by Phil Eastwood

Located in a part of Scotland which is now the Oil & Gas Capital of Europe, Woollard and Henry have diversified into fabricating Personnel transfer Vessels for the Offshore Energy markets.  Work in the fabrication sector has led to the winning of a Queens Award for International Trade.

Assistance was required to process map the Frog (Personal Transfer Vessel) fabrication line and identify process improvement opportunities where possible.  As 3rd Party SMAS practitioners VV facilitated a process mapping exercise that covered the Frog fabrication line and supporting functions.  The project was delivered over 3 one-day workshops.

A detailed implementation plan was created that would allow the Company to remove  ‘waste’ and create benefit.  The total ‘Value-Added’ savings for the 3-day project were accessed at £26K.


by Phil Eastwood

Cosalt (Denmore Road, Aberdeen) supply, repair and inspect lifting equipment, from initial purchase to the end of operational life.  As SMAS 3rd Party practitioners VV carried out 5 one-day interventions that delivered:

  • Lean Awareness Training.
  • Design of a future state layout that would deliver a potential increase fronm 56 units to 98 units per day.
  • Identification and removal of wastes in the maintenance processes resulting in a shortened and enhanced customer experience.

The work with Cosalt has since; quote ‘been an outstanding success as productivity has doubled from a reduced team, we have c3000 refurbished units in stock and our work is scheduled out to the middle of the year. Quite a difference.’

Since 2009 VV has secured a number of Lean mentoring and consultancy contracts from HIE (through Development Partners Ltd on behalf of HIE. VV has received extremely positive feedback from the clients on VV's intervention on business strategy and tactical issues to date.Client contracts undertaken to date include:

Owen Sails ' 'Scotland's Premier Sailmaker' - employs 14 people and is situated in Argyll. VV advised them on the development of their strategic business model and how this linked to the current workflow and also to their communications strategy-driven plan to issue an ITT to upgrade their Information Systems. The project involved providing strategy and process-mapping training and facilitating workshops to help the principle stakeholders formulate their vision and methodology of taking the business forward.

Midton Acrylics are Europe's leading manufacturer of clear acrylics and they employ approx 30 people in the Argyll area. The owners wished to formulate an Exit Strategy and VV identified the need for a Succession Management Review.VV facilitated the Review which identified the links with training plans and their critical staff and resources; this was also linked to a communications review and a workflow analysis.

Rainnea Ltd, a micro-SME near Loch Ness, make high quality Scottish jewellery and accessories which they sell world-wide.VV provided them with one-to-one mentoring on Lean principles and supported them in formulating a company review of their costing model for defined processes.This enabled them to identify and eliminate waste and to match skill-levels to processes, thus improving the 'bottom line' for their growing sales.

These interventions are great examples on how VV could work for you and start helping your company realise its true potential. Contact us for more details.

In association with SMAS, VV has been working with SMEs in the manufacturing arena in a drive to improve processes, reduce waste and improve revenue streams.

Online Electronics Ltd specialises in the design and manufacture of oil and gas pipeline pig monitoring equipment, pipeline data communications and logging systems. Head office is based in Aberdeen, with satellite offices in North and South America, the Middle East and Asia. The company has an annual turnover of ~ £2.5M.

A Lean Awareness modular package was delivered to management and key staff. 5S workplace organisation was introduced and visual management techniques (cleaning stations, shadow boards and colour coding) explored. A T Card scheduling system was introduced to the workshop to monitor targets, activity and deadlines. Mapping and tri-storming techniques resulted in enhanced layout and use of the workshop and its floor space. A 100 day plan has been created with the management to ensure sustainment of the Lean activity. Added value for the project was estimated at £51K by the Company.





Through working with SMAS, VV has been working with SMEs to help improve manufacturing output and reduce waste.

Qascopak is a successful company providing assembly, packing and warehousing services to manufacturing organisations and distributors, predominately within the drinks industry.Services operate over several geographically located sites and through the utilisation of a flexible workforce meet variability in low volume customer demand.

VV delivered Lean awareness training to Directors and senior management.A VSM exercise with the Directors preceded a series of interventions focused on the optimisation of assembly processes and flow, decrease in change over times to cope with variability and operator based preventive maintenance activities.

A 130% increase in productivity was demonstrated in the new flow and layout of machinery and floor space needed to run the process was reduced by circa 30%.










In association with SMAS, VV has been working with SCA Foam Products (part of SCA Global Packaging); a premier supplier of custom designed packaging products and specialist components.  With 4 locations within UK and 1 in Ireland, the facility at Livingston is a major supplier of bespoke product to Mitsubishi.
Current supplies of injected product suffer from a high incidence of quality failures a need was identified to provide the ability to produce its own foam injected parts. Lean techniques are already employed at SCA Foam, after a short recap on Lean principles a Business Case, Event Musts and Event boundaries were set, the senior management team facilitated by VV Ltd then created an in depth current process map. Lean process wastes were identified and a current state spaghetti diagram captured. An ideal future state was created for the new process and measured against lean principles and the business case requirements. An action plan was created and tested against the ‘7 Hows’ to ensure all possible future issues were addressed. The focus and support VV Ltd provided during the contract has resulted in constructing a new process that, with an investment of £90K, will provide an estimated month on month saving of £15K and a reduction in current stock levels of 50%. A less tangible benefit that the Company has stated is that the project re-energised the Lean activity within the Group as a whole.
The Viable Ventures Team is pleased to announce that they were successful in their tender to become an associate of the Scottish Manufacturing and Advisory Service (SMAS) Resource Framework.
Following the allocation of additional funding over the next three years to build an Enhanced Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, new strategic goals have been set to expand the service and to significantly increase its impact across Scotland’s manufacturing sectors. The Viable Ventures Team will assist SMAS in meeting these goals, and in improvement projects primarily in the area of Lean Manufacturing. Viable Ventures have been involved extensively in several organisation-wide Lean transformations, with major experience of leading and running Lean project work streams and change programmes. We welcome the opportunity to work in association with SMAS in order to benefit Scottish Manufacturing.

"Wi-Fi Availability is listed as the No 1 Amenity expected by Todays Travellers."

Scotland is famous for magnificent scenery and vibrant culture.  Whilst visiting Scotland enable your guests the opportunity to stay connected to friends, family and colleagues around the gobe by installing Wi-Fi.


  • Differentiate your Business from the Competition.
  • Generate Higher Occupancy Rates.
  • Increase Guest Experience and Retention.
  • Increase your Income.


  • Protect the Safety and Property of your Business and your Guests.
  • Peace of Mind for both you and your Guests.

Options Available: 

  • VV can provide electrical installations, hardpoints and CAT 5/6 cables where required.
  • VV can also offer Staff Training in using your Wi-Fi System. 

If you want to know more about this brand-new VV service then please: