Optare boosts efficiency at new plant through outsourcing programme

As part of its programme to improve efficiency at its new plant in Sherburn in Elmet, Yorkshire, Optare plc announces today its intention of entering into a long

term supply partnership with WEC Group Ltd., under which the production of bus structures will be outsourced. It is envisaged that a formal agreement will be signed by the end of August.

WEC, a management owned fabrication and engineering specialist based in Darwen, Lancashire, has supplied Optare with kits of components to manufacture structures over the last two years. With this new opportunity, WEC is commissioning its own new factory adjacent to Optare’s Sherburn bus assembly operation.

“In planning our new Sherburn plant we had a unique opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper and re-design our entire build process to achieve the most flexible and efficient operation possible. This led us to a very natural decision to outsource frame fabrication and concentrate on the much higher added value elements of the assembly process”, says Amanda McLaren, Optare’s Supply Chain Director. “We are also delighted that, under the terms of our new partnership, that WEC will offer employment to those working within our existing Leeds fabrication shop.”

Steve Hartley, Managing Director of WEC, said: “This is a great deal for WEC and Optare since it allows both companies to focus on what they do best – Optare to build top quality buses and for us to fabricate the required range of structures in a controlled and highly efficient environment”.