Business Efficiency


The Business Efficiency project was designed to improve growth rates, use of e-commerce and levels of resource efficiency achieved by firms.  Its aim was to raise Scotland’s level of productivity, support the development of a more efficient and competitive business base, helping it compete globally, and encourage sustainable economic development.  

Support for SMEs was offered under the following initiatives:

Environmental Management Initiative (EMI).  To improve company resource efficiency and reduces environmental impact through guidance, workshops & best practice visits. It linked into support from SMAS, Envirowise, Carbon Trust, Loan Action Scotland, NISP, WRAP and EST.

 1:1 support for up to 2 days was provided for basic resource and waste management planning, a more intensive diagnostic review or consideration of more complex issues.  A series of 1:many workshops on relevant improvement techniques and means to ‘navigate’ the complex regulatory and assistance landscape was also provided.  This assisted clients to:

  • Produce an action plan detailing baselines, actions, and impacts on waste management, utilities, etc. 
  • Drive and measure performance improvement
  • Determine the need for further support from SE or partners. 

Lean Management Thinking Programmes (LMT).  LMT was a 6 month programme which embedded LEAN techniques into business and made improvements in business operations.  Clients appied lean management techniques to a company project via a team drawn from the business. Teams improved efficiencies in use of materials and worked to reduce waste. The benefits achieved were identified in a presentation.  The outputs from the projects were expressed in quantifiable terms.

Business Efficiency and Sustainable Development Events.  A programme of innovative, engaging events highlighted the business benefits of improving productivity, efficiency and resource management. Clients were made aware of the types of support available from SE, its partner bodies and Government.  We followed up this activity to generate referrals to other SE and partner services. Events were delivered approx. 12 times pa with 60 -100 clients at each event.

Grant funding - to support the implementation of bespoke resource and process efficiency, renewable energy or e-business projects.  These projects were designed by clients in conjunction with their Account Managers to achieve specific business objectives. Grants were provided under our Business Efficiency Flexible Financial Product.

The component parts of the Programme worked to establish contact with a large number of firms to allow SE to support a critical mass of businesses to make a positive impact on the level of productivity and competitiveness in the Scottish economy.  The project:

• Improved resource efficiency and environmental impact by reducing the resources needed to operate companies  

• Enhanced management skill levels by creating a cohort of managers trained and experienced in efficiency practices, leading to a sustainable impact beyond the life of the programme 

• Increased e-business use as part of a drive to encourage firms to reduce costs/environmental impacts and secure better market penetration 

• Led to greater use of renewable energy technologies where business benefits are identified 

• Stimulated the design of new products & adoption of innovative processes, linking to SE’s other major projects which stimulate innovation 


  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 01 April 2009
  • Project completed
  • 30 June 2014
regional development business competitiveness Business Efficiency