A long-term partnership with a calibration SME

A five-year partnership between our Enscite team and CoMech Metrology, a calibration laboratory, has been a fruitful one according to its new Managing Director, Matthew Pallett. We have connected the company to academic experts in logistics and lean processes and are now helping to improve the firm’s supply chain management and overall business strategy.

Early collaborations

CoMech Metrology is a calibration laboratory based in Derby, providing high-level technical support to the rail industry in the UK and worldwide. It specialises in the calibration, design, manufacture and supply of safety critical equipment, including rail gauges, various types of metrology equipment, electrical and torque items.

The company has been working with Enscite since the Enscite project began in 2015, initially to access funding and staff training. Through Enscite’s partner network, this led on to CoMech undertaking consultancy projects on integrated logistics and lean processes with the University of Derby.

Then with Aston University — a partner in Enscite — the company developed an innovative UK-wide logistics software package and supply chain management system.

The Managing Director of CoMech at that time, Keith Pallett, explained the impact of this support in 2015:

“The relationship with Enscite has helped to transform our plans into reality and provided us with the confidence to act on our plans sooner. Enscite’s support in providing connections to some of the world’s leading academics has enabled us to tap into a support network which is second to none.”

Calibration equipment
The outside of CoMech Metrology's offices

Gaining more control over its supply chain

Most recently (2019/20) the company has had support from Enscite to improve its supply chain management processes. The current Managing Director, Matthew Pallett, explains:

“85% of the work we acquire can be managed in-house, but the rest needs to be subcontracted. We audit these initial subcontractors (tier 1) and check their accreditations but if they then choose to subcontract the work out (to tier 2 suppliers), it can be difficult to keep track of that. The supply chain expert from Enscite has been helping us resolve this issue.”

The Enscite representative met with CoMech’s Procurement team to understand the company’s processes for selecting and managing suppliers. He then mapped out this process and, in collaboration with Aston University, is now conducting a ‘supply chain readiness assessment’ which is highlighting potential issues and initiating discussions on how to resolve them.

Matt explains how this has been received by the business so far: “The Procurement team told me they have found it very useful and that it’s already changed a lot of their processes in a positive way; making supply chain management much smoother for them.”

Refining the business strategy

CoMech has also benefitted from Enscite’s free training. As well as sending staff on a number of Enscite-run workshops, Matt himself recently attended a session on business strategy and is now bringing what he learned back into the business:

“I’m using the process I learned on this workshop with my senior management team right now,” says Matt. “We are assessing where the business is currently, considering where we want to be in five to ten years’ time, and then mapping out exactly how we are going to get there. I want to do this collaboratively, so everyone buys into it.”

A success story

In the last three years, CoMech has grown by 125% and Matt says, “Some of that is certainly down to the training and collaborations with Enscite. We’re delighted with our progress as a company, and with the partnership with Enscite. Working with them has been very smooth; the staff are very knowledgeable in their fields and the events I’ve been to have been very worthwhile and well structured.”

Man working on machinery in the University's Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering

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