to help achieve its objectives. The number 1 […]   Read more...

’Download the FREE SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS (1000+) here  Author: Daniel Knowlton    This blog will demonstrate how free social media icons can be used to make your business more money. After searching far and wide for free social media icons which look great, I decided to make it simple for you. I’ve spent a lot of time […]   Read more...

’Download the FREE ADVANCED GUIDE here (gain double the results)’ Author: Daniel Knowlton    You can read the updated version to this blog here: How to grow a targeted Twitter following in 5 steps: JUNE 2015 UPDATE   The image below is proof that this Twitter growth strategy really does work. This isn’t one of those ‘get 1,000,000 […]   Read more...

’Download the FREE FULL GUIDE here’ Author: Daniel Knowlton    If you’re looking for a clear, simple and effective Digital Marketing quick start guide to help achieve your business objectives – you’ve found it! Don’t be fooled, our e-book may be small, but it is mighty and bursting with useful knowledge. Within this blog I’ll give you a taster […]   Read more...

Download the Free PDF here      Download ’50 Awesome Free Digital Marketing Tools’ Author: Daniel Knowlton    From the long list of reasons why Digital Marketing is a great lead generation tool, I’ve picked my top 5. As a passionate Digital Marketer I’m always interested to hear how Digital Marketing has impacted your business – please […]   Read more...

Download the free PDF here Tip 1 – Listen It seems slightly ridiculous to say listen, it’s so obvious, yet so many sales people don’t! There’s a clear difference between listening to appear interested and listening because you know it’s important to achieve greatness. Let me explain. Sales people are already struggling anytime they speak […]   Read more...

Download the free PDF here      Download our Client Qualification Tool Kit   Do you like working lots of hours to get a proposal to a client, only to find you’ve lost the bid to the competition? Or even worse, the prospect has dropped the project altogether? No, neither would we. That’s why in this […]   Read more...

Download the free PDF here In PART 1 we looked at the ‘Buyer Process’ so now let’s consider the customer focused ‘Sales Process’. For reference, below is the infographic we created which presents the new, evolved buyer and sales processes. Also, if you need convincing as to why you should be using a formal sales process […]   Read more...

Download the Free PDF here So, what should truly matter in your sales process? And how can you use this knowledge to revolutionise yours? Well, this blog will be explaining exactly that, using a number of real-life examples and suggestions to help revolutionise your sales process. Why Change? “Whosoever desires constant success must change their conduct with the times.”— […]   Read more...

Customer Comments

Categories: benchmarking, bestpractice

‘I have worked with Mark over the last 18 months on a variety of Change projects.  In that time, he has clearly and consistently demonstrated all the key attributes I would expect from a Business Improvement Consultant.  Moreover, his fresh approach not only easily engages people in change, but also enables them to take ownership at a […]   Read more...

Download the free PDF here. And the cheesiest team photo award goes to…Yes, the photo is extremely cheesy, but, I’m sure you’d be happy if your sales team looked like this every day after reeling in those quality leads they’ve been nurturing. If you want to know how to make your sales team jump for joy like […]   Read more...

Download the free PDF here. What is Benchmarking? The real juicy information on how and why sales performance will improve comes just after this section, but if you want a more detailed explanation of benchmarking and best practice take a quick look at my ‘What is benchmarking and why bother’ blog. If you’re sticking around, […]   Read more...

Download FREE Content

Categories: Downloads

Blogs 50 Awesome Free Digital Marketing Tools       NEW 5 World Sales Domination Tips for 2015             NEW Client Qualification – 5 steps to Profitable Sales           NEW How To Revolutionise Your Sales Process PART 2           NEW How To Revolutionise Your Sales Process PART 1  How […]   Read more...

MP Supports MAS Business Improvement Programme

Categories: bestpractice, lean

Keen to show support for the manufacturing sector, Laura Sandys MP for South Thanet attended the latest Kent Best Practice Club facilitated by Mark Knowlton. Laura talked openly with business leaders about the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. The MAS Kent Best Practice Club, a collaborative network of local leading manufacturers, has been meeting […]   Read more...

Offshore Wind Supply Chain Opportunities

Categories: energy, reports, supplychain, wind

The Offshore wind market is estimated to be worth more than £100bn over the next 20 years, with significant potential for UK businesses keen to access new opportunities in the wind energy supply chain. MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) has just launched a new service for manufacturers keen to take advantage of this growing sector. GROW: […]   Read more...

Top 5 Business Growth programmes for 2013

Categories: funding, manufacturing, news

It seems to me that here in the UK, public sector organisations are falling over themselves in trying to provide help to small and medium sized businesses. With the plethora of business support programmes, matched funding, grants and interest free loans how should business leaders target their scarce time to review what’s available? Here are my […]   Read more...

Two PCB manufacturers from South East England headed up by father and daughter duo; Steve and Stacey Driver go from strength to strength with the help of The Manufacturing Advisory Service. Spirit Circuits Ltd, based in Waterlooville, Hampshire led by its charismatic MD Steve Driver are recognised in the industry as one of the UK’s […]   Read more...

Manufacturing Outlook Survey 2012

Categories: economy, manufacturing, reports, surveys

This poster produced by the British Government in 1939 aimed to raise morale in the event of an invasion. The funny thing is, it seems to me that is exactly what Manufacturers are doing …Keeping Calm and Carrying On…as we continue along the bumpy road of economic recovery. The latest Manufacturing Outlook Survey produced by […]   Read more...

Can LEAN Kill Growth?

Categories: growth, lean

Listening to the news from Davos 2012 this week you might think so. It would appear that there is too much focus on austerity these days and too little on growth. Heads of the IMF and World Bank have joined other influential figures in calling on countries to implement more policies to encourage economic growth. […]   Read more...

Lean or Six Sigma?

Categories: Uncategorized

Students studying for their Masters degree in Operations Management interview Mark Knowlton at the University of Kent Business School. This followed a lecture he delivered covering Quality Management, Lean & Six Sigma.   Six Sigma distribution curve simply explained FREE download – Lean JARGON BUSTER Access more FREE resources here   Read more...

The latest snapshot survey of business conditions in engineering and manufacturing companies is now available (Published by EEF and BDO) download full report. Summary Output and orders fall short of last quarter’s expectations Export balances soften in the past three months Sector divergence continued in Q4 Signs that investment and recruitment is being postponed or […]   Read more...

The 2011 Annual Manufacturing Report for the UK has just been published. This latest research report provides an excellent snap shot of industry trends and opinion. Since the economic downturn there has been much greater recognition that Manufacturing is the key driver for ‘the real economy’. Despite this, 63% of respondents to this survey have a […]   Read more...

NHS trust benefits from Lean Benchmarking

Categories: benchmarking

As the turbulent economic and political environment continues, organisations across many industry sectors are faced with fierce competition, shrinking operational budgets and reduced profit margins. The public sector too has been tasked to deliver greater value for tax payers, with the governments spending review in October 2010 stating that departmental budgets will be cut by […]   Read more...

Will UK Manufacturing growth continue?

Categories: economy, manufacturing, reports

  The latest Manufacturing survey publish by EEF and BDO shows that exports have been the main driver of growth over the last quarter. There is however some uncertainty looking ahead with signs that some sectors such as metals and electronics are experiencing weaker order intake levels. Download full report Whilst current figures are strong, there are […]   Read more...

Lean tools and other useful stuff

Categories: benchmarking, bestpractice, lean

Download Lean Tools and Templates Famous quotes from Lean Gurus    Lean Jargon Buster      5S Audit template Lean Benchmarking    Mapping data capture templates Reports FREE sample Lean Benchmark Report UK Manufacturing Outlook December 2011 (EEF & BDO) UK Manufacturing Outlook September 2011 (EEF & BDO) Achieving excellence in production supply August 2011 (PWC)  Economic Prospects 2010 (EEF) The […]   Read more...

Identifying suppliers that consistently meet our Quality, Cost and Delivery expectations can be a real challenge. Is there a simple formula for supplier selection, or is it okay to rely on our intuition and gut feel? Click here to Benchmark your suppliers Lean performance, it takes just 15 minutes (Sample Report) Here are my top 5 tips for […]   Read more...

Manufacturers and their suppliers in partnership: Step 1 – Agree a common goal ‘Stay ahead of the competition’ Step 2 – Map the existing value stream Step 3 – Identify non value adding steps Step 4 – Map the desired (Future state) value stream Step 5 – Implement agreed improvements Step 6 – Fine tune […]   Read more...

Waste Goggles – are you wearing yours?

Categories: benchmarking, lean

In these times of austerity, it seems to me that some business leaders in the service sector who favour ‘slash and burn’ cost cutting measures are short sighted and would do well to reach for a set of Waste Goggles first. Many operational leaders don’t really appreciate what waste (or ‘Muda’ using the Lean jargon) […]   Read more...

LeanMatters

Categories: leanmatters, newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of LeanMatters™ a quarterly newsletter for professionals who are keen to expand their Lean knowledge, access latest economic trends and discover innovative approaches to best practice.   MANUFACTURING Innovation A research report entitled ‘The Innovation Imperative in Manufacturing’ published by Boston Consulting Group describes the most effective tools for promoting and sustaining […]   Read more...

The Shape of British Industry

Categories: economy, news, reports

UK Manufacturing sector poised to fill growth gap – EEF Report British manufacturing is poised to fill the growth gap as the public sector plays a smaller role in the economy. It is well placed to respond to the Prime Minister’s call to ‘create and innovate; invest and grow’ according to a major report and […]   Read more...

What is Benchmarking and why bother?

Categories: benchmarking, bestpractice

Benchmarking is a systematic process for identifying and implementing best practice – or in simple terms it is about learning from the experiences of others. Comparing performance with organisations in either similar or dissimilar sectors enables individuals and teams to develop improvement plans and adapt specific best practices, usually with the aim of increasing some […]   Read more...

Lean Chicken or Egg?

Categories: benchmarking, bestpractice, lean

The age old question – how to get started with lean? It’s a bit like Chicken or Egg…should we just try a few lean tools first and see how we get on, or begin with a clearly defined lean strategy and implementation plan. Some business gurus insist that lean is not a set of ‘tools and techniques’ […]   Read more...

Britains Best Factory Award Winners 2010

Categories: bestpractice, news

A company that designs and manufactures traffic lights and control systems for highway agencies and local authorities across the world has been named the Toyota Material Handling Factory of the Year for 2010 at the Best Factory Awards (BFAs) run by Cranfield School of Management in partnership with the magazine Works Management(Author: Ken Hurst)   […]   Read more...

“There were a number of benefits to our organisation; this gave us independent feedback on the status of our lean implementation, it also allowed us to compare and  highlight strengths and weaknesses with others in the lean community and analyse our current status. The gap analysis offered useful suggestions for improvement projects. The assessment also focused […]   Read more...

UK Manufacturing is Humming

Categories: economy, news, reports

Economic Prospects 2010 Download EEF Report The latest official statistics just released for the first 6 months of 2010 show very strong growth – the best since 1994 in fact. Growth of 1.4% in Q1 and 1.6% in Q2 suggests that the recovery in UK manufacturing is now well underway. The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) […]   Read more...

What Motivates Us?

Categories: motivation

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Improving business performance requires effective leadership, access to relevant know how and most importantly a well motivated workforce. This video from RSA Animate presents the results of some interesting academic research in a unique and fascintaing way.     Read more...

BBC interview – Manufacturing innovation

Categories: innovation, news

Manufacturing is key to the regions economy Following David Camerons speech about the importance of Manufacturing in the south east, two manufacturers across the region are interviewed by BBC South East and Mark Knowlton of KPS was asked to comment on the importance of innovation within the manufacturing sector.   Read more...

South East Best Practice awards Chaired by Mark Knowlton of KPS and sponsored by MAS, In May the 2010 Manufacturing Best Practice awards were hosted at the Williams F1 facility in Oxford, Mark explained how South East manufacturers gained £23 million of added value through collaboration and sharing best practice. The Best Practice Network was established to […]   Read more...

Lean in HR – Why bother?

Categories: casestudy, lean

A critically important issue in Lean success is the relationship between Human Resources (HR) and Lean transformation. There are two facets to the relationship between Lean and HR. First, the HR function like any other department in the company needs to apply Lean principles towards process improvement of its own work. Secondly, the HR function […]   Read more...

Lean in HR – Why bother?

Categories: casestudy, lean

A critically important issue in Lean success is the relationship between Human Resources (HR) and Lean transformation. There are two facets to the relationship between Lean and HR. First, the HR function like any other department in the company needs to apply Lean principles towards process improvement of its own work. Secondly, the HR function […]   Read more...

Lean in the NHS – it can work!

Categories: casestudy, lean, nhs

The challenge The challenge for this hospital trust was to reduce day to day operating costs and at the same time increase capacity & patient throughput in Day Case wards. The online Lean Benchmark Report was an excellent starting point (see sample report) Two day case teams across two hospitals worked together to assess the current value […]   Read more...

Lean Performance – how well are you doing?

Categories: benchmarking, lean

This web based tool offers  a FREE trial and an opportunity to assess your current Lean performance. The Advanced version provides a unique LeanBenchmark™ report (Sample Report) enabling organisations to target scarce resources, improve productivity and reduce costs. Benefits of Lean Benchmarking: Identifies competitive threats Provides a complete picture of Lean performance Highlights improvement priorities Ensures effective targeting of resources Overcomes barriers to growth Improves […]   Read more...

China…an Opportunity or Threat?

Categories: china, funding

Some, more enlightened UK Manufacturers really do believe that the Chinese economy is something that should be embraced and not feared.One such company is Spirit Circuits, who have signed up to Challenge China; a new (part funded) collaborative programme recently launched by UKTI and MAS-South East,enabling businesses to access the Chinese market and improve global competitiveness. Steve Driver (MD of the […]   Read more...

How do Manufacturers Innovate?

Categories: bestpractice, innovation, lean, reports

A research report entitled  ‘The Innovation Imperative in Manufacturing’ published by the Boston Consulting Group describes the most effective tools for promoting and sustaining Innovation. The study which ranks the top 20 countries also identifies the key drivers for effective innovation highlighting four key factors; Idea generation, Structured Processes, Leadership and a skilled workforce…interesting…remarkably close to the key factors impacting […]   Read more...

What is Lean…and why bother?

Categories: lean, surveys

Well this obviously depends on our own personal experiences with Lean and the knowledge gained implementing Lean programmes. Reading quotes from well known Lean Gurus or taking an online Lean Benchmarking asessment is not a bad place to start expanding our Lean knowledge. Lean is not just about Tools! There is always a danger that  Lean is considered as a set of tools that […]   Read more...

LEAN will not make you GREEN

Categories: environment, lean, reports

According to the Carbon Trust, Businesses that take action to reduce their carbon footprint benefit from reduced energy costs, an enhanced reputation, motivated employees and in so doing can meet their regulatory obligations. (download free guides at end of page) & some commentators suggest that adopting Lean principles across the organisation is the answer…but are they right? Well […]   Read more...

“There are three kinds of leaders…Those that tell you what to do…Those that allow you to do what you want…and Lean leaders that come down to the work place and help you figure it out.” (John Shook). For me this quote highlights really well the critical importance of ‘Lean Leadership’.This is all well and good, but how […]   Read more...

Best Practice Clubs

Categories: bestpractice

Mark Knowlton at KPS has been working with The Manufacturing Advisory Service in the South East (MAS-SE) to develop a regional network of Best Practice Clubs. This short video provides a good insight to the clubs with members talking about the benefits of getting involved. The Best Practice Clubs encourage participants to help each other with their […]   Read more...

The Future of Manufacturing?

Categories: reports

Price Waterhouse Coopers have published a report entitled ‘The Future of Manufacturing: reports of its death are greatly exaggerated’  To summarise, it reccomends Manufacturing Leaders should: Focus on Knowledge, not products Take a global perspective Take advantage of the government – don’t be afraid to lobby Be a champion for your business and industry Take advantage of the down […]   Read more...

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