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Training powers continuous improvement at Bourns: Employees have a key role in developing the business

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 13 July 2012



This paper aims to describe an award‐winning training program that helped UK electronics business Bourns to improve its products, streamline its working practices, reduce its costs, cut delivery times and reinforce a culture of continuous improvement.


The paper explains the reasons for the program, the form it took and the results it achieved.


The paper reveals that the company saved almost £750,000 over the two‐year life of the project, while profits surged by 300 percent in a single year.

Practical implications

The paper describes how the company selected the National Vocational Qualification Level 2 in business‐improvement techniques as an appropriate standard to which to educate its manufacturing staff and technicians.

Social implications

The paper highlights the company's belief that the best ideas come from people who are closest to the problems and that the course in business‐improvement techniques offered employees a wealth of confidence and expertise, plus new ways of working as an individual and as a team.


The paper reveals that the company has encouraged and empowered its people to take part in developing the business through continuous improvement. Clear and positive outcomes have prevailed for both employees and the business, linking to an increase in productivity and profit.



(2012), "Training powers continuous improvement at Bourns: Employees have a key role in developing the business", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 7-9.



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