Productivity consultant Lisa Machin in pursuit of 'Aha' moments | EEF

Productivity consultant Lisa Machin in pursuit of 'Aha' moments

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Whether she’s working with a manufacturer on a week-long Lean training course or mentoring a company on a three-year strategic growth plan, Lisa Machin is after the same thing. It’s that moment the penny drops and someone’s eyes light up as they finally see the solution to their problem.


As a productivity consultant at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, Lisa provides an impartial, third-party view of where a company can make improvements. These improvements can come span a wide range of indicators, including

  • Customer focus
  • Supply chain
  • Lean leadership
  • Core processes
  • Machine and equipment optimisation
  • Support processes

Lisa’s diverse, tailored approach to helping manufacturers is built on her years of experience working in manufacturing. She became hooked on industry during an industrial placement at university where she worked in the business side of a tier 1 automotive industry supplier. Here, Lisa learned about everything from logistics to supply chain challenges.

Lisa then worked for a multinational organisation as their productivity system expert. Her task was to look across all their divisions and recent acquisitions to standardise processes that could scale as the company grew. This involved using systems and skills, such as total productive maintenance, visual management, eliminating waste, establishing KPIs and coaching and mentoring from the shop floor to the management team. The result was improved productivity and a strong system of best practice processes.

Today, Lisa enjoys working with a range of customers to address their process, growth and productivity challenges as a consultant with EEF. From SMEs to multinational with £250 million annual turnover, Lisa works for the lightbulb moment when people go from being overwhelmed to seeing how to work their way through a problem. As someone who has worked at manufacturing companies herself, Lisa says she can understand their difficulties and empathise with their struggles, but guide them towards a solution. Her work with a company can be a matter of days or up to three years, depending on their particular plans and needs.

Lisa is currently working on a wide variety of projects, including

  • Running training courses (in house and at training facilities across the UK) on changing shift patterns, managing quality in the workplace, 5S problem solving and Lean champions
  • Benchmarking businesses against other businesses in their sector and identifying opportunities for innovation in the industry
  • Mentoring shift leaders who have technical skills, but little management experience on how to think more strategically about their role and manage their team more effectively
  • Helping businesses strategise about what they’re good at, what their capacity is, what their direction is and what’s possible in terms of growth
  • Guiding businesses that have growing order books, but don’t have the capacity or infrastructure to fulfil them on how better processes can release capacity and improve productivity
  • Speaking at EEF’s Manufacturing Connect event in the North East on supply chain and innovation best practice

Lisa continues to enjoy the custom nature of her work as no two weeks are ever the same, just as each manufacturer’s particular goals and challenges are unique. To learn more about what Lisa does, get in touch or visit our Productivity Business Support webpages.

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