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Dr John R. Thomas is a member of a team that is responsible for developing innovative services to support manufacturing businesses on behalf of the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University.

He specialises in advising small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMM) in Wales and the West Midlands.

Thanks to the work of Dr. Thomas, during 2016 over 20 SMM companies in Wales benefited from the use of  these diagnostic tools.

Portfolio of tools :

IfM Educational and Consultancy Services has developed the following Tools and Education Modules specifically for SMEs :

Prioritisation Tool

The Prioritisation Tool is a diagnostic and action planning tool for SMEs. It enables practitioners to assess: how an SME competes; the performance of each of 10 key capabilities; alignment of the management team; and the causes of under-performance. The practitioner is then able to propose and agree with the management team a plan of action based on an objective assessment of the needs and priorities of the SME.

Business Strategy Workshops

The Business Strategy Workshops are a facilitated series of four (typically half-day) activities that helps SMEs to quickly analyse the world in which they operate, examine their capabilities, identify and evaluate strategic options and then develop a clear action plan to achieve the desired business goals.

Capability Assessment Tools; Capability Education Modules

Eight Capability Assessment Tools (CATs) have been developed and are presently completing beta-testing; two more are under development. These enable practitioners, within one day, to:

1. Assess in detail the causes of under-performance of the capabilities the SME uses to win orders and manage its business constraints
2. Develop with the SME the target level(s) of performance and an action plan to achieve the target level(s).