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Contents

TCS AWARDS 2002

Introduction 2-3

The Selection Process 4-7

The Event 8-9

The Trophies 10

‘Business Leader of Tomorrow’ Awards - The Winners 11 - 15

Winning TCS Programmes 16 - 31

Other Highly-Rated TCS Programmes 32 - 52

Further Information 53

1
Introduction

TCS AWARDS 2002


For many years TCS has enabled businesses of all types to take advantage of the wide range of
expertise available in the UK’s knowledge base (higher education institutions and public and
private sector research institutes and organisations). Through TCS, knowledge transfer
partnerships (TCS Programmes) have been formed between UK businesses and groups of staff
from the UK’s knowledge base organisations, often from different disciplines.

At the heart of every TCS Programme has been at the 28 Programmes for which entries for
least one project ‘owned’ and carried out by one consideration as TCS Award Winners in 2002
or more high calibre graduates – TCS Associates. were submitted ranged from very large to quite
Central to the strategic development of the small. They also represented a wide range of
companies involved, they have drawn on the business sectors and a variety of groups in the
knowledge and expertise of senior staff from the knowledge base. The breadth of participants and
knowledge base partners, together with the help, the outcomes illustrate how TCS (previously
support and commitment of senior personnel known as the ‘Teaching Company Scheme’)
from the companies. developed since its early days in 1975 as the
manufacturing equivalent to Teaching Hospitals.
This brochure features the seven TCS Programmes
completed in 2001 whose achievements were The TCS mechanism has not only delivered
recognised at the TCS Awards 2002 event at immediate improvements and continuing and
One Great George Street, London SW1, lasting benefits for participating companies, but also
on Thursday 5 December 2002. for the graduates who participated as TCS
Brief details of the other 21 highly rated TCS Associates. It has had a positive impact on the
Programmes considered for a TCS Award in 2002 careers in business of many of them and so, in 2002,
are also included. Together they serve to we introduced a new category of award for
demonstrate the wide range of business issues Associates in order to identify potential Business
covered by TCS Programmes and the benefits Leaders of Tomorrow (see pages 11 - 15 of this
that have accrued to participants. As can also be brochure for more details).
seen, the ‘company partners’ that participated in

2
Introduction

The Mission and Objectives of TCS as agreed by the TCS Sponsors following the 1996 Review of TCS
were as follows:

The Mission

t To strengthen the competitiveness and wealth creation of the UK by the stimulation of


innovation in industry through collaborative partnerships between the science, engineering
and technology base and industry.

The Objectives

t To facilitate the transfer of technology and the spread of technical


and management skills, and to encourage industrial investment in training,
research and development;

t to provide industry based training, supervised jointly by personnel in the science,


engineering and technology base and in business, for high calibre graduates intending to
pursue careers in industry;

t to enhance the levels of research and training in the science, engineering and technology
base that is relevant to business by stimulating collaborative research and development
projects and forging lasting partnerships between the science, engineering and
technology base and business.

All TCS Programmes have been part funded by Government grants paid to the knowledge base partner
organisations. The grants have contributed to the costs they incurred through participating in a
particular TCS Programme whilst the balance of the cost was borne by the company partners.

Day-to-day management of TCS has been contracted out by Government since 1988, latterly within
the terms of a contract between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Technology Transfer
and Innovation Ltd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco Group plc. Policy responsibility has
remained within Government and transferred to the Small Business Service (SBS) when it was
established as an agency of DTI in April 2000, with the SBS acting on behalf of the eleven public
sector bodies funding TCS Programmes.

3
The Selection Process

Selection of the Winning Programmes

The TCS Programme Awards in 2002 were for the participants in the very best TCS Programmes
completed during 2001.

The process for selecting the seven Winning Programmes started with the Final Reports submitted jointly
by the knowledge base and company partners and by the Associate(s) on completion of their TCS
Programmes. All Final Reports describe the work undertaken, the issues faced, how they were overcome
and the benefits that accrued; each was sent to two members of an independent Grading Panel who assessed
the completed Programmes and awarded grades from 1 (very successful) to 6 (no success).

The TCS Grading Panel Members at the end of the year 2001, who we thank for their efforts, were:

Mr Bob Andrews Managing Director, Fulcrum Systems Ltd


Professor Fen Arthur Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Huddersfield
Mr Tim Atterton Previously Executive Director, Durham University Small Business Service
Mrs Susan Bird Partner, Bird Acoustics
Mr Paul Bradstock Chief Executive, The Oxford Trust
Mr Tony Coppen Retired TCS Consultant
Professor Colin Dennis Director-General Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association
Dr Mike Doel Deputy Scientific Liaison Officer, Food Technology Unit, DEFRA
(DEFRA funded Programmes only)
Mr Ian Ferguson Director, Photek Limited
Mr Bill Ferguson Previously Head of the International Business Group, Durham University
Professor Bob Hollier Previously Head of Manchester School of Management, UMIST

Professor David Johns CBE Previously Vice-Chancellor, University of Bradford

Professor John Mavor Then Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Napier University

Mr Willie Printie Operations Director, Ethicon Ltd


Mrs Lynda Purser Executive Director, Learning & Skills Council –
Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire
Mr John Vautier Senior Partner, The Ferndale Enterprise
Professor Michael Wright Vice-Chancellor, Aston University

4
The Selection Process

Out of the 246 TCS Programmes completed in 2001, the participants in the 122 Programmes graded 1
or 2 by the Grading Panel were, in July 2002, invited to submit an entry for an Award giving
information about:

t the innovation achieved through the Programme;

t benefits to the company;

t benefits to the knowledge base partner;

t benefits to the Associate(s); and

t the strength of the continuing relationship between the company and knowledge base partner.

Twenty-eight entries were received and the entries were considered independently by Dr Ed Robson,
TCS Director and by Deputy Directors Dr Dave Pippard and Mr John Monniot. This resulted in
seven TCS Programmes being declared the TCS Awards 2002 Winning Programmes.

5
The Selection Process

The participants in those seven Winning Programmes exhibited aspects of their Programme
immediately prior to the beginning of the afternoon element of the TCS Awards 2002 event and then,
in turn, gave presentations in the Telford Theatre of One Great George Street. A Judging Panel (named
and pictured below), having previously read the written submissions and talked to the participants,
listened to their presentations before deciding which of the seven Programmes should be the recipients
of Special Awards in the following four categories:

t Best TCS Programme;

t Engineering Excellence (sponsored by The Royal Academy of Engineering);

t Best Application of Social or Management Science (sponsored by the


Economic and Social Research Council); and

t Best Application of Technology and Knowledge.

The TCS Programme Awards Judging Panel Members in 2002 (from left to right in the picture)

Mr Jon Burch, CBE - Executive Secretary, Royal Academy of Engineering


Mr Dick Whitcutt - Director, Industry in Education
Dr Ian Harrison - Innovation Group, DTI
Dr Ed Robson, OBE - TCS Director

6
The Selection Process

The TCS ‘Business Leader of Tomorrow’ Awards

A new category of TCS Award was introduced in 2002. This was for TCS Associates in the second year
of their TCS Project who were judged to be ‘Business Leaders of Tomorrow’.

Company and Knowledge Base Supervisors in TCS Programmes who had an Associate who began, or
would begin, their second year during 2002, were invited to submit nominations for their Associate(s) to
receive a ‘Business Leader of Tomorrow’ award. Both Supervisors were asked to support submissions where,
in their opinion, the Associate had demonstrated significant capability in leading a business development.

They were asked to cover the following points in their nominations:

t how the Associate had identified and championed opportunities for


commercial benefits;

t how the Associate had managed the successful delivery of a challenging


commercial advancement;

t how the Associate had motivated, inspired, influenced and supported


people to work to a common objective.

They were also asked to give further reasons why they believed that the Associate would develop into
an exceptional business leader by taking account of the following personal attributes:

t judgement
t goal orientation
t integrity
t ability to motivate
t drive
t initiative
t objectivity
t astuteness
t ability to persuade
t resource management ability

Thirty nominations were received and each nomination gained support from the appropriate TCS
Consultant. The nominations were then considered by TCS Director Dr Ed Robson and Mr John
Sutton, Assistant Director in the Small Business Service, who selected ten of the nominees to be short-
listed for the new award.

On 22 November, Mr Neil Southern from the Chartered Management Institute and Dr Tim Weber
from BBC News Online joined Ed Robson and John Sutton to meet the ten short-listed candidates.
Each candidate gave a ten-minute presentation followed by questions from the Panel and five were
selected to receive the accolade of ‘Business Leader of Tomorrow’.

7
TCS Awards – The Event

The TCS Awards 2002 Event December 2002


One Great George Street, Westminster, London
After a buffet lunch and the opportunity to visit exhibits by this year’s seven winning partnerships, an
invited audience heard a series of short presentations by the Winning TCS Programme teams describing the
achievements made by the company, the knowledge base partner and the TCS Associate. Following these
presentations the five Associates who were the winners of the ‘Business Leader of Tomorrow’ award (see pages
11 to 15) were introduced, both in person and by means of 2 minutes long video profiles.

That evening, at the TCS Awards 2002 ‘Black Tie’ Dinner in the Great Hall of One Great George Street,
the five Business Leaders of Tomorrow award winners were presented with specially designed trophies and
framed certificates by Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Minister for Science and Innovation, who also presented
trophies and certificates to the participants in the seven winning TCS Programmes, with the Associates
receiving cheques. For details of these 7 Programmes see pages 16 to 31 where the winners of the Special
Awards are also identified.

8
TCS Awards – The Event

Speaking before presenting the awards, Lord Sainsbury said:

“Innovation and collaboration between the knowledge base and business are at the top of the
Government's agenda and last week the Government announced two major reviews to improve
innovation throughout the UK economy. Boosting innovation in the UK economy is a key factor in
our efforts to drive up UK productivity. We want to look more closely at how markets drive
innovation through the application of knowledge, know-how and skills to new products, services
and processes, and through new ways of doing business. The best businesses, such as the majority of
those participating in TCS, know already that innovation is key to their business success.

Lord Sainsbury speaking at the Awards event

I am delighted to be here tonight to make the awards and offer my congratulations to all the winners, the
businesses, the academics and, particularly, the graduates who have faced the challenge of being a TCS
Associate and have come through with flying colours and have made their contribution to raising the
level of innovation in this country”.

9
TCS Awards - The Trophies

The trophies, both for the Business Leaders of Tomorrow and the Winning Programmes were designed and
produced by Miller, Craig and Locking Ltd based on ideas contributed by the personnel in Small Business
Service and Technology Transfer and Innovation Ltd.

10
Business Leader of Tomorrow Awards - The Winners

Philip Bain
Philip was the TCS Associate on a Programme between PROTEUS (NI) Ltd, in Belfast and the Urban
Institute, University of Ulster at Jordanstown. The aim of his TCS Programme was to develop an
effective marketing strategy, packaging and promotion of existing, as well as new, services to secure
new contracts in the UK and to open up the Eastern European market. Philip has a BA in Business
Studies from the University of Ulster.

When interviewed, Philip said “The entrepreneurial part of the work has primarily come from me
driving the business direction. You need to have a vision and make sure the Board of Directors and
staff buy into that vision. Understand your product. In 5 years time I see myself as a company director.
The Business Leader of Tomorrow Award was confirmation of where I thought my career was going.
For Proteus and myself, we are proud, as a Northern Ireland based company, to win such a
prestigious UK award.”

11
Business Leader of Tomorrow Awards - The Winners

Tom Holmes
Tom was the Associate on a TCS Programme between P & L Systems Ltd, North Yorkshire and the School of
Design, University of Northumbria at Newcastle. The purpose of his TCS Programme was to develop a
broad based design programme for the company with the intention of manufacturing new products and
bringing them to market. Tom has a BA degree in Design for Industry from the University of Northumbria.

Interviewed before he knew he was a winner of a Business Leader of Tomorrow award, Tom said
“I’ve told the MD his job isn’t secure anymore! The TCS Programme provided me with the opportunity to
move into a Design Directorship role in future with a spin-off company. I’m enjoying so much grabbing
hold of a company, driving it forward, considering how we can improve, how we can get bigger, what
the opportunities are.”

Afterwards he commented
“My professional passion for design has been enhanced by the fast track route that TCS has given me to
a senior strategic role within the company. The presentation of this award highlights how the TCS
Programme has encouraged and developed my future career.”

12
Business Leader of Tomorrow Awards - The Winners

Lindsay Stone
Lindsay was the TCS Associate on a Programme between French Joinery Ltd, East Sussex and the
Centre for Research in Innovation Management, University of Brighton. This was established to
improve and enhance the company’s business planning and management information systems in order
to prepare it for its next stage of growth and development. Lindsay is a Royal Holloway, University of
London, graduate with a BSc in Economics.

Asked about her future, Lindsay said “I see myself as a senior business person helping a company to
obtain growth and be successful”.

Interviewed after receiving her award, she said


“I was so pleased to be nominated for the Business Leader of Tomorrow Award and both my supervisor
and I were thrilled to win. TCS has given me an excellent start to my career, providing a challenging
Programme with good opportunities for personal development and I look forward to pursuing a career
to a senior level.”

13
Business Leader of Tomorrow Award - The Winners

Stuart Wright
Stuart was the Associate on a TCS Programme between Rototek Limited, Nottinghamshire and the
Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University. The aim of his TCS Programme was
to establish a product design capability in the company and capitalise on the ensuing business
opportunities. Stuart holds a BA in Industrial Design and Technology from Loughborough University.

Before he knew he was one of the winners, Stuart said “The most important thing is to have a vision
and achieve that vision by gaining trust and support from people”.

Later he said “I think TCS has given me a great start towards a career in management. The benefits for
everyone involved with my Programme have surpassed all expectations and winning one of the Business
Leader of Tomorrow Awards really encourages me that what we are doing is right.”

14
Business Leader of Tomorrow Awards - The Winners

Tara Young
Tara was the Associate on a TCS Programme between Worthington Manufacturing Ltd, Cheshire and
the Department of Textiles, UMIST. The goal of her TCS Programme was to transfer new technology
providing precise colour match of various material types after dyeing to give right time colour match,
reduce production costs and improve productivity and competitiveness. Tara is a UMIST graduate with
a BSc in Textile Science and Technology.

When interviewed, Tara said “If you can communicate your ideas across to other people and
motivate them then you can be successful. I feel TCS has given me the dual benefit of University and
business, allowing me to maintain my academic development alongside business learning. It has
enabled me to apply my knowledge in an industrial environment. As a result, my personal
development and career have accelerated at all levels.”

15
Winning TCS Programmes

Winner of the Best TCS Programme and Engineering


Excellence Awards

Ducker Engineering Ltd


and the Department of Engineering,
Lancaster University
TCS Associate: Elton Xhemali, a graduate in Computer-Aided Engineering
from Sheffield Hallam University

The Programme was sponsored by EPSRC

This small engineering firm is


able to confidently forecast a
profit for the first time in four
years thanks to its new and
improved product range
developed as a result of TCS.

Engineering firm cleans up


Prior to this TCS Programme, the future of this small Kendal-based engineering firm looked ominous.
The market for its existing product range, which is in the field of work wear and garment drying and
handling equipment used in commercial laundries, was in decline and its waning business was further
threatened from increased international competition.

16
Winning TCS Programmes

Through TCS, Ducker enlisted the aid of The first continuous hand towel processing
Lancaster University’s Department of Engineering machine, named ‘Revolution’, was the result of
to improve its existing product range. the combined efforts of the business associate’s
Sophisticated, but user friendly, integrated process knowledge, the company’s own
Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) was manufacturing expertise and the understanding
introduced to facilitate these improvements. of CAE which TCS Associate Elton Xhemali
brought to the Programme. The innovative
During the installation of the CAE, a previous new system made the transition from design
business acquaintance of the company brought in a concept to fully functioning prototype within
proposal that would add a completely new product nine months, an achievement which previously
to Ducker’s portfolio, enabling it to exploit a new would have taken between two to three years.
niche market both in the UK and overseas.

Since its launch, sales of the new product have 2001/02 business year, Ducker doubled its export
improved in consecutive years and, as a result, turnover compared to previous years and expects
the company is able to forecast a profit for the to do even better before the end of the 2002/03
first time in four years. In the first quarter of the financial year.

17
Winning TCS Programmes

In addition to increased sales, the company has Elton’s experience with Ducker Engineering
decreased wastage costs resulting from less extends far beyond simply gaining industrial
redesign and manufacturing rework, which was a awareness and he is currently applying his new-
significant cost in its earlier old-fashioned design found expertise to a project to design and
processes. manufacture another innovative product which
the company hopes will attract global sales.
Staff training in CAE also means that they have
the capability to actively remodel those parts of Lisa Crossley, Managing Director of Ducker
the company’s existing range which still have Engineering Ltd, said “The whole TCS experience
market potential, stripping out unnecessary parts has made a very significant difference to the
and processes, and therefore costs, and improving staff and owners of Ducker. We have renewed
product quality and reliability. confidence and now the tools to tackle our next
new design project, which will be to produce a
Initially, Ducker was forced to make redundancies totally new and innovative machine for our
to ensure the firm’s survival. However, as a result worldwide market. We have seen our sales grow
of the improved manufacturing processes and the and in particular our exports. The awards we
new product, the company was able to safeguard have recently won have been a boost to all the
remaining jobs and in 2001 increased engineering staff and confirmed their belief in the company
based jobs by 25%. and their own ability to achieve excellence.”

The expertise gained by the University’s


Engineering Department’s involvement in this
TCS Programme has been used as a model of how
3D CAE integration can transform a business.
This evidence was invaluable in helping to secure
a “Virtual Prototyping Project” award worth
£600,000 from the European Regional
Development Fund. This support will be used to
replicate the experience in at least fifteen SMEs in
the North West of England.

Elton Xhemali now works as the company’s Chief


Design Engineer and is undertaking a part-time
MPhil at the University. He is also making a
significant contribution to the teaching of CAE at
Lancaster University.

Mr. David Dawson, lead academic on the TCS


Programme, is maintaining links with the
company through the MPhil project supervision
and has also assisted Elton Xhemali to obtain
full chartered membership of the Institution of
Mechanical Engineers.

18
Winning TCS Programmes

Winner of the Best Application of Social and Management


Science Award

Xpert Systems Ltd


and the School of Management,
University of Manchester
Institute of Science and Technology
TCS Associate: Jade Parkinson-Hill, a graduate in Strategic Marketing
Management from UMIST University, Manchester

The Programme was sponsored by DTI and ESRC

A new marketing strategy


developed during this TCS
Programme has had a
profound affect on the way
Xpert Systems conducts
business.

Market forces
The introduction and development of a major marketing capability has enabled this supplier and
maintainer of computer systems and networks to be streets ahead of the competition.

Prior to their TCS Programme, Xpert Systems, a medium-sized business in Warrington, Lancashire,
conducted marketing activities on an ad hoc and tactical basis like many of its closest rivals.

19
Winning TCS Programmes

As a consequence of lacking a well constructed and The company’s newly formed Marketing
forward thinking marketing strategy, the company Department, headed by Jade Parkinson-Hill,
was failing to see, and subsequently exploit, previously the Associate on the TCS Programme, is
potential business opportunities. now responsible for all facets of marketing,
including detailed market and competitive analysis
All this changed when Xpert Systems joined forces and the creation of innovative communications
with UMIST’s School of Management and used campaigns, both of which have given Xpert
TCS to develop an effective marketing capability. Systems a significant edge over its competitors.
TCS has enabled the company to engage in
effective strategic marketing and develop a clearly The company also underwent a complete re-
defined differentiated market position, enhancing branding during the TCS Programme. Xpert’s new
the company’s performance in a highly competitive proactive brand identity conveys a consistent
and turbulent environment. market-positioning message, which has led to a
strengthening of customer and partner relations.

These transformations have turned Xpert Xpert’s participation in TCS has also resulted in
Systems into a sales-led company with a need for an increased market share. Turnover during the
a strong marketing competence and enabled it 2001/02 financial year grew to £30 million, £5
to capitalise on its in-depth technical resources, million of which was directly contributable to
thereby securing business. the outcomes of the TCS Programme.

20
Winning TCS Programmes

The academics involved were able to monitor Jade Parkinson-Hill, now Xpert’s Marketing
and record each stage of Xpert’s strategic Manager, has since completed an MPhil
development, the research into which has at UMIST. Her role in this Programme provided
provided insights into the strategic management Jade with an exceptional level of marketing
of a company operating in a ‘high-velocity’ experience. She said "I thoroughly enjoyed my
environment. This information has resulted in time as a TCS Associate. It has given me
the publication of academic papers and formed confidence to take my career onto the next
the basis for seminars at high profile level", she said.
conferences. The research has also generated new
teaching material for both undergraduates and
postgraduates.

21
Winning TCS Programmes

Winner of the Best Application of Technology and


Knowledge Award

James Leckey Design Ltd


and the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering,
University of Ulster
TCS Associates: Steven Simpson, a Technology and Design graduate, and Colin
Cochrane, an Engineering graduate, both from the University of Ulster at Jordanstown

The Programme was sponsored by DTI

Innovation and growth were


the main achievements of
this TCS Programme, which
played a key role in the
company becoming a global
leader in its market.

Grand designs
Prior to this TCS Programme, new product development at this small company in Dunmurry, Belfast,
was led by the Managing Director of the company. This limited the development of a contemporary
and competitive product range, restricting the company’s growth. Together with the School of
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ulster, James Leckey Design established a
TCS Programme to help create a new in-house design capability with the resources to take innovative
products from concept to production.

22
Winning TCS Programmes

The new design team consisted of a new design Staff at the university have benefited from
manager and two TCS Associates, one a product their involvement in the planning and
design graduate to focus on developing new implementation of the new design facility,
products and the other a process engineer to focus in particular gaining first hand experience of
on implementing design for manufacture and sophisticated 3D CAD tools. These experiences
improving quality and efficiency. have enhanced the relevance of lecture materials
through case studies and provided real world
The TCS Programme provided the means and subjects for four undergraduate dissertations,
training to improve and extend the use of CAD fifty-four final year group projects and several
and CAM technology. New products were MSc dissertations.
modelled on sophisticated 3D software before
being output directly to CNC machines for At the end of the TCS Programme, both Steven
manufacture. Simpson and Colin Cochrane, the TCS
Associates, accepted permanent positions as
The Associates pioneered new design methods to Design Engineers in the company. They have
improve the aesthetics, functionality and ease of gained valuable training and experience in
manufacture of new and existing products. With design, manufacturing, business and
these procedures in place the company was communication skills and one has graduated
awarded ISO 9002 certification for design with an MSc in Industrial Practice.
activities.

As a direct result of TCS, James Leckey Design


has introduced three new innovative products,
several new processes (in-house and
subcontracted) and substantially improved two
existing products. The new design procedures and
technologies developed during the Programme
have also enabled the launch of four new product
ranges since its completion.

This new and comprehensive product range has


enabled the company to expand and pursue a
global market.

As a result, its annual turnover has increased from


£2.9m to £3.8m over the last two years, with the
export sales of new products accounting for over
90% of the growth. The new products have also
allowed the company to maintain its leading UK
market share against increasing competition.

23
Winning TCS Programmes

Winner of the Best Application of Technology and


Knowledge Award

CSMA Consultants Ltd


and the Camborne School of Mines,
University of Exeter
TCS Associate: Martyn Haywood, an Environmental Science graduate of
Exeter University
The Programme was sponsored by DTI and NERC

The introduction of new


methodology and software
through TCS has enabled
this company to break into
new markets.

Working for a better environment


CSMA Consultants Ltd, based in Redruth, Cornwall, has provided the mineral industry with a range of
consultancy services since 1987. It is now part of the Wardell Armstrong Group, a major
environmental and engineering consultancy. By participating in TCS, the development of an optimal
computerised methodology for environmental impact assessments for wind farm and other renewable
energy sources has significantly improved CSMA’s business capability.

24
Winning TCS Programmes

Current and innovative software was utilised to CSMA’s improved capabilities have attracted
achieve this goal, enabling the company to further project investment, such as an
provide its customers with accurate Environmental Impact Assessment contract worth
environmental statements faster than its previous £50,000 for wind farm development in the East
capacity allowed. In addition, CSMA’s knowledge of England. CSMA also won a contract with a
of UK and EU planning legislation has major developer to produce environmental reports
significantly improved. for it’s West of England projects worth in excess
of £500,000 over 5 years.
The understanding of the renewable energy
industry for new commercial contacts was also The academics involved have benefited from an
enhanced and it now has capability to produce improved understanding of the commercial
environmental impact assessments to compliment implications for renewable energy. This has
its previous activities. The capacity to produce resulted in the publication of several research
environmental statements faster also means that papers, the creation of case study material and
CSMA can offer its services to clients at a lower increased industrial links. The TCS Programme
cost, adding to its competitiveness. It has lead to also played a significant role in the establishment
the company’s increased diversity with a significant of a new course at the University – BSc in
proportion of its renewable energy projects being Renewable Energy. Further opportunities for
based upon environmental assessment research funding were also identified.
requirements.
The TCS Associate, Martyn Haywood, is now a
The success of the TCS Programme with the full-time Environmental Scientist at the company
Camborne School of Mines, most notably the and has had much of his work, based on the TCS
introduction of new methodology and software, Programme, published. He has also submitted an
has enabled the company to enter new markets. MPhil and is now a registered member of the
As a result, they have experienced a significant Institute of Environmental Management and
increase in their market share and annual Assessment (IEMA).
turnover is up by £100,000. The company is now
in a position to confidently predict further
turnover and profit increases. In addition to the
financial benefits resulting from participation in
TCS, staff training was also improved and two
new staff roles in environmental science and
planning were created.

25
Winning TCS Programmes

Dig Limited
and the School of Computing,
Napier University, Edinburgh
TCS Associate: David Oxley, a graduate in Multimedia Technology
from Napier University
The Programme was sponsored by DTI

Cutting edge multimedia


technology developed with
the help of TCS attracted
worldwide media attention.

Pioneers in music
In the wake of the computer memory market crash in the mid to late 1990s, Memory Corporation Ltd
was looking to diversify its business utilising technology developed for its memory management
business model. However, the company lacked both the time and resources to bring an initial idea to
commercial fruition.

26
Winning TCS Programmes

Through TCS, Memory Corporation Ltd forged a Based in Leith, Dig Ltd develops tools for content
partnership with Napier University, Edinburgh, providers and business models for on-line sales
to provide leading-edge technology, further and distribution of digital content. These tools
research and an enhanced mix of skills and are the most obvious manifestation of the original
knowledge to adapt to a fast changing objective as they embed the copy protection at
marketplace. Napier has a long track record in the heart of the new business processes of record
TCS over the past fifteen years having completed companies. Dig is now able to exploit these ideas
more than eighty TCS Programmes. in other domains.

Key technologies from the company were coupled Napier University’s School of Computing
with the academic partner’s knowledge of underwent a major restructure during this TCS
multimedia technology, legal considerations and Programme and the multidisciplinary nature of
new product adoption lifecycles, to create an the work carried out helped crystallise the new
innovative product range. This led to a "proof of structure of the School.
concept" of the Music Store technology, bringing
with it patent applications in areas such as Hard- Extensive media coverage of the TCS Programme
disk Interface, feasibility of high speed encoding contributed to a five-fold growth in applicants to
and new CD format for potential future methods their MSc course in Multimedia Technology.
of copy protection. The company was able to David Oxley remains employed by the company
exploit these new concepts to competitive as Senior Development Engineer and is now the
advantage across its entire product range. Company Supervisor for a second TCS
Programme.
Early on, the TCS Programme faced a major
challenge when the marketplace underwent rapid
changes following the arrival of Napster and
MP3.com. The ideas in the Programme were then
made tangible, not in silicon chips as first
envisaged but in business models and file formats
and the ability of TCS Associate David Oxley to
help bring devices to market.

Products went on sale, mainly in the USA,


attracting international media attention. This
success resulted in the formation of a US-based
start-up company, Dig-Media.

Work continued with products and services being


mainly for the US market but as Memory
Corporation was dissolved in July 2002 a
new company, Dig Ltd, was formed.

27
Winning TCS Programmes

Patterning Technologies Ltd


and the Department of Chemistry,
Imperial College
TCS Associate: Gregor Rozenberg, a Science graduate from Lund University, Sweden

The Programme was sponsored by DTI and EPSRC

A revolutionary method of
manufacturing printed circuit
boards was just one of the
innovations that occurred
during this TCS Programme.

Innovation in print
The development of innovative new compounds and methods of production in the manufacture of
printed circuit boards (PCBs) for use in next generation consumer electronics were the aims of this TCS
Programme between Hemel Hempstead-based Patterning Technologies Ltd and Imperial College,
London. However, the level of innovation was far wider reaching than first envisaged.

28
Winning TCS Programmes

The company was able to make full use of Imperial displays is an example with exciting commercial
College’s laboratory facilities, which subsequently potential. As a direct consequence, the company was
led to the synthesis of new materials. awarded £47,000 for a Smart feasibility study and
has submitted further proposals for two LINK
Innovative, printable transition metal copper projects each worth £250,000.
precursor derivatives, decomposing to copper at low
temperatures, were developed. Formulation of these The academics involved in this Programme were
precursor materials into suitable inks for use in exposed to issues involved in successfully managing
inkjet technology and spin and drop casting was and running. A start-up company and the
also realised. These achievements have the potential multidisciplinary nature of the Programme
to greatly enhance the manufacturing process of stimulated new scientific cross-departmental
PCBs in terms of both speed of production and interactions at Imperial College and collaboration
quality. The company discovered that the newfound with other UK universities. The research funding
technology was applicable to multi-layered device income generated has been approximately £50,000.
structures such as field-effect transistors. A conservative estimate based on applications for
further funding is approximately £160,000.
Patterning Technologies Ltd also extensively
investigated the deposition process, chemical At the end of the Programme the TCS Associate,
purity and feature shape and size of the printed Gregor Rozenberg, left Patterning Technologies
reactive liquid. The findings showed that droplets Ltd and joined Genacys Ltd, a venture capital
converted under non-optimal conditions were still firm, as their Technology and Commercialisation
of sufficient quality. Executive. He is responsible for investments
involving material sciences, environmental
The company also demonstrated that the sciences and biotechnology. He is also Business
performance of a polymer-based diode prepared by Development Manager at Scionix Ltd, a spin-out
ink jet printing was comparable to the performance company from the University of Leicester,
of the corresponding drop cast and spin coated specialising in novel solvents.
devices. This was an important outcome,
demonstrating the feasibility of ink-jet based
electro-active polymeric materials which are key
components in "plastic electronics", widely perceived
as the next generation in consumer electronics.

The successful completion of all parts of the original


Programme, ahead of schedule, provided the
company with the opportunity to experiment with
ink-jet printing of inorganic conductor and semi-
conductor suspensions for displays applications.

All of these innovations demonstrated the capacity


of the company to produce all the important active
and passive materials required for the production of
optoelectronic devices of which emissive flat panel

29
Winning TCS Programmes

Zenith International Ltd


and the School of Management,
University of Bath
TCS Associate: Thomas Scotney, a Geography graduate from Lancaster University

The Programme was sponsored by DTI

The company evolved from


being a follower in the use
of technology to a market
leader with in-house
capability for database-
driven web technologies as
a result of this TCS
Programme.

The height of success


Zenith International is a consultancy business based in Bath, specialising in the food, drink and packaging
industries. The company has seen its customer base grow and its market position enhanced thanks to a
sophisticated web-based system to sell global drinks market data, backed by computer-based data
handling and storage and an integrated electronic publishing system.

30
Winning TCS Programmes

The company evolved from being a follower in The success of the website continues to grow as
the use of technology to a market leader with in- income levels for the first nine months of 2002
house capability for database-driven web exceeded those for the whole of 2001.
technologies, eventually leading to the formation
of a separate business initiative - The Programme also resulted in two papers for
globaldrinks.com. international conferences and three published in
journals. It has also formed the basis of a case
The new web-based system contains a study used in MBA teaching and in a textbook,
sophisticated database for storing beverage entitled Developing Web Information Systems
consumption data, user profiles and user specific (Butterworth Heinemann, 2002).
security site as a ‘truly end-to-end e-commerce
solution’ with secure online payment facilities,
instant access to information and scope to
customise its presentation. It has rapidly become
a beverage industry hub with an additional links
database and a daily news service. The company’s
new found capabilities have had a clear impact on
operational performance.

Internally, the extended use of databases is


radically improving the company’s research and
report preparation capabilities. Zenith is now able
to sell any of its research data online at any level
of detail required by customers. The technology
platform is considerably more advanced than
anything its competitors currently have, enabling
the company to respond quickly to threats and
opportunities in the marketplace.
In addition to skills in state of the art web
The innovative web-based system has created new systems development, Thomas Scotney, the
competitive opportunities, such as web and Associate, has gained experience of business
database development consulting, and has development, project management and systems
demonstrated the company’s commitment and architecture. He has since been appointed by
understanding of technology which Zenith Zenith as an Information Solutions Consultant
previously lacked. and is the Company Supervisor for a follow-on
TCS Programme.
Since ‘going live’ the number of monthly hits for
the website has increased twelve-fold. Its user
friendliness has led to an improvement in existing
customer relations and its high search engine
ranking has dramatically improved the company’s
exposure to the world at large.

31
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Alfred Terry Ltd, North Finchley, London,


and the Technology Innovation Centre,
University of Central England in Birmingham
The TCS Associate was Mathew Burrell.

Alfred Terry Ltd is a small company manufacturing gem-set jewellery.

The TCS Programme enabled the company to


implement a systematic and analytical
approach to product and business
development, significantly improving
relationships with key suppliers and
customers. This has led to an improvement in
product quality, increased productivity and
reduced product turnaround, resulting in
additional sales of an estimated £1million and
additional profits of £100,000.

Through this TCS Programme the academics


have acquired new team knowledge as well as
skills associated with team working, product
development and marketing. As a result of the
knowledge gained through this Programme,
the Technology Innovation Centre has created a ‘Virtual Product Development’ theme in the BSc
Multi-media degree course.

Mathew Burrell, an Engineering graduate from the University, developed a range of skills including
time management, improved presentation techniques, CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping and database
design. He is now employed as the company’s IT and Systems Manager.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

32
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Armstrong Technology Associates Ltd,


North Shields, Tyne and Wear
and the School of Marine Science & Technology,
University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
The TCS Associates were Chris Hall and Simon Coggon.

Armstrong Technology is a small consultancy firm specialising in offshore, merchant and naval
ship design and engineering.

The aim of this TCS Programme was to develop


an in-house capability in strength and fatigue
analysis and mooring system design and loadings
on floating production, storage and offloading
vessels (FPSOs). Mathematical models and
computer software were developed to predict
motion characteristics, hull girder loading and
fatigue life of FPSOs.

The need to subcontract this work has now


been eliminated resulting in substantial cost
savings and increasing Armstrong’s speed of
response to its clients’ needs.

The University’s research into the hydrodynamic


loading and fatigue aspects of FPSOs has
benefited from real life applications. In addition, three undergraduate and two postgraduate projects
were established as a result of the University’s involvement in this TCS Programme.

Both Associates gained valuable industrial experience from their participation in TCS. Simon Coggon
obtained an MPhil based on his contribution to this project and is now working with British Aerospace
at Bristol. Chris Hall is currently employed by the company.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI and EPSRC.

33
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Bayford & Co Ltd, Wetherby, Yorkshire


and the Cranfield School of Management,
Cranfield University
The TCS Associates were Sara Whiteley and David Greenwood.

Bayford is a medium-sized supplier of petroleum-based fuel.

Prior to this TCS Programme, the company had


only a base level of IT. The introduction of more
sophisticated systems and a change in attitude
towards IT has helped transform the company. It
is now more able to respond quickly to changing
market opportunities, more competitive and has
the capability to participate in cutting edge
projects such as the routing solutions for multi-
compartmental bulk liquid tankers. In the year
before they began this TCS Programme, the
company was making an annual loss of
£250,000. By the end of the Programme it had
made a profit of £283,000.

Working so closely with the company to


introduce new processes and systems has had
widespread benefits for the academics involved in this TCS Programme. Their experience was fed back
into teaching and has resulted in several publications.

Both Sara Whiteley and David Greenwood, the TCS Associates, achieved their career aims by being
employed with the company in new roles that utilise their skills.

This Programme was sponsored by EPSRC.

34
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Carbospars Ltd, Hamble, Southampton,


and the School of Engineering and Applied Science,
Aston University
The TCS Associate for this TCS Programme was Lorna Everall.

Carbospars is a company specialising in composite yacht masts.

The purpose of this TCS Programme was to


develop a commercially viable distributed strain
sensing system based on photonic technology. In
the initial stage of the project, a prototype
system was developed incorporating embedded
optical sensors as a proof of principle. Following
successful trials of the prototype, a fully
operational system with an intricate optical
fibre-sensing network was developed and
installed in a cruising yacht. This new found
understanding of strain sensing technology
enabled the company to further develop
innovative new approaches to fibre sensor
attachments including re-usable sensors, smart
patches and smart rods. A website was also
developed to demonstrate the potential of smart
fibre technology.

A new company, Smart Fibres Ltd, was set up to commercialise the optical fibre strain sensing
technology following the successful conclusion of the TCS Programme and a related LINK project.

The results of this TCS Programme have contributed to two successful submissions by Aston
University for EPSRC funding in smart fibre technology. Both projects are expected to advance the
technology and establish new areas of application.

Science graduate Lorna Everall, the TCS Associate, gained extensive industrial experience through
participation in this Programme, with key projects being carried out in civil, industrial and
transportation engineering. She also developed invaluable sales and marketing skills.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI and EPSRC.

35
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Conder Products Ltd, Kingsley, Hampshire,


and the School of Water Sciences,
Cranfield University
The TCS Associates were Dominic Hamblin and Dirk Daude.

Conder is a medium-sized company manufacturing sewage treatment systems.

A new package sewage treatment system,


designed for single households and incorporating
new design ideas and treatment technology
which requires less excavation to install, was
successfully developed, tested and subsequently
launched as a direct result of this TCS
Programme.

Annual sales of the new product exceeded


£500,000 and during the same period the
company’s turnover almost doubled.

The study of single hold-hold sewage treatment


systems has helped to establish the School of
Water Sciences at Cranfield as a globally
recognised expert in package plant research and
development. This in turn has increased the number of MSc projects with other SMEs.

Both Associates registered for MPhil degrees during the TCS Programme and Dirk Daude upgraded
his MPhil to a PhD. Both Associates are currently employed by Conder Sewage Technology, a Division
of Conder Products Ltd.

This Programme was sponsored by EPSRC.

36
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Ethicon Ltd, Edinburgh,


and the School of Engineering,
Napier University
The TCS Associates were George Fulton and Richard Coull.

Ethicon is a large company which produces surgical sutures.

New and improved production techniques were


introduced into the manufacturing process of
surgical needles as a result of this TCS
Programme. Ethicon now utilises low friction
silicone coating of needles and has made
substantial improvements in the blind hole
drilling process. These improvements have
resulted in annual savings of £330,000 and a
reduction of 30% in materials.

University staff involved with this Programme


have gained first hand experience of current
technology usage in an industrial environment.
The practices, methodologies and problem areas
encountered were instrumental in a transfer of
these experiences into the learning and teaching
environment.

The Associates, both of whom were Engineering graduates at the start of this TCS Programme, gained
considerable management and IT experience during their Associateships. They also used the work to
achieve MPhils and have had some of the work published. George Fulton emigrated to Australia at the
end of the TCS Programme and Richard Coull now works in Glasgow.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

37
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Figure Retail Systems Ltd (formerly I Pennick & C Pennick),


Holywood, Co. Down
and the School of Computing and Mathematics,
University of Ulster
The TCS Associate for this Programme was Neal Byrne.

Figure Retail Systems is a small business producing point of sale software.

Prior to this Programme, the company developed


and supported DOS-based point-of-sale software
for the retail industry. A Windows-based
prototype had been developed and was being
tested by two clients. However, the development
team lacked the rigour of a formal software
engineering process, resulting in mounting
support costs, product improvement delays and
poor customer relations. These factors meant the
new product was proving more expensive than
the income it generated.

Through TCS, the company developed an object-


oriented approach resulting in customisable and
robust code, code re-use and reduced support
costs. By the end of the Programme 26% of
clients had converted to the Windows-based product with plans to convert all of the company’s
remaining DOS-based users.

The easily customised nature of the new product also attracted new customers and opened up new
market potential. Staff at the university were able to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical
situations, resulting in the generation of case study and dissertation material. Business Management
graduate Neal Byrne, the TCS Associate, gained valuable knowledge and experience in a wide range of
areas, including software development and project management. He is now employed as a Team Leader
with the company.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI and INVEST NI.

38
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

INBIS Technology Ltd, Bristol,


and the Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Bath
The TCS Associate was Hakan Atalan.

INBIS is a large engineering design and management consultancy.

The aim of the TCS Programme was to create an


industrially supportable approach in constraint
resolution techniques for engineering problem
solving.

One of the major innovations arising from this


Programme was the development of Integrated
Design Environments, a concept where constraint-
modelling software is linked to analysis packages
and other information sources to provide an
automated or semi-automated environment. This
has multiple benefits, including reduced design
iteration times and an enhanced capability to solve
complex engineering design problems. As a result,
Graphics copyright of INBIS Group
INBIS has improved its capacity to offer clients
high added-value engineering solutions, leading to
an increase in turnover of £450,000 from direct and follow-on activities.

The University of Bath benefited from INBIS’s novel methods of utilising and integrating constraint
modelling software. These have provided application examples for a unit on computer aids in their courses
for design undergraduates and MSc students. The Associate, Hakan Atalan, a graduate in engineering, was
able to develop his technical, design, communication and management skills as a result of participating in
this Programme. He is now working in France as a consultant.

This Programme was sponsored by EPSRC.

39
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

IQE (Europe) Ltd, Cardiff,


and the School of Computing and Engineering,
University of Wales College, Newport
The TCS Associates for this Programme were Ceri Richards and Christopher Michael.

IQE is a medium-sized manufacturer of epiwafers for the semi-conductor market.

The complex nature of producing epiwafers


requires expert analysis after each stage of the
manufacturing process. However, this is time
consuming and can adversely affect production
levels due to the limited number of employees
with the appropriate expertise. The aim of this
Programme was to develop a process expert
system to combine the knowledge, problem
solving and ‘out of control action plans’ of the
company into a decision making tool. This was
achieved enabling IQE to increase production
and remain competitive.

Collaboration on this TCS Programme helped


the School to achieve a 3a grading in the 2001
Research Assessment Exercise. This achievement
has continuing benefits in terms of raising the School’s research profile along with future research
collaboration with the company.

The Associates’ presentation and report writing skills dramatically improved and both have presented
papers based on their work at UK and European conferences. In addition, both became Associate
members of the Institute of Electrical Engineers and were registered for higher degrees. Ceri Richards,
an Engineering graduate, remained with the company at the end of the TCS Programme while
Materials and Metallurgy graduate Christopher Michael went to work for NHS IT Services in
Pontypool.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

40
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Marston Lindsay Ross International Ltd,


Didcot, Berkshire
and the Centre for Business Systems Applications,
Middlesex University
The TCS Associate was James Griffith.

Marston Lindsay Ross International is a small digital fulfillment company.

The company was transformed from a print


consultancy into an electronic publishing,
facilities management and consultancy business
as a result of this TCS Programme. This radical
change has improved turnover and increased
export levels from 24% to 31%.

The introduction of IT to all areas of the


company has substantially improved response
time enabling it to maintain its existing
customer base and attract new clients. Specific
benefits include the ability of any member of
staff to answer queries using the database
developed during the project; the dispatch of
digital documents worldwide; and the
introduction of print, website and e-publishing
software which have improved customer service levels allowing the company to maintain its market
share during an uncertain time in a highly competitive industry.

The University gained invaluable insight into how a small company can evolve to adapt to market
pressures. This information has formed the basis for a case study and three student projects were
undertaken as a result of this TCS Programme.

The Science graduate James Griffith was appointed as the company’s IT Manager at the end of the
TCS Programme.

This Programme was sponsored by EPSRC.

41
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Mountway Ltd, Tredegar, Gwent


and the School of Electronics,
University of Glamorgan
The TCS Associate on this Programme was Robert Hookins.

Mountway is a small company that manufactures electro-mechanical equipment for the elderly
and disabled.

This TCS Programme enabled Mountway to


incorporate more sophisticated electrical
components into its products, moving the
company’s capability from simple push button
electrical switch circuitry to products
incorporating complex electronic system design,
embedded micro-controller design and
embedded software design. This has enhanced
the technical specifications of the company’s
products, improved hardware versatility and
reliability and reduced manufacturing costs. The
improved technology also led to the development
of two new products with an expected increase in
profit of £150,000 per annum.

The TCS Programme’s success has led to


additional commercial work for the School of Electronics’ commercial division. The School’s involvement
in TCS also played a significant part in it achieving IEE accreditation.

Robert Hookins, an Engineering graduate from the University, gained valuable experience in
hardware and software design and development, project management and product testing and is now
a senior engineer with Panasonic UK.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

42
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

NC Agricultural Engineering Co Ltd,


Richhill, Co Armagh,
and the School of Art & Design,
University of Ulster
The TCS Associate was William Copeland.

NC Agricultural Engineering Co. Ltd is a medium-sized agricultural engineering firm.

Through participation in this TCS Programme, NC


Agricultural was able to turn around its flagging
sales of agricultural equipment by diversifying into
the environmental engineering market.

"The know how and technology transfer gained


though this TCS Programme has diffused into the
Agricultural Engineering branch of the business.
Through DfMA (the Design and Manufacture and
Assembly) manufacturing costs have been reduced
and incremental innovation has brought new
products to market. The Agricultural Engineering
Products Division is now in profit and growing,
thus reversing the national trend. Over 80% of its
agricultural products are now exported".

The realisation that agricultural engineering is a shrinking market prompted the company to choose TCS
in order to gain the knowledge and expertise necessary to move into a new market. The resulting product,
the "NC Eurosweep", has a multitude of specifications and design features that have attracted much
needed new business. The company forecast an annual increase in profits of £48,000 for the first two years
of production, rising to £100,000 after five years.

The two academics involved in the TCS Programme gained additional knowledge in product development
and their skills have been extended in the areas of design, production, marketing and management. The
Programme has also provided them with new teaching material in product development that has been
used to generate engineering case studies.

William Copeland, an Engineering graduate, gained valuable industrial insight by participating in TCS.
His efforts have enabled him to complete an MSc in Industrial Practice, with Distinction.
He is now employed by NC Agricultural Engineering as a Development Engineer.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI and INVEST NI.

43
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

OSS Group Ltd, Kirby, Liverpool,


and the Business School,
Liverpool John Moores University
The TCS Associate for this Programme was Helen Watkins.

OSS Group is now the largest specialist waste management company in the UK, employing
approximately 250 people.

The aim of this TCS Programme was to help


OSS Group through a period of transition
following the acquisition of its largest
competitor. Re-branding of the company via the
development of a modern corporate image and
logo resulted in the company’s market share
leaping from 5% to 60%. In addition, a quality
marketing function, strategy and programme of
activity was developed. The company also
underwent a total culture change from being
reactive and operationally led to being proactive
and market driven, thus benefiting its customers
and setting it apart from its competitors.

The Business School at Liverpool John Moores


University has gained improved commercial
project management skills. Participation in this TCS Programme has also generated a wealth of case
study material for both undergraduates and post-graduates and two twelve-month undergraduate
placements at the company.

Helen Watkins’ experience of implementing and developing a marketing function from scratch has
helped her gain an insight into the workings of a growing small business, plus the opportunity to
achieve extra qualifications, including a Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of
Marketing. She is now employed by the company as its Marketing and Sales Support Manager.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

44
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Parkinson-Spencer Refractories Ltd,


Halifax, West Yorkshire
and the Department of Materials,
University of Leeds
The TCS Associate was Cemail Aksel.

Parkinson-Spencer Refractories is a medium-sized industrial and


commercial glass manufacturer.

Prior to participation in TCS, the company did


not have an exclusive research and
development department. The subsequent
relationship forged between Parkinson-Spencer
and the Department of Materials at Leeds
University enabled the company to make full
use of the knowledge and facilities available at
the university. This not only led to the
production of a new refractory material for the
glass industry, but also enabled the company
to better understand the physical and chemical
properties of its existing products, allowing for
possible future improvements. The company
expect the new material to considerably
improve its export sales.

The Department of Materials’ knowledge and understanding of multi-phase refractories has been
greatly enhanced through participation in TCS. It has also led to links being forged with universities in
France and Turkey.

Cemail Aksel, who has an engineering doctorate, greatly improved his communication and presentation
skills as a result of his participation in TCS.

This Programme was sponsored by EPSRC.

45
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Permastore Ltd, Eye, Suffolk,


and the Department of Materials,
University of Leeds
The TCS Associates were Saqlain Ali and Joanna Kinson.

Permastore is a medium-sized manufacturer of enamelled steel plates for aqueous waste storage.

The successes of this Programme led directly to new plant investment to improve key areas
of the manufacturing process. A number of other changes were also implemented as a result of
an improved understanding of the process. These have enabled significant cost reductions and an
increase in productivity as a direct result of reducing process defects. At the end of the
TCS Programme the total benefits envisaged amounted to approximately £1.2 million in
the first year.

The collaboration between the company and the Department of Materials contributed to the
Department being awarded an EPSRC ‘platform’ grant worth £400,000 over 4 years. Participation in
this TCS Programme also resulted in the publication of several technical papers.

Joanna Kinson developed managerial skills enabling her to move into a Management Consultancy
role with Permastore Ltd at the end of her Project and Saqlain Ali stayed with the company for a
further year as a Process Development Engineer, but he has since joined a larger company working
in a similar position.

This Programme was sponsored by EPSRC.

46
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Prior Group Holdings Ltd, Woolwich, London,


and the Medway School of Engineering,
University of Greenwich
The TCS Associate was Justin Miller.

Prior Group Holdings is a small company that manufactures low-pressure steam autoclaves for
laboratory use.

A radical rethink of the company’s approach to


fundamental engineering practices and
management methods were the main
achievement of this TCS Programme.

Changes include the establishment of a new


department solely dedicated to product design
and development, the installation of a CAD file
management system improving product
turnaround times, the development of a new
sliding door mechanism for Prior’s existing
product range enabling the company to enter
new markets, and a reorganisation of the
assembly area to resolve throughput bottlenecks.

The academics involved in this TCS Programme


gained valuable commercial awareness and generated future case study material for undergraduates and
postgraduates alike. The feedback from the Programme has also been utilised to improve courses at the
School of Engineering to better prepare graduates for industry.

In addition to improving his product design engineering skills, Justin Miller has substantially
improved his planning, management and communication capabilities. Justin, a B.Eng graduate from
the University of Greenwich, is now a full-time Design and Engineering Manager with the company.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

47
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Pyroban Group Ltd, Shoreham-by-Sea,


Sussex,
and the Centre for Research in Innovation Management,
University of Brighton
The TCS Associates were Matthew Froud and Christian Keefe.

Pyroban is a medium-sized group of companies supplying and installing explosion protection and
emissions control systems for diesel and battery powered mobile equipment.

Pyroban was able to critically review its methods


of manufacturing piece parts and the retro fitting
of materials handling vehicles with flame
proofing devices as a result of this TCS
Programme. Using Pareto Analysis, Cause and
Effect Diagrams and Process Mapping, non-value
adding activities were identified throughout the
manufacturing process, leading to cost savings of
£120,000. In addition, the Programme
demonstrated the importance of market research
and competitor analysis for product
development. This cultural change contributed
to the development and subsequent launch of an
innovative new product which was awarded the
Fork Lift Truck Association’s Safety Product
Award in 2002.

The Programme provided university staff from the Centre for Research in Innovation Management
with direct experience of the control and protection of vehicles operating in hazardous environments,
generating valuable teaching material.

The Associates, Matthew Froud and Christian Keefe, both Engineering graduates, secured positions as
project managers with other companies on completion of their TCS Projects.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

48
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Scher International Ltd, London,


and the School of Hotel & Restaurant Management,
Oxford Brookes University
The TCS Associate for this Programme was Axel Klenert.

Scher was an independent customer service development company based in the UK


specialising in the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries subsequently acquired by
Taylor Nelson Sofres plc, a global marketing research company.

This TCS Programme was originally designed to


develop a benchmark of hotel guest satisfaction.
However, the benchmark, which provided a
measure of service delivery standards through
which hotel companies could assess their own
performance against major competitors, was
successfully completed within 6 months. It was
decided that the brief should be widened to
encompass a number of other strategically
important products and services. These included
a year long virtual-conference investigating the
"Drivers of Customer Satisfaction" and a revamp
of the company’s ‘Mystery Guest Programme’
(MGP) to include service performance of front
house reception, accommodation and
housekeeping, restaurant and bar operation and
room service. Such was the success of the re-launched MGP that it rapidly became the company’s
biggest selling product. During this TCS Programme, Scher’s turnover increased by over 50%.

In addition to the commercial experience gained through participating in this Programme, the
academics gained worldwide recognition as experts in the theories of Customer Satisfaction
Management in the hotel industry by hosting a virtual conference and an international conference on
‘Consumer Satisfaction Research in Tourism and Hospitality’.

Axel Klenert, a graduate in Business Management from University of Massachusetts, and Oxford
Brookes University, has presented seminars at various universities (e.g. Oxford Brookes, Brighton and
Bournemouth) based on his experiences. He is now employed as the company’s Account Manager and is
currently completing a part-time PhD at Oxford Brookes University.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

49
Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Speed Plastics Ltd, Chesterfield, Derbyshire


and the Department of Fashion and Textiles,
the Nottingham Trent University
The TCS Associate was Rayman Bardell.

Speed Plastics is a small company manufacturing specialist products from flexible plastics.

The aim of this TCS Programme was to


improve the company’s capability to design and
develop products for specific markets such as
the defence and aerospace industries. Computer
Aided Design was introduced into the
company’s manufacturing process, increasing
the product range and response time which in
turn led to an increased customer base. This
resulted in a rise in profits of £70,000 per
annum.

The academics gained valuable industrial


experience and the chance to apply their
knowledge to a live problem-solving project.
Continuing links between the university and
the company has opened up new opportunities
for research and postgraduate students from the Fashion and Textiles Department and other
departments within the University.

During his time as a TCS Associate, Rayman Bardell, a Combined Science graduate from Nottingham
Trent University, developed new and significant business capabilities, including project and people
management, problem solving, commercial awareness and knowledge of quality and environmental
management systems. He also completed a PhD during the Programme.

Rayman was employed by the company at the end of the TCS Programme.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

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Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Tactical Controls Ltd, Lancing, West Sussex,


and the Design Research Centre,
Brunel University
The TCS Associate was Mohammed Irfan.

Tactical Controls is a small business which manufactures temperature,


power and industrial process control equipment.

A computer aided engineering and graphic design facility was installed as part of this TCS Programme.
This facility was integrated with information and communication technologies to facilitate response
times to business enquiries and provide a technically innovative method of service delivery. As a result,
Tactical Controls has evolved from a reactive sub-contracting business into a proactive service provider.
Subsequently, the company has not only improved its image in terms of service and manufacturing
quality, but also made substantial improvements to its manufacturing processes. Operator assembly
time is down 73%, assembly costs per unit have been reduced by 71% and design efficiencies have
increased by an average of 96.5%.

Also as a result of TCS, about 30% of Tactical’s income is now generated from contract design – from
concept through to production – including Radio Frequency Interference testing and certification.
Tactical has secured some new high-tech contracts in the Home Automation, Locomotive and
Automobile industries.

The Design Research Centre at Brunel has been able to develop a better understanding of New Product
Development as a knowledge-creation process in this sector. This experience will generate case studies
for graduates and undergraduates.

Mohammed Irfan, a Product Design graduate of Brunel University, is now a member of both the
Chartered Society of Designers and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He has since left Tactical
Controls to join a different company in a research and development capacity.

This Programme was sponsored by DTI.

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Other Highly Rated TCS Programmes

Ultrafine UFC Ltd, Manchester,


and the Department of Chemistry,
University of Edinburgh
The TCS Associates were Stuart Brown and Gareth Jenkins.

Ultrafine is a small chemical research and development company.

A new platform technology was established


utilising expertise in biocatalysis which benefited
the sale of drug metabolites and custom
synthesis services. During the TCS Programme
the sale of drug metabolites doubled and now
accounts for around 25% of the company’s £3.4
million turnover.

The academics gained increased commercial and


technical awareness of issues facing the fine
chemicals and pharmaceutical industry. This
awareness has highlighted new areas for
developing research projects.

Both Associates were Chemistry Graduates,


Stuart Brown a graduate of Edinburgh
University and Gareth Jenkins a graduate of the University of London. They were recruited by
Ultrafine at the end of their TCS Projects; Stuart as a Synthetic Organic Chemist and Team Leader and
Gareth as a Business Development Manager, but he has since left the company to work with a fast
growing contract chemistry company.

This Programme was sponsored by BBSRC and DTI.

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