Shirlaws helps Mace boost supply chain efficiency, innovation and collaboration

Top Quote 'Mini MBA' from Shirlaws helps Mace create a culture of trust and collaboration in the supply chain, boosting efficiency and innovation. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 10, 2011 - International construction and consultancy company Mace has strengthened relationships with its supply chain, through a unique mini-MBA programme delivered by business coaching organisation Shirlaws - firmly cementing its position as an industry leader, and its potential for future growth.

    The programme - Leading Business - has increased levels of trust and collaboration with and between suppliers, and has given leaders in the supply chain the skills to develop smarter and more profitable ways of working. The success of the programme has helped Mace win the Integrated Supply Chain of the Year award from Building Magazine.

    Mace is built on strong supplier relationships: its success is down to its unique collaborative approach to managing construction programmes. In 2006 it launched a first-of-its-kind Business School for suppliers, with the aim of improving performance and aligning their leaders to Mace's goals and ways of working. Mace also benefits from being able to give suppliers something of value they can't get elsewhere.

    Brian Moone, Director of the Mace Business School, had a vision to offer leaders within the supply chain a new, bespoke mini-MBA programme that would develop key management skills. Having realised the more traditional-style management training courses wouldn't help create the business-to-business relationships essential to the company's model, he brought in Shirlaws.

    Brian says: "We risked alienating people by offering something too 'highbrow', while most industry training focuses on technical skills. Shirlaws was able to deliver a programme tailored to the profile of our target participants, which addressed management skills in a hands-on way."

    Shirlaws designed Leading Business - a 'total executive experience' that was practical rather than academic, and which offered real skills rather than 'ethereal' concepts. Recognising that successful project managers in construction often get promoted to executive positions without necessarily possessing the skills required to thrive in the role, Shirlaws created a comprehensive programme that would equip participants with the skills to effectively take their businesses forward, even in the most difficult times.

    The 10-day course was delivered in four sessions over a year, covering:
    • A business leadership masterclass.
    • The productivity of a business.
    • The operational aspects of a business.
    • A module giving participants the ability to take the vision of their business further, and enhance equity value by translating it into tangible strategy.

    The programme built skills such as improved decision-making, anticipating issues in business before they happen, identifying and resolving communication issues, understanding capacity and leading confidently.

    Underpinning the course were Shirlaws' 20 practical business frameworks for developing businesses, which were presented by professional coach Glyn Heald and guest speakers in a way that enabled participants to really engage, and apply new ideas in their own businesses.

    The format provided the opportunity for the suppliers to 'soak' in the concepts, at the same time as practicing their new skills to embed learning. In the evenings, they dined with senior Mace executives, giving them a chance to network with Mace and with each other.

    The programme has brought tangible benefits to the participant's companies and, in turn, to Mace. Brian Moone says: "The level of trust between us and our suppliers has gone through the roof. The programme delivered by Shirlaws has enabled us to build long-term relationships in a way that would never otherwise have been possible. Participants report generating greater efficiency in their own firms and in the way they work with Mace. The outcomes also included a brilliant - and unexpected - proposal for a new venture, brought to us by a number of suppliers in collaboration with each other.

    "The work we've done with Shirlaws has built the credibility of the Mace Business School out there in the market in a way that could not have been achieved if we'd gone down a simple training route. It's taken the school to another level."

    Shirlaws has launched a free eBook called More money, More time, Less stress which shares its unique approach to creating a business that works for its owner - not the other way round. The eBook can be downloaded free at:

    For more information, or to arrange an interview with John Rosling, Shirlaws' UK CEO, please contact Hannah Robertson at Onefish Twofish at hannah ( @ ) onefishtwofish dot or on 01183 217457.

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