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December/January 2010 - DSG


December/January 2010

The magazine of the Defence Support Group




After many months of

preparation, the first wave of DSG

employees recently embarked on

their journey to Camp Bastion in

Afghanistan as part of the MOD’s

Equipment Support Solution (ESS).

Historically, DSG’s employees have

undertaken many deployments to front line

and other overseas operations. Our staff have a long and proud

tradition of volunteering for critical deployments to areas of

conflict. We are also making significant contributions supporting

our Armed Forces overseas in other areas such as the crucial

training facility at BATUS in Canada.

In forthcoming editions of Digest we will follow the story of our

employees as they settle in to their daily lives at the front line

where their skills and expertise in supporting the vital equipment

used by our Armed Forces is being tested daily. I am genuinely

proud and grateful to everyone who is volunteering to join their

service colleagues in areas of significant danger.

Time and again our people demonstrate great pride in a job well

done and this ‘can do’ attitude, which never fails to impress our

customers, is testament to their professionalism and commitment.

DSG’s reputation and value is built upon its people who are the

ambassadors and lifeblood of the organisation. We value the

contributions made by all our employees who have all worked

together in producing an outstanding business performance.

I know you will all want to join me in wishing our DSG colleagues,

who are currently supporting the Armed Forces in Afghanistan,

season’s greetings at a time when absence from their loved ones is

even more poignant.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone in DSG for making

2009 such a memorable and successful trading year. You have all

played a significant and contributory role in raising DSG’s profile

within the customer community. Our standing within the defence

sector is greatly consolidated but we cannot be complacent or

rest on our laurels. We still have much to do in shaping our

business for the future and I am confident I can count on your

support as we strive to be the very best at what we do.

Finally, let me offer you and your family my very best wishes for a

happy and festive Christmas as well as a fruitful and healthy New


Best wishes,

Archie Hughes

Chief Executive


boys in


At the end of October, 29 DSG

employees from various DSG sites

travelled to Camp Bastion in

Afghanistan to work on MOD’s

Equipment Sustainability System

(ESS) programme.

The DSG team on arrival at

Camp Bastion

Our team is providing the skilled labour to

complete planned, periodic deep repair and

maintenance, which will improve equipment

availability for Operational Commanders. It

will also extend the in-theatre life of platforms

to eight years. Initially, the team will be

working on five vehicles; Warrior, Jackal,

Mastiff, Viking and WMIK.

By conducting forward regeneration in Camp

Bastion, the time that vital equipment is away

from where it is needed most by our troops is

minimised. The ESS programme will deliver

annual savings to Defence of over £10M as

equipment rotation costs are avoided.

The Interim Regeneration Capability will fill

the capability gap before the establishment of

the Full Regeneration Capability in September

2010, when it is likely that the DSG team will

increase in number.

We will be extending our coverage of the ESS

programme with regular reports from our

team on the ground in Camp Bastion and

these updates will feature in forthcoming

editions of Digest.

www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST



Going the



Steve Southall and his team (R-L) Annette Thompson,

Sue Blake and Helen Courtnell

Steve Southall, Provision manager at DSG Land

Supply recently went the extra mile for one of our

customers. One Friday, Steve received 16 priority

01 demands for wire cutters for the top cover

sentry protection employed on B vehicles for a unit

in Afghanistan. Wire cutters are the small antenna

that extends from the mesh armour on the front of

the cab. They are used to clip wire stretched over

roads used by UK Forces and if they are not spotted

in time the soldier on duty within the turret is at

risk of decapitation.

The item was not on a contract, the costs were unknown

and the supplier did not hold any stock. Steve confirmed

with HQ Land that the items were indeed imperative and

Land requested that all stops be pulled out to get the items

to theatre as soon as possible as they were vital to the

safety of the top cover sentry.

Steve gained verbal authority from General Support

Vehicles (GSV) commercial staff to negotiate the supply of

the wire cutters as a matter of urgency.

The wire cutter manufacturer worked over the weekend

to fulfil the order and the items reached Bicester by the

following Monday for onward transmission to Afghanistan.

The customer, a unit in Afghanistan was very grateful for

the fast turnaround. Warrant Officer Class One Stu Boyle

told Digest, “Please pass on our appreciation to those who

put in the additional effort in what were extremely testing

times.” This is another fine example of the high regard in

which DSG is held by those who are dependent on us

delivering vital equipment for our troops on the Front Line.

DSG Stafford supports

RAF in the Falkland Islands

DSG Stafford employees recently displayed a high level of

customer support when told that an Air Separation Unit (ASU) at

Mount Pleasant airfield on the Falkland Islands had developed a

fault and was out of action.

An ASU is a machine that produces liquid oxygen, which is used on aircraft

for the operation of flight systems and for breathing air for the crew. There

are four ASU’s in the RAF maintained by DSG Stafford.

Tony Eeles, a fitter from the ASU servicing team volunteered to fly out to

Mount Pleasant airfield accompanied by a contractor. The ASU was proving

to be problematic and despite their best efforts, the team eventually had to

admit defeat.

The only option was to deploy the spare ASU held at Stafford as soon as

possible. The ASU was prepared and sent out and a second team, comprising

of Paul Moores and Alan Harwood flew out to install it. Working extended

days the team did a tremendous job and had the ASU installed,

commissioned and operational within a week.

Tony told Digest, “It was frustrating going all that way and not being able to

fix the unit. However, the faulty ASU is now back at Stafford so I will get a

second chance to see if I can find the fault!”

The Falklands team,

L-R Tony Eeles, Paul Moores, Alan Harwood


DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk




at Colchester

Jayne outside

Buckingham Palace,

with her MBE.



for Jayne

Keen readers of Digest may recall an article in

the August edition about Jayne Vaughan, DSG

Telford’s SES Cluster Account Manager, on her

award of an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday

Honours for exceptional performance in her role

as Senior Provision manager of the Light

Weapons, Photographic and Batteries Project

team (LWPB PT).

Jayne’s exceptional performance was pivotal in sustaining

small arms spares, including SA80, general purpose

machine gun and batteries to enable troops to train and

fight on Operations TELIC and HERRICK.

Jayne recently attended the investiture ceremony at

Buckingham Palace, along with her parents and partner

Alan, where HRH The Prince of Wales presented her

with her MBE.

Commenting on the day, Jayne told Digest, “I was both

nervous and excited on arrival at the Palace. However,

once inside and separated from my guests the enormity

of the occasion was overwhelming, particularly when you

discovered why others present were receiving awards.”

One of Jayne’s highlights of the day was meeting Kenny

Dalglish whose wife also received a MBE.

Summing up her truly memorable day, Jayne added, “It

was a day that my family and I will never forget and I am

so proud that the work undertaken in Sapphire House is

acknowledged and appreciated. However, I cannot stress

enough that although I received the award it was a team

effort and it is just a pity that all those involved couldn’t

receive the recognition they so richly deserve,”

Pictured with their certificates, L-R,

Team Leader Jason Giles, Simon Spendlove, PowerPanels NVQ Trainer

Gurjit Kang, Mark Adkins and Team Manager Barry Young

Four members of DSG Colchester recently

completed their NVQ training and received their

certificates. The training, which is a level two in

Business Improvements Techniques (BIT), took

place over the last six months.

Mark Adkins, Simon Spendlove, both members of the

Operational Excellence team, Barry Young, Team Manager

and Jason Giles, Team Leader have all attended the training

in 6S (Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardise, Sustain and

Safety), 7 Wastes and problem solving. They carried out

their main training at Donnington with follow up projects

on site a few days after, allowing all four to apply the

techniques they learnt.

Gurjit Kang, PowerPanels NVQ Trainer, told Digest, “It is a

credit to the hard work of these employees that they are

the first to achieve their certificates and it emphasises the

‘can do’ attitude of the team at the Colchester site.”

Mark and Simon went on to do the train the trainer

course. Both have now provided training sessions to their

colleagues and they are very pleased with the tools and


Barry told Digest, “Having the Operational Excellence team

on the training and both a Team Manager and Team Leader

allows us to drive the training and culture through the site

and we are looking forward to seeing the continuing

positive results at Colchester in the future.”

www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST



The DAF DROPS team

Operational Excellence

at Catterick

The DAF DROPS Centre of Excellence workshop

Earlier this year, DSG Catterick embarked on a journey to achieve

Operational Excellence. The team at Catterick decided to start the

process in Building 29, home of the DAF Dismountable Rack Offload &

Pickup System (DROPS) programme work. A strategic review of the site

highlighted sufficient potential to introduce the DAF DROPS Land work

to the same building. DSG Catterick followed the ultimate in

standardisation and created a single DAF DROPS Centre of Excellence

by combining the two.

A further challenge for the team was to carry out the changes with the minimum

amount of disruption to the production that was going on in the building. This was

carried out with great effect due to the co-operation of all the staff involved.

Employees took to the challenge and showed their enthusiasm by contributing to

the work that was being carried out including the layout and the ongoing Value

Stream Mapping which aims to reduce turn round times. The team also contributed

with the application of 6S, visual management, process improvement, and waste

reduction. Soon after starting, over 40 suggestions came through the ABC list, which

gives all workers the ability to put forward suggestions and ideas, which could lead

to a GEMS award. This proved to be quite popular and easy to implement. The

process is being developed further to ensure timely feedback and give the

confidence that everyone will get an answer to his or her issues or opportunities. It

is proving to be a good “sustaining” technique.

Richard Dargue, part of the Operational Excellence Team, told Digest, “I feel

privileged to be a part of the team at Catterick. It is good to know that support and

help is always there. Whether this is from within the team itself, other teams around

DSG or the specialists working around the group, you know that help is just a

phone call away. That does not mean everything is easy, but we have the tools and

the training in place. In addition, we have great support from our management team

with whom we regularly meet to brief and discuss ongoing projects and concerns.”

Catterick now has the basis of a complete workshop as a showcase for DSG and

can be proud to show this to the various visitors both from inside Catterick and

beyond. Ray Padilla, an acknowledged world expert in the field of Operational

Excellence, has recognised Catterick as being DSG’s most successful site to date

following its Operational Excellence assessment.

Richard summarises, “The joint effort between the manager, team leader and all the

team has provided strength at all stages of our transformation in becoming the

DSG Showcase DAF DROPS Centre of Excellence, of which we are all very proud.

We feel confident in taking this process forward as a template across all areas of

our Catterick business.”


DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk


Telford award new enabling

contracts in support of light gun

DE&S contacted the DSG Land

Supply team responsible for

supporting the 105mm Light Gun in

January, with a request to renew the

five contracts used to support this

important piece of equipment, which

is currently deployed on operations in


The team quickly established that the

existing contracts were in their final year.

The contracts could not be extended and

so therefore needed to be replaced. The

team agreed a stretching programme with

the Project Team to ensure that the new

contracts would be in place by the

beginning of October; they also identified

the top three risks considered most likely

to impact the project and agreed a robust

mitigation strategy.

The requirement was advertised in the

MOD Contracts Bulletin and as a result the

team received over 20 expressions of

interest; these were assessed using a prequalification

questionnaire and the

companies who submitted the most

comprehensive response were invited to


The initial requirement was for the

manufacture of over 400 line items, which

included many complicated assemblies and

the companies who were invited to tender

were required to review and price over

1,000 drawings before formally responding.

Discussions with operations staff in both

Donnington and Stirling identified a further

40 items, which it was agreed should be

included in the new contracts. Clearly, this

complicated the requirement and industry

requested an extension to the original

tender return date. However, the team had

already identified this as a potential risk and

had allowed sufficient time in the

programme plan.

Tenders were finally returned at the

beginning of September and were subject

to a comprehensive technical and value for

money assessment, which identified a

number of issues that required further

clarification. These were quickly dealt with

and as a result, the team advised DE&S that

the new contracts were successfully

awarded and available to use from the

beginning of October. The price of the most

regularly used items has also been

The Light Gun in action

reduced by around 20 percent plus there is

a further estimated annual savings of £60K

now that operations staff can request items

from the new contracts.

We are now looking

forward to supporting

the Light Gun for

another five years and

we will be working

proactively with

customers and

suppliers in order to

continue successfully

supporting front line


Ivor Chuck, Commercial Manager, DSG

Land Supply told Digest, “The successful

outcome can be attributable in no small

part to the willingness of the team to

communicate and collaborate both

efficiently and effectively. We are now

looking forward to supporting the

Light Gun for another five years and

we will be working proactively with

customers and suppliers in order

to continue successfully

supporting front line operations.”

The team from A Vehicle

Cluster Land Supply, L-R

Alan Farley, Anne Peate

and Ivor Chuck

www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST



DSG exhibits

at DSEi


Keith Norris, Strategy Director

with PUS Sir Bill Jeffrey

The ExCeL exhibition centre

recently played host to the

Defence Systems and Equipment

International (DSEi) show, which is

one of the world’s biggest defence

equipment and systems events.

Following on from the success of the

DVD exhibition, this was DSG’s first

chance to exhibit at this major trade

event since the Group’s creation in 2008.

DSG sat alongside more than 1,350

exhibitors representing 40 countries

showcasing hardware and software

solutions for the Armed Forces.

DSEi provides face to face opportunities

to share ideas, discuss industry

developments, conduct business and

network for future growth.

Over the four days, DSG’s Chief

Executive, Archie Hughes along with

representatives from across the DSG

business units met with industry

partners, international delegations,

defence trade visitors, UK Ministers and

senior staff involved in UK defence

procurements. High profile visitors to

the stand included MOD’s Permanent

Under Secretary, Sir Bill Jeffrey, DE&S

DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk

Director Commercial, Les Mosco and Lt

Gen Gary Coward, Lt Gen Dick

Applegate’s replacement as Chief of

Materiel Land.

Commenting on the exhibition, Archie

told Digest, “The DSEi event proved to

be an excellent forum for raising the

profile of DSG. It was encouraging to see

the level of interest at the DSG stand

and I believe that exhibiting at the show

allows us to build on our already strong

relationships with industry.”

It was encouraging

to see the level of

interest at the DSG

stand and I believe

that exhibiting at the

show allows us to

build on our already

strong relationships

with industry.


Apprentice update

Aaron and Kelvin

at work

MOD Apprentice

of the Year,

Aiden Johnson

Andy Hursey (3rd left), Teresa

Hooper (far right) and Phil

Kent (far left) witness the

apprentices signing the deeds

Ian Robinson, Head of DSG Catterick

presenting Graeme Heald (right)

and Matthew Kane with

their certificates and log books

Louisa on board

the tall ship

Stavros S Niarchos

Tom Nevard Memorial


Two apprentices from DSG Colchester

who are in their first year of training,

Aaron Chambers and Kelvin Smy,

recently took part in the Tom Nevard

Memorial Competition in Glasgow.

They were required to make a Lining

Tool, Aaron told Digest,” We felt at first

that this task was just too far outside

our capabilities but by working on it

together we managed to get our heads

around the design. Although we did not

manage to complete the project, we felt

that we had put in a good effort.”

Most importantly, Kelvin and Aaron

took the time to meet and make friends

with other apprentices who were

undertaking their own apprenticeship

schemes from all over the MOD.

Kelvin added, “Thanks to all the

Apprentice Masters and Neville Whittle

for their support to Aaron and me this

year so far.”

Apprentices from DSG Donnington

who were all at various stages in their

training took part in the competition

with those in their third year of training

taking second place in the Team Event.

MOD Apprentice of the Year

Aiden Johnson, an apprentice from DSG

Donnington has won Gold in the MOD

Apprentice of the Year competition.

Aiden started his Apprenticeship in

September 2006, he was winner of the

DSG Donnington second phase

Apprentice of the Year 2008 and runner

up in the second phase Tom Nevard

competition (Mechanical) 2008.

HRH The Princess Royal will present

him with his award at MOD’s annual

Apprentice Awards ceremony in

London this month. We shall cover this

story in greater detail in the next

edition of Digest, including pictures of

Aiden’s great day. Everyone across DSG

congratulates Aiden on this terrific


Colchester apprentices sign

apprenticeship deeds

In September, DSG Colchester

welcomed three new Vehicle Mechanic

apprentices, Andrew Bennington,

Darren Blackery and Richard Edwards

into their first year of training. They

have completed a two-week intensive

induction course and have now started

their first year at Colchester Institute

Westside Centre of Excellence, where

they will spend most of their time.

The Apprentices recently signed their

Deeds witnessed by Andy Hursey, Head

of Business at Colchester, Phil Kent,

Production Manager and Teresa Hooper,

Learning Development Advisor.

Sail away

Graeme Heald and Matthew Kane,

phase three apprentices from DSG

Catterick completed a Royal Yachting

Association (RYA) Basic Skills Level 2

sailing qualification as their Resource

and Initiative section of the standard

base apprentice training.

Graeme and Matthew learned to sail at

Thornton Steward reservoir, the home

of Catterick Garrison’s sailing school

and taught to rig, launch, sail a triangular

course and return to shore safely,

together with classroom instruction to

cover all the elements for RYA Basic

Skills Level 2 sailing qualification.

After successfully completing the

assessment Matthew and Graeme were

awarded their certificates and log


A sailor’s life for Louisa

Louisa Griffiths, an apprentice at DSG

Donnington, was recently awarded the

Elvey and Coast Award, which is a

charity award offering the successful

apprentice the opportunity and funding

to take part in a character building

adventure activity. Louisa’s chosen

activity was the Celtic challenge. In

September, Louisa set sail on a tall ship

for Greenock, Scotland from Barry

Docks, South Wales by way of Ireland.

With a crew of 47 working together as

a team and sharing responsibilities,

Louisa took part in all aspects of sailing,

working quickly and efficiently in

response to orders from the helm.

Manning the wheel, setting sails,’ Happy

hour’ also known as cleaning, helping to

cast off and dock the ship and climbing

the masts to stow the sails. Louisa told

Digest, “I found this a positive and

motivating experience and thoroughly

enjoyed it.”

www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST








Transforming DSG

As the first anniversary of the approval of the DSG Transformation Plan

approaches, we are giving you an update on where DSG is with the DART

(DSG Achieving Rapid Transformation) programme.

In previous editions of Digest, we explained in detail what the various workstreams were

achieving. In this edition, we highlight the progress to date and explain the change in the

communication and governance structure, which better suits the ongoing requirements for

effective transformation of the business.


Over recent months, following delivery of key “enablers” for transformation, there was a

shift from central workstream teams to business unit and support function based

implementation teams. Specialist teams for the key deliverables (ERP, S&OP, Supply Chain

and Integrated Business Reporting) support all these teams and their activities. Rearranging

the DART programme organisation was essential to suit this change.

The Transformation Steering Group now undertakes the ongoing direction and decisionmaking

for transformation. The DSG Change Board, comprising Archie Hughes, DSG Chief

Executive and the DSG Executive Directors now meets quarterly, with DART programme

updates provided to the monthly DSG Executive Management Board meetings.

Programme Board: DSG Change Board

Archie Hughes (Chair); John Reilly; Steve Hall; Derek Owen; Keith Norris; CD DSG; Adrian Mathias

Transformation Steering Group

John Reilly (Sponsor); Steve Hall; Derek Owen; CD DSG; Brendan Burrows; Graham Sargent;

Dave Edmunds; Geraint Spearing; Andrew Sinclair; Adrian Mathias










Land Supply


























S&OP Core














ERP Core






Supply Chain

Core Team




(IBR) Core







Establishing DSG’s position as a strategic asset of the MOD has been a critical element of

DSG Transformation and the strategy workstream has ensured that DSG’s role in Defence

and Defence Industry is well understood.

The creation of the Customer Advisory Board and the re-issue of DE&S Standing

Instruction 20 (DSG and MOD procurement and support strategies) are helping to ensure

that DSG’s capacity and capabilities are a key consideration in our Customer’s current and

future equipment programmes and support strategies. In addition, the Armoured Fighting

Vehicle Sector Strategy places DSG at the heart of future programmes such as the

WARRIOR Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), Future Rapid Effects System

(FRES) and the Armoured Vehicle Support Transformation (AVST) programme. MOD’s

recognition of DSG’s support to deployed operations has also given us a major role in

vehicle support in theatre, with DSG personnel manning the Equipment Sustainability

System in Camp Bastion.

At ministerial level, DSG’s strategic value to Defence was the affirmed following publication

of the House of Commons Defence Committee report into DSG in June 2009.
































Transformation in the operational business units focuses

on achieving Operational Excellence (OE) targets,

agreeing and implementing an appropriate Enterprise

Resource Planning (ERP) solution and establishing

effective Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP)

processes with an effective Supply Chain.

The first follow-up assessments against the baseline OE

assessments conducted in January 2009 confirmed a

noticeable improvement in key areas of the business.

We selected the BaaN solution as the one best suited to

DSG’s ERP needs and implementation and cutover

planning is under way across DSG.

S&OP is now established for the Land programme work

at Bovington, Warminster and Donnington; the

Colchester Land District Load (LDL) pilot is nearing

completion and we are rolling out this process to the

remaining LDL sites in the near future.

All staff are migrated to the DSG domain and the IS and

Facilities teams are an integral part of the DART team,

working to ensure that the estates, IT and

telecommunications infrastructures are fully optimised

for future use.


The thrust of the HR workstream is to seek to establish

a single status workforce with the appropriate support

and management systems and processes in place. We

continue to work through the achievement of single

status and the majority of the systems and process work

is now complete.

We now process the DSG payroll through ICS and

implementation of our time and attendance system,

Clockwise, is complete across all sites. A single set of

DSG HR policies is now in place and a single, streamlined

set of processes and procedures is being established.


The focus of the Commercial workstream will establish

appropriate and effective ongoing commercial processes

and business systems to support to the transformed

DSG business.

Divesting DSG of all non-military wider market work is

now complete or alternative appropriate contracts are

in place for the future.

Establishing Talkback as DSG’s Customer Review

programme is now fully established across all areas of

DSG’s business. Finally, core elements of previously

central commercial functions are now embedded within

related business units.


The Finance workstream focus was to establish effective

control as part of day-to-day business, which was

successfully achieved early on in the programme.

Embedding all DSG’s business units and support

functions in the DSG Strategic Planning process is now


We shall continue to keep Digest readers informed of

DSG’s Transformation journey through future editions

of Digest.


DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk


News in brief

Light weapons

team embrace

lean techniques

DSG’s Chief Executive, Archie Hughes

congratulates Jimmy Liddell

DSG’s Chief Executive, Archie Hughes,

recently presented former Stirling

employee Jimmy Liddell with his

Imperial Service Medal.

Jimmy started his career in 1965 as an

apprentice in 26 Command Workshop

and then left in 1973. Jimmy returned to

the workshop in 1978 where he

remained until his retirement in January


Jimmy held many posts at Stirling,

initially starting out as a Vehicle fitter,

then moved on to become an

Equipment Examiner, Chargehand

Examiner and Team Leader.

Until his retirement earlier this year,

Jimmy worked alongside the compliance

team in a continuous improvement role

where his extensive knowledge and

experience of the workshop, the agency

and the wider MOD made him a valued

member of the team.

Ian Hotchkiss, Head of Business at DSG

Stirling, told Digest, “Jimmy is well

known throughout the Stirling site and

we will miss him as he was a

resourceful and knowledgeable member

of staff. His contribution and

commitment over the years has played

a major part in the success of a number

of programmes and projects.”

The light weapons team at DSG Donnington recently implemented a

flow line for the SA80 Cadet General Purpose and Drill Purpose

programmes to meet our customer’s wish to improve turn round times

and our own aim of achieving Operational Excellence.

Previously, the team

was producing 80

units daily with a turn

round time in excess

of eight working days.

Following the

introduction of lean

principles and

techniques, the same

team was able to

produce 126 weapons

and reduced the turn

round time to one

day. Through the

team’s commitment

and enthusiasm

coupled with the

The Light Weapons team with their applaudits, pictured L-R,

back row, Kevin Ball, Steve Bland, Mal Shaw, Ben Hickie,

Roger Suffolk and Mick Price. Front Row, L-R, Becky Nye,

Debbie Shaw and Alan Johnson

desire to continually improve the processes, within a week the team was increasing

daily output to levels in excess of 160 units.

Over the course of the project, the flow line was used as a focal point for

benchmarking so the Donnington staff could see for themselves the vast

improvements that can quickly be made when introducing flow processes, as well as

speaking to those involved to exchange ideas and best practice.

The introduction of draft standard operating procedures meant visual management

improved significantly, which enabled the team to focus attention on bottlenecks in

the process and remedy a solution quickly. Because of good team working, the team

produced over 200 units daily in the final week enabling DSG to complete this task

one month early.

In recognition of this remarkable achievement and as a reward, the team received

Applaudit awards.

Commenting on the

team’s achievement,

Tim Stubbs, Light

Weapons and Land

and B Vehicles

business manager, told

Digest, “The team

embraced the

introduction of lean

techniques with

enthusiasm and these

experiences will used

in other parts of the

business to build on

this success.”

The Light Weapons team at work

www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST



5 minutes with…

Maria Barker

Support Function Finance Manager

Maria joined the MOD as an agency Finance Manager for DE&S

in 2006 before joining DSG in October 2008. Previously she had

spent most of her time working for the Automobile Association

(AA) as an Assistant Accountant.

If I weren't talking to you...

I would be preparing for month end

accounts and finalising Business

Forecast Review (BFR) submissions.

I'm good at... Salsa dancing, talking

and communicating at all levels.

I'm very bad at... Navigating. Need I

say more? I even argue with the Sat


In moments of weakness... I will

call my friends and let them navigate

for me or better still let them drive


The most surprising thing that's

ever happened to me was... I’m

still waiting for that to happen…

When I was a child I wanted to…

be a nanny and live in London, I just

loved the idea of the West End and

the bright lights, now I prefer the

quiet country life.

The best age to be is... 40, they

say life begins at 40 so my motto in

life is “One life – live it”

If I can, I always try to avoid…

Upsetting people, it is not in my

nature to do so.

A shop I can’t walk past

without buying something in

is… “Next” as it is on my

doorstep. This is one shop I need to

invest shares in.

The best day of my life was…

Having my children, my 40th birthday

party, the birth of my grandson, the list

“ ”

One life – live it

is endless but more recently finally

becoming a permanent member of


My fantasy dinner party guests

would be… Jamie Oliver and

Gordon Ramsey. Although I would

much rather they provide the food as

I do not cook!

My favourite place in Britain is…

North Devon. It has wonderful

scenery, great beaches and is the ideal

place to walk my dog, Max.

Success for Telford’s auditors

DSG Land Supply at Telford recently added to its

complement of Internal Auditors when five DSG

employees successfully completed the Internal Quality

Management System auditor course.

Auditing is one of the fundamental activities for maintaining a

management system and assessing compliance with specified

requirements. However, with continuous improvement as one

of the key quality management principles of ISO 9000, internal

auditing also becomes one of the key drivers of business


During the course, the auditors trained to play a full and active

roll in determining working compliance with the documented

system, the effectiveness of the documented system and

opportunities for process and business improvement.

The course gave the auditors the opportunity of improving or

gaining extra skills in the areas of communication, teamwork

and report writing, as well as giving them an extra


L to R, Julie-Ann Hampton, Stewart Mallett, Lindsey Grice and

Sam Jones (not on the photo Colin Gyselman who also passed the course)

The new auditors are now actively involved in the audit

process at Telford and making suggestions for business


Julie-Ann Hampton, from the Training, Processes and

Documents team, told Digest, “I found the course extremely

worthwhile as I have gained invaluable skills, which I can now

put into practise by getting involved in the auditing process at



DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk


A move in the

right direction

DSG Donnington recently overcame

the challenge of changing one of the

dirtiest processes at Donnington and

improving it by introducing new

ways of working. The vehicle strip

process was identified as the ideal

area to focus on. The main problem

identified with the existing process

was staff having to wait for shared

resources such as overhead cranes

and specialist tooling.

During the initial planning stages it was

decided that a pulse line would offer the

best solution. The team agreed the

objectives which would deliver

improvements to the CVR (T) and

Warrior Base Overhaul programmes. The

project was led by Phil Leech, Production

Manager and Alan Smith, Process Engineer,

who provided the necessary stimulus to

ensure that all the targets were met and

all team members were able to


The process that we are now adopting is

a recognised lean technique, which

provides greater predictability to ensure

improved turn round times, benefiting

both internal and external customers. The

team is confident they can now provide a

stripped vehicle every eight hours

whereas previously delivery had been

random and irregular. The area is now

transformed from a dirty, cluttered,

environmentally unfriendly workplace into

a clean, configured operation with

standardised processes.

Whilst the project is still in the early


and after

stages, it has provided the catalyst to

focus on other areas of the business and

there are plans to adopt these principles

across Donnington. Phil Leech told

Digest, “The team are delighted that their


and after

The team pictured with Phil Leech (2nd from right) and Alan Smith (5th from left).

endeavours have achieved such great

results and their efforts are a benchmark

for the rest of the business.”

News in brief

Pictured L - R Roy, Dick and Pete with

Colchester Head of Site Andy Hursey

Three long serving employees from DSG Colchester have managed to accumulate 131 years

service between them.

Roy Williams started as an apprentice in 1963, trained as an Armament and General Fitter

and is now an Examiner and Trade Union official with Unite with a total of 46 years service.

Dick Potts started as an apprentice in 1969, trained as a Vehicle Fitter, and is now part of the

very successful IBES team with a total of 40 years service.

Pete Watts started as an apprentice in 1964, trained as a Telecommunication Technician and is

now the Customer Service Manager with a total of 45 years service.

Andy Hursey, Head of Site, DSG Colchester, told Digest, “Roy, Dick and Pete have shown an

impressive level of commitment with 131 years service between them and they are still going


www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST



MOD matters



The MOD's new corporate strategy was

published recently by the Permanent

Under Secretary (PUS) and Chief of

Defence Staff (CDS).

The Strategy defines the path the

Department will be taking ahead of the

post-election Strategic Defence Review

(SDR), and details the priorities in the

short and longer term.

A joint statement from CDS and PUS sets

out the strategy, which is focused on the

period to 2014 and maps out the path to

the Defence Review which will take place

after the General Election. It is designed

to support the Defence Aim: "To deliver

security for the people of the UK and the

Overseas Territories by defending them,

including against terrorism, and to act as a

force for good by strengthening

international peace and stability."

For more information and to read the

statement in full, visit the defence intranet.



The 2010 Defence Test Equipment

Industry Day is scheduled to take

place at The Academy, Holiday Inn,

Filton Road, Bristol, located five

minutes from MOD Abbey Wood, on

18 February 2010.

Approximately 25 supplier companies

from the Test Equipment Industry

participate and sponsor the event and

the main focus for the day will be on

‘table top’ exhibitions, with the

opportunity for private workshops

and presentations should customers

and exhibitors wish.

The event is open to front line end

users, project teams, calibration

laboratory staff and test equipment

customers and staff.

Note the date in your diary and look

out for further details, including how

to register for the event, on our

website, http://www.tm.r.mil.uk


DSG employees were recently reminded

about the Forces Discount Scheme that is

open to all MOD Civil Servants. The

scheme offers staff favourable discounts

and benefits towards holidays, sporting

events, home and garden, motoring, health

and fitness and much more.

To discover the full range of discounts and

benefits available, employees can register

free of charge at the Forces Discounts



News in brief

Nine employees from DSG Head Office recently

participated in the MOD Sports Day men’s 6-a-side

football competition; James Harrington, Dave

Milsom, Paul Taylor, Ryan Austin, Drew Stevens, David

Cashman, Dave Slater, Ryan Dewey and Alex Jelfs

attempted to put their skills and fitness to the test

against the cream of the MOD football world.

The team was unlucky not to come away with a win

in the first game against Regents Park; a well-taken

goal by Ryan Dewey was followed by a dubious

refereeing decision, which saw a penalty awarded

against goalkeeper Dave Milsom. The match finished

1-1. In the second game against Feltham, the team

The DSG football team

trounced 0-2 by a far superior side. The third,

against Inter-Defence saw much promise and dominance from DSG but unfortunately the team couldn’t break the deadlock

and the match finished 0-0. DSG ended up third in the group and therefore couldn’t progress into the next stage.

The team awarded DSG player of the tournament to Dave Milsom for his excellent displays in goal. James told Digest,

“We had a thoroughly enjoyable day and we are already in training for next year’s event!”


DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk


Graham Sargent (front row, 2nd from right) pictured with members of the 71st (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment REME LAD

Territorial Army (TA)

pay visit to Donnington

DSG Donnington recently hosted

a visit from members of the 71st

Yeomanry Signal Regiment Royal

Electrical and Mechanical

Engineers Light Aid Detachment

(REME LAD), based in Kent. They

were on their annual TA Camp at

nearby Swynnerton Training Area,


One of the visitors was Sgt Andrew

Hursey better known to DSG

employees as Andy Hursey, Head of

Business at DSG Colchester. He

approached Graham Sargent, his

opposite number at DSG Donnington,

to ask if it would be possible to support

a visit from the REME LAD and provide

a tour and appreciation of a DSG repair

facility. He explained that the regular

Permanent Staff Instructor (PSI) and

many of the REME TA soldiers did not

have any knowledge of DSG’s

equipment support and engineering

capabilities outside of their own TA unit.

He added that the unit needed to know

how they would task or request DSG

for support.

Twelve soldiers arrived and received a

presentation from Graham providing

details of who DSG is and what we do

before going on a tour of the workshop.

They visited the light weapons repair

facility and saw armoured vehicles at

various stages of repair in the vehicle

strip, major assemblies and machine

shop areas before visiting the rebuild

lines and the B Vehicle workshop.

Andy told Digest, “I would like to take

this opportunity of thanking Alex

Moore, B Vehicles Production Manager

for his daily support and assistance

during the period of the TA Camp. I

would also like to thank Graham for

hosting such an informative and

News in brief

Graham Sargent,

Head of Business

at DSG



presented a

group of Team

Leaders with

their certificates

following the


completion of

NVQ Level 2

Team Leader

worthwhile visit.”

Following the visit, Lieutenant Colonel

TJS Allen, Commanding Officer, told

Digest, “Thank you for playing such

wonderful hosts to the 71st Yeomanry

Signal Regiment REME LAD. All of those

on the visit were impressed and

enthused by what they saw and those

they met”.

The successful Team Leaders pictured L-R, Ryan Perks, Phil Farmer,

Chris Morgan, Steve Bland, Lee Williams, Donna Matthews, Jim

Hughes, Ben Horton, Jeff Miles, Paul Biddulph, Steve Williams

qualifications. The NVQ is a nationally recognised programme that enables candidates

to strengthen the skills that they use to do their job and helps them improve their

leadership skills so that they can become more efficient and effective at work.

Graham told Digest, “I would like to congratulate them all for their hard work in

achieving their qualifications and I am hopeful that they can now put what they have

learnt into practice.”

www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST


across the country

Across the c

Warminster lads get

on their bikes

Faron after successfully

completing the bike ride

Faron Scott, Assistant Finance Manager at DSG Warminster,

recently took part in the Wiltshire Bike Ride 2009, in aid of the

British Heart Foundation and raised £165 in sponsorship from

family, friends and work colleagues.

The charity organises a wide range of bike rides all over the

UK, from the famous London to Brighton event, to 100 mile

mountain bike rides and local family bike rides. There was an

option to take part in either a 28 or 47 mile circular route.

Faron chose the 28 mile option, which took in some stunning

Wiltshire villages and countryside.

The sponsorship received will provide beneficial funding to the

British Heart Foundation which provides vital information to help

people reduce their own heart health risks and also supports and cares for heart patients.

Darren pictured with his bike

Faron told Digest, “This is a very worthwhile cause and having had one of my grandparent’s suffer

from a heart condition personalised the event for me and was my main reason for taking part. Thank you to everyone who

donated. Next year I hope to complete the 47 mile course.”

Darren Parker, Vehicle Mechanic at DSG Warminster also took part in the Wiltshire Bike Ride and he successfully completed

the 47 mile course raising £270 for the British Heart Foundation.

Darren told Digest, “Next time I will be taking part in the 70 mile bike ride on the Isle of Wight, but I will make sure I train for

that ride, as I didn’t get on my bike for three months before I took part in this bike ride.”

Well done lads!

Wet and wild run for Joe

Joe Fennessey is a member of the IS Technical Operations team from DSG

Stirling and he recently took part in and successfully completed a sponsored

10k run for Cancer Research UK. Joe managed to complete the course in 51

minutes which was no easy task considering the wind and rain in Motherwell

on the day.

Joe initially stared running in June to improve his fitness and realised how much

he enjoyed it. To keep him motivated and to give himself a goal, he entered into

the 10K Run for Cancer Research UK, a charity he has always supported.

When all the donations have been collected, Joe will have raised around £800

for the charity.

Joe told Digest, “Finishing the run left me feeling relieved that I had managed to

run the whole distance and satisfaction in knowing that I had raised money for

such a deserving cause. I would like to thank everyone in DSG who sponsored

and supported me.”

Joe proudly displaying his medal


DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk

across the country


Coffee break

Scouts cycle

into action at


Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from Warminster recently

cycled an incredible 434 miles on a wind swept and

damp morning around DSG Warminster.

Ann Rowe, Regional Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK

receiving cheque from Carole Carvey, HR Officer; Diane Fay,

HR Advisor and Mary Ferguson, HR Officer.

A coffee morning was held recently at DSG Catterick to

raise funds for the Northern and Yorkshire branch of

Diabetes UK. This worthwhile charity, funded through

voluntary donations, exists to improve the lives of people

with diabetes, increase awareness of diabetes and work

towards a world without diabetes.

Diabetes was chosen as our charity to support as we have

employees on site with this condition. Many staff and their

families’ baked cakes and biscuits for the event and we kindly

had donations for the raffle. A sum of £168 was raised for

the charity, and Ann Rowe, Regional Fundraising Manager for

Diabetes UK visited DSG Catterick to be presented with

the cheque.

Carole Carvey, the event organiser told Digest, “Thanks to

all who supported the event and those who helped on the

day. I’m very pleased that we managed to raise some money

for such a worthwhile cause.”

The Scouts in action

Forty-nine youngsters volunteered to take part in the

annual sponsored bike ride at the Warminster site and,

following a safety briefing and walk of the course, all 49

riders started off in groups of six, at two-minute

intervals. The event, described as a personal challenge

and not a race, lasted for just over an hour, when the

rain started. The group completed 434 miles which

beat last year’s total of 321.

Sponsorship is still being collected and the group are

on target to pass last year’s total, and with Barclays

Bank offering to fund match the scouts’ efforts, the

group is on target to raise £1,200 for next year’s


The coffee morning in full swing

Russ Cane, Commercial Manager and Cub Scout

Leader, told Digest, “All the riders are to be

congratulated on their efforts on the day, including

putting up with the appalling weather conditions

towards the end. I must also thank all the DSG staff

and family members who helped on the damp morning,

acting as marshals and helping to set up and break

down the event. It was great to be able to put DSG’s

values into action and make a positive contribution to

our community.”

www.dsg.mod.uk December/January 2010 DIGEST




Want to give yourself and all your

family the perfect gift this Christmas?

Enter our festive competition for the chance to win a

fantastic Nintendo Wii console and motion controller,

complete with three games (Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort

and FIFA 10), courtesy of Proctor & Stevenson design agency

in Bristol. To enter simply answer the yuletide teaser below...

List the following Christmas number ones in chronological order

(earliest first):

A) St Winifred’s School Choir – There’s no-one quite like Grandma

B) Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah

C) Johnny Mathis – When A Child Is Born

D) Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine

E) Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The closing date for the competition is Thursday 17 December 2009.

The winner of last month’s competition and winning 2 VIP tickets

to watch the Premier League match, Liverpool vs. Sunderland,

a 5 course meal, match programme and car parking was

Matthew Owen from DSG Sealand.

The correct answer was “Nightmare on Elm Street”

Please send all your entries in to the Editor by Thursday 17 December 2009

E-mail: Alicia.puddick@dsg.mod.uk

Intranet: Click on the link on the dsg.net homepage

Fax: 96500 5746/01446 755746

Post: DSG Corporate Communications Office, PP2, St Athan, Barry,

Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 4AD


Business Unit/Department:

Telephone Number:



The competition is restricted to

DSG employees only.

Only one entry per person will be accepted.


DIGEST December/January 2010 www.dsg.mod.uk

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