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FERNITE OF SHEFFIELD LIMITED - Assignment Overview

  • Category: Business
  • Subcategory: Manufacturing
  • Pages: 6
  • Words: 2867
  • Published: 26 October 2018
  • Downloads: 35
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Nature of the business

Established in 1832 Fernite have built up a world-class notoriety as a maker of machine blades. Fernite of Sheffield Limited are machine knife manufacturers and steel stockholders selling Spring steel strip and specialising in supplying small quantities of steel to small and medium sized businesses. Fernite is involved in the food, printing, packaging, plastics and recycling industries, supplying world leading brands with high quality products. There are four divisions of the company, Print Blade, Fernite machine knives, BSS Spring Steel Strip and AF Whiteley Granulator blades.

Machine knives are used in production processes which involve any form of cutting operation. Granulator blades are used in the recycling and plastics industries for size reduction, doctor blades are used in industrial printing machinery.

Spring steel strip is used in a variety of applications including tool making, spring forming, cutlery making and medical tools.

Vision/Mission/Objectives

Fernite of Sheffield Limited believe in building a great UK manufacturing business. They aim to be the favourite supplier of their customers but also they believe in manufacturing great products with friendly and reliable service. To do so, they put a lot of effort into customer support so that the customers get the best service when it comes to reliability and also problem-solving, responding to the issues the customers’ experience. Another thing that the company aims for is building a great place to work for its employees so that they can enjoy working in the environment that surrounds them. Also, the company invests in new technology and it aims to continue doing that and even investing in upgrading the existing technology. Fernite are proud of what they do, because the manufacture only quality products that make them reflect the other companies in the industry.

Fernite’s vision statement is: “We believe in building a great UK manufacturing business, recognized as our customers’ favorite supplier, manufacturing great quality products with a friendly, reliable service. Fernite will be a great place to work for great employees, generating a sustainable profit”

Culture and Management style

Fernite of Sheffield Limited is an exporting company that serves markets all over the world including, Europe, United States of America, Asia, Australia and many more. They have a problem-solving culture which means that if a customer has a problem with a blade, they will do their best to solve it – whether that is a problem with cutting performance, lead time or durability.

Fernite is a passionate company that has belief, energy and enthusiasm to be the best in everything the company does. The company invests not only in technology but also in its team. Recently Fernite expanded its team with four new roles which are ‘Group Operations Manager’, ‘Group Technical Manager’, ‘Production Engineer’ and ‘Marketing Executive’.

When it comes to technology Fernite has recently invested in two new machines. One of them is a packing machine for the warehouse which has made dispatching products quicker and cheaper. The other new machine is XYZ 1020 VMC which is CNC Vertical Machining Center. The vertically oriented spindles of that machine approach mounted on their table pieces. Because the machine was solid build it can cut heavy and faster with higher precision. It is similar to some of the older machines in the factory but it is newer upgraded version of them, also it has a user friendly interface which makes the machine easy to use for the operaters.

Fernite invests in its employees and engages them with the values and objectives of the company. Team leaders are trained in team management and are given responsibility and freedom to run their own departments.

Relevant Background/History

The City of Sheffield’s proud relationship with cutlery making started in the fifteenth century and this is the time when Sheffield first received its charter. In the centuries that followed, the impressive reputation of the city continued to flourish. By the middle 1600s, the city’s notoriety for producing the finest cutlery in England was great to the point that Chaucer even alludes to it in ‘The Canterbury Tales’.

What enabled Sheffield to become plainly a world pioneer in the steel industry was its capacity to exploit progressive advances in metallurgy. From the mid-eighteenth century onwards, these prompted incredible advances in the cutlery creation forms utilized as a part of the city.

The invention of the Bessemer convertor and the Huntsman’s technique were two of the main reasons that caused Sheffield to turn from a small town into one of the leading industrial cities in Europe.

Before the creation of the open hearth furnace the Bessemer convertor was known to be the first cheap industrial way for the massive production of steel from pig iron. Being blown through the molten iron by oxidation with air, the impurities were removed from the iron which is the most important principle.

Furnace fired from coke capable of reaching 1,600 degrees Celsius was used by the Huntsmen’s technique. This furnace had room for twelve pots or so called clay crucibles and each of that pots was able to hold fifteen kilograms of iron. Before cooling, a crystal structure was produced from the completed melting of the steel, which after cooling gave increased strength and hardness of the steel compared to the other steel that has been made at that time.

Cauldron steel and silver plating made immense measures of riches here – at any rate for the prosperous steel producers. Then again, conditions for most working individuals were poor, with congestion, uncontrolled contamination from processing plants and foundries, and illness.

Fernite of Sheffield Limited is one of the oldest producers of machine knives in the world. It was founded in 1832 under the name Fearnehough and Sons Limited by Joseph Fearnehough.

Under the heading of Joseph and his family the company advanced through variety of changes such as changing its name to ‘Fernite’ which was actually derived from the surname of its founder. Fernite is a trademark which speaks for the genuine Sheffield quality in the making of machine knives. The organization moved to Darnall in 1969 which is its present site and in 1996 the Fearnehough and Sons Ltd. organization changed its name to the brand Fernite. The ‘Made in Sheffield’ marque is respected throughout the UK and across the world for excellence in manufacturing, and Fernite of Sheffield Limited carries that marque because each Fernite item is made in Sheffield. Fernite has a fine legacy, impeccable notoriety and developing relationships with clients around the world, which gladly keeps on being thrived and maintained by the organization.

Structure

Fernite is a private limited company, owned by the Managing Director. The company has 37 employees.

The structure of the company Fernite of Sheffield Limited is based on teams. The teams are as follow:

  • Team Dispatch
  • Team Production
  • Team Sales
  • Technical Team
  • Operations Team
  • Management Team

Each team is headed up by a team leader, who is responsible for running their section of the business. Team leaders have been trained in people management, and organizing their departments to run efficiently.

Overall my opinion is that the company has clear vision and objectives about that what they want to achieve. This combined with their history and the way they value and appreciate their customers will help them grow in future.

An Organisation chart/ The Structure of your Department/ The Reporting Structure

The members of the shop floor teams ‘Dispatch’ and the two ‘Production’ teams report to their team leaders. Then the team leaders give reports to the ‘Operations manager’ who later on reports to the ‘Managing Director’.

The people under the job titles ‘Accounts’ and ‘Steel Sales’ together with the ‘Marketing Executive’, ‘Senior Customer Service Executive’ and the ‘Customer Service Executive’ report to the ‘Sales Manager’. Then the ‘Sales Manager reports to the ‘Managing Director’.

The people under the job titles ‘Technical Sales Engineer’, ‘Production Engineer’ together with the people under the job title ‘Maintenance Technician’ report to the ‘Technical Manager’ who reports to the ‘Managing Director’.

The title of those with whom you work

My role in the business is Software Developer. My job involves working closely with the Managing Director of Fernite of Sheffield Limited and the management team. The members of the management team have the following titles:

  • Managing Director, who has overall responsibility for the running of the business and its strategy.
  • Group Sales Manager who is responsible for the sales team, developing relationships with customers and exploring new markets in the UK and overseas in order to expand the company’s reach.
  • Group Operations Manager responsible for the running of the factory and managing Fernite’s operations.
  • Group Technical Manager responsible for optimizing Fernite’s processes, cutting production lead times and taking care for the best use of the technology on the shop floor.

My job often involves working with the Senior Customer Service Executive, Steel Sales Engineer, Warehouse Team Leader and Production Team Leader. The tasks you have to carry out/ How they relate to the overall objectives of the organization.

As part of the Fernite team my job involves designing and developing software helping Fernite to automate some of its processes. So far I have created two software applications.

One of those two applications is involved in Fernite’s sales department, and it is used by the sales team.

Its purpose is to increase the sales of Laser Cut parts by speeding up the sales process of those type of jobs, enabling the sales executives to come up with a price for the customer regarding his query a lot faster than before. By filling just a small amount of detail using the software, the sales executive will have the chance to form an enquiry just with a couple of buttons because the software itself has the logic needed for the creation of such enquiry build in it. This means that once the required information is provided the software will generate the enquiry automatically instead of the sales executive doing it manually.

The software is created with VisualBasic.NET programming language and is WindowsForm application with a user-friendly design and easy to navigate between the different windows or so-called forms. The windows application provides you with two options either to use a specific type of text file sent by the customer or manually fill couple boxes with information provided by the customer over the phone in case he does not have the needed file. In order to achieve that, the software does a lot of interacting with the databases of the company. That means that there is a lot of queries such as ‘Insert’, ‘Update’ and ‘Select’ queries. Such queries are use to either store, update or export data.

The other piece of software is related to the managing the priority jobs on the shop floor. I was set the task of developing a piece of software that would display a list of urgent tasks for each operation in the factory, to improve flow of work through the factory and ensure orders are completed on time.

It is a table containing information about the open and active jobs on the shop floor. The application is exporting accurate data from the live database using SQL queries and it is displaying the jobs for each work centre location on the shop floor sorted by the date they are due to be out. Not only this, but also it is prioritizing the jobs so that the team at each location knows which operation to start first. This means that if a job has a higher priority set to it, the row of the table containing information about that job will change its colour. This will point that it is urgent this job to be finished and I should be started as soon as possible. Since the application is WindowsForm based application created with VisualBasic.Net. The extracted data is displayed in customized DataGridView available from the Toolbox located in the designer tab.

This is going to help Fernite manage its orders better without any delays, which means that number of late jobs is going to decrease drastically leading to the company keeping to its deadlines and reducing lead times for customers.

Your responsibilities

My responsibilities involve updating and providing support for the existing software of the company which means that every time a software fails either with the exporting data from the database or something else it is my responsibilities to clear the error and make sure it does not appear again. Another responsibility I have to carry out is taking care for the databases so that are not interrupted by fault data and also designing new databases.

Also, another responsibility of mine on a daily basis is providing IT support for the computer technology around the factory. This means that that if there is a problem with one of the printers in the office or with the computers it is my responsibility to take care of the issue. I have assisted with installation of new PCs and configuring them when new members of staff have joined the company.

Common enquiries I deal with include network connection problems, hardware troubleshooting and maintenance, assisting colleagues with software enquiries, cable management and assistance with the accessing information from the company databases.

Any relationships with government/ political aspects

Fernite is an exporting business that is reporting sales and exporting to the government.

Political aspects include payment of necessary tariffs and duties on imports and exports set by Governments. The country’s custom authorities collect those type of payments called import duties on the imports and on some exports, usually based on the value of the imported goods.

Fernite is a member of the local chamber of commerce, a network of businesses which provides support, advice and a voice for business in the region. The Chamber of Commerce interacts with local, regional and national Governments on behalf of its members.

The managing director must also report statistics to the UK Government. This allows Government statisticians to calculate the growth in the economy and individual sectors.

With the use of commodity codes which are codes that refer to the Harmonized System which is the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding system, the Governments and organisations that are not governmental monitor controlled products. Also for tax purposes thanks to the commodity codes they are able to identify goods. Another thing that the commodity codes are used for is implementation of the price and quota regulations on exports and imports.

The company is an ISO 9001 accredited company, which means they comply with internationally recognised standards. The main purpose of using this standard is to increase the satisfaction of the customers when quality products are delivered.

The marketplace / Market share / Competitors

Machine knives are used in production lines and industrial machinery to perform cutting operations.

Fernite serves markets all over the world including Europe, United States of America, Asia, Australia and many more. There are four divisions of the company and they are:

  • Print Blade takes care of the production of doctor blades.
  • Fernite is a machine knives manufacturer.
  • BSS is a steel stockholder of Spring Steel Strip.
  • AF Whiteley takes care for the granulator blades.

With the four divisions of the company covering different aspects of the steel industry, Fernite is able to specialise and compete in different markets.

Most of the Print Blade’s customers are foreign companies mainly located in Europe and Asia, while most of the AF Whiteley’s customers are United Kingdom companies. When it comes to Fernite and BSS they are very well known with customers all over the world.

Fernite as manufacturer of a quality products is more concerned to strengthen its position on the quality markets rather than the quantity ones.

As China and other Asian countries have captured the cheaper end of the global steel market, Sheffield and UK companies have focused on producing higher value products which require precision or advanced engineering.

Fernite manufactures in the UK using high quality European steel. This means their products are marketed on quality rather than competing on price and many of Fernite’s competitors are UK or European based companies as well.

The legal position

Fernite of Sheffield Ltd is a private limited company. This means the company is a legal entity in itself and the owners have limited liability – – meaning they are not personally liable for its debts.

Limited Companies have certain restrictions on its ownership while its shareholders have legal protection. The restrictions are preventing any hostile takeover attempts and usually they are defined in the bylaws or regulations of the company. The following are some of the major ownership restrictions:

  • Without offering their shares to the other shareholders, a shareholder cannot sell his shares.
  • Shares cannot be offered over stock exchange to the public by its shareholder
  • There is a fixed figure for shareholders which cannot be exceeded.

Collaborations / Joint ventures global company? Local versus international

Fernite had worked with market researchers and export specialists at the UK Government’s Department of International Trade. This department helps businesses grow and export into global markets by giving support and advice on that how the amount of services sold overseas could be increased or to start exporting.

Fernite operate through distribution networks across the world, with distributors identifying new customers and supplying them with Fernite products.

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