[T]his morning BBC Breakfast are filming live from Ulverston’s Cumbria Crystal as the government releases the results of the UK’s productivity outputs. Cumbria Crystal have been chosen as a base for the show as the company has been taking part in the Be The Business movement which aims to address under-performance of productivity in the UK.
The Be The Business scheme is the brainchild of the Productivity Leadership Group (PLG). Founded in 2015, the PLG is a group of some of the best performing and internationally recognised companies, chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield of John Lewis Partnership.
Cumbria Crystal have reported a 41% rise in company turnover compared to the same period last year and more than tripled gross margins. MD Chris Blade credits many of the methods adopted as originating through the Be The Business program.
Chris explains further “We have approached our productivity issues from a number of affordable, incremental changes and improvements within the company: engaging & incentivising staff better, getting them to adopt slightly different approaches to working, inviting numerous 1% changes around things that we can do quite reasonably within the company. We have engaged with development of new product ranges, harnessed innovation support to develop new technologies, introduced workshops & public glass blowing opportunities to better utilise resources and better target the tourism industry. Collectively these add up and become very significant. Combined with innovative thinking about our skills and assets we have transformed the company.The UK’s productivity issue lags behind many of our European neighbours & could be vastly improved if a lot of small companies increased productivity by just a little as Cumbria Crystal has done. That would translate as £130bn per year added to the UK economy.”
Joining Chris Blade and the BBC film crew this morning is also Professor Andrew Atherton Deputy Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University. The university have played an instrumental role in the development of the Be The Business scheme, helping launch the pilot for the North West under the title Productivity through People.