The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Glasgow Prestwick Airport personnel manage to get lean

EIGHT Glasgow Prestwick Airport employees have graduated from the Lean Management Programme, run by Accelerate, a company who specialises in streamlining companies and organisations to make them more ‘lean’. In the run up to busy Easter and summer holidays, the programme will help make processes more efficient for the operational and supervisory employees at the Airport.

[Picture shows Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s lean mean recruitment team (left to right, front to back) Susan Lynn, Gordon Hainey, Kenny Carter, Angela Hood, Elaine Anderson, Andy Barclay, Katie Kilgour and Alan McGeachie.]

Lean Management is a term familiar to some 90% of manufacturing businesses throughout the UK, and most will have undertaken some type of intervention, set to improve productivity thus improving profitability

The airport’s participation in the course, which lasted for six months, was driven by chief executive Mark Rodwell (pictured above) and it aims to improve the efficiency of current recruitment processes within the airport.

In 2007, there was a 15% staff turnover and it was taking in some cases up to 45 weeks to complete the recruitment process, partly due to security measures and checks put in place and applying to Disclosure Scotland, for vetting and barring of candidates.

Since the Lean Management programme has been completed, the team is now working on the completion of the website, which will feature a Careers section. This feature will allow candidates to view different career paths available at the Airport, apply for jobs, as well as help to speed up the recruitment process by applying earlier to Disclosure Scotland, prior to attending any interviews.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport human resources manager Sonia Rafferty said: “We decided it was a good idea to get involved in the Lean Management programme as we were reviewing our recruitment process and feel that taking part will help us not only to recruit the best person for the job, but also that the recruitment process will take considerably less time than it does at the moment.

“The new part of the website, which is due to launch in July, will allow us to speed up the process of applications and become a more efficient function within the airport.”

By introducing lean practices and procedures in 2009, Glasgow Prestwick Airport will save nearly £30,000 through a reduction in paper waste, overtime, sickness and agency fees and switching to a CD Rom handbook, and has already cut down its carbon footprint as a result of reduced paperwork.

Sonia Rafferty added: “The new process has enabled us to cut down the time taken to complete the administration by approximately 29 weeks in the worst case scenario, to get an employee started, and also cuts down on paperwork.”

Scottish Enterprise Glasgow’s operations director, Stuart Patrick concluded: “Last year, the 23 companies who took part in our Lean programme, reported productivity gains worth more than £2.5 million. It is one of our most successful products, providing targeted, minimal intervention for maximum business return.”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport was Scotland’s fastest-growing airport from 2000–2005 and offers low cost scheduled flights to more than 30 European destinations. In 2007 the airport handled 2.4 million passengers.

P&R Accelerate Ltd has a very experienced Lean Management team who have been delivering Scotland’s largest Lean Improvement programme since 2003. The highly acclaimed “Lean Management Thinking” Programme has delivered over £25m in productivity improvements throughout Scotland involving almost 300 companies. P&R Accelerate has also been involved in leading successful Lean Management Programmes across the North of England, Yorkshire, West Midlands and Wales

For further information about the Lean Management programme, please visit
For further information about Prestwick Airport, please visit

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