A MANUFACTURING support scheme has issued a ten point action plan for North-East companies to increase production.

The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) says 2013 is an ideal opportunity for businesses to expand and increase export levels.

The body, funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), says companies need to examine customers, develop ideas and improve their supply chain.

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Cameron Ross, North-East MAS team leader, said: “With exchange rates still favouring English exporters, all the conditions are there for our manufacturers to expand.

"We have funding to deliver in-depth improvement projects to shape strategy, create new products, reduce waste and strengthen supply chains.”

The action plan says manufacturers must identify objectives and develop new ideas, review sales and marketing strategies, examine customers and work pro-actively in their supply chain.