Wisbech firm lets workers have their say on improving the business

Pike's workers have had their say on how to improve the business

Pike's workers have had their say on how to improve the business - Credit: Archant

A WISBECH manufacturing firm is reaping the rewards after empowering its workers to come up with suggestions to improve the business.

Just before Christmas, Pike Textile Display, manufacturers of fabric, wallpaper and window blind display books, launched the Pike Improvement Process (PIP), and ideas flooded in instantly.

Since then 50 people, more than half the workforce, have put 100 ideas forward, many of which have been implemented.

Jon Allen, managing director, said: “We expected a trickle and we’re pleased to have a flood of ideas coming through. “There’s quite a wide range, everything from forming a football team to changing our manufacturing systems and adding solar panels to the roof.”

The scheme has led to the formation of Pike’s own football team which practises every Friday afternoon and will soon be ready to set up fixtures, machines being moved, foldaway handling crates bought and redundant equipment destined for the scrapheap adapted to fit existing machines.

Mr Allen says they have made a conscious decision not to offer money for ideas.

He said: “We do not offer any financial reward for any suggestion. We have got a very good workforce who take pride in everything we do.

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“Having a financial reward means individuals might keep an idea to themselves rather than sharing and discussing it with the group, which is where the best ideas come from.”

PIP was developed with help from Stephen Mather from Watson, Neale & Mather and part-funded by the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Mr Allen believes more businesses would benefit from replicating Pike’s scheme, which he says empowers workers.

He said: “I would definitely recommend it to other businesses. There is never any harm in getting more people involved and giving them more opportunity to make a difference.”

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