Flexiform’s Magnificent 7

Flexiform Business Furniture, one of the leading manufacturers of office furniture in the UK, is working in partnership with Intec Business Colleges to deliver a range of NVQ qualifications to its Factory Supervisory team to promote its staff training programme. Since starting to work together in 2013 Flexiform and Intec have developed an active working relationship culminating in the first group of the company’s supervisors successfully completing the level 2 NVQ in January 2014, a further team are well on the way to completing the course in the near future and the next pool are looking to start the programme in the new year.

Established over 40 years ago Flexiform’s factory and head offices are based in Bradford, West Yorkshire with sales and service showrooms in London and Edinburgh.

The key concern at Flexiform is delivering a high quality product designed specifically around the customer’s requirements and supplying that solution in the time frame established by the customer’s needs. Consequently one of their key strategies is to maintain a highly flexible manufacturing base and in order to do that there is a need for a well-trained, multi-skilled workforce. The NVQ initiative enables them to set out a training and education programme to support this strategy and allows an experienced and highly talented workforce to be part of this training activity.

Sales and Marketing Director Nick Saunders explained that “Having invested in new plant and machinery over the last few years, it was important to Flexiform that the skill levels in all areas of the business were maintained and improved upon and the Training and Development of our staff is central to that strategy”.

Consequently Flexiform, in late 2012, decided to develop and focus on the supervisory role within the business as a fundamental key management position within the factory environment that delivered on the factory plans, the Health and Safety processes and the continuous improvement initiatives that had been developed. With this investment in the role Flexiform also wanted to commit to a training programme to assist in its staff development. With government funding in place and available to assist them in their plans the last stage was deciding upon a partner to deliver the training.

Operations Planning Manager, Richard Hodson recalls “Having met Chris Tierney and discussed our plans it was obvious from the start that Intec offered the training techniques and plans that suited us”.

Elaborating on the training methods Intec employed Richard added “Intec business colleges have provided a very flexible structure upon which to deliver the NVQ training programme, working closely with our staff, the one to one individual training sessions have proved an invaluable method by which the trainer and trainee work together so that the programme speed can be tailor made to the individual’s needs”.

With a record turnover in 2013-14 Flexiform are set to continue to invest in the training of their employees with Intec as their preferred partner in delivering the skills necessary to take the business on to new heights.