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KTP concerning intelligent electro-mechanical modular design.

Project: Research

Description

This was the second successful partnership between the University and the company (the previous TCS partnerships was assessed as Grade 1). The scheme produced several new state-of-the-art products, and more importantly the ability to rapidly customise these to a customers needs. This approach has led to an increase in income through winning and completing electronics projects successfully. The company are now able to offer potential large customers a portfolio of products from which to choose, and to demonstrate their ability to undertake bespoke design work.
• The further development of the company’s signature pad range by implementing a modular design solution which gives greater flexibility for pad variants. This has led to the creation of a second and third generation pad technology and both reducing cost and also improving performance.
• Development of testing methods, equipment and controls in a production environment for the signature pads
• Developing the understanding of modular design in order to be able to implement this for future development projects and the use of this methodology to win a large design and manufacturing contract
• The improved testing methodology was rolled out and testing on site in Guangdong, China during the manufacture of 10,000 pieces of a charging and monitoring circuit which proved extremely successful, enabling us to hit very tight quality control targets during final assembly. This had a positive impact in terms of cost, timescales and also customer satisfaction.

To have implemented the modular design method to enable the rapid development of a custom product for the blue collar market. This development was technically complex involving 2 types of RF communication, a barcode reader, an image capture and processing system as well as the implementation of a version of the signature capture technology all into one device. This brought great satisfaction to those involved as it was seen as a great achievement to have hit a 3 month development timescale and also a good revenue stream for the company.

With the excellent work progress made by the first Associate in surpassing the targets expected from the scheme it was decided to make a substantial change to the project plan for Associate 2, with a view to providing knowledge transfer to address the companies growing IT needs.

Due to the success of the scheme and the company’s new ability to respond to electronics design requests the directors changed the emphasis of the company from own product development to product development for customers. The company used ‘Passport to Export’ to aid finding Chinese suppliers, and are now employing people from all over the world, and have opened a second office in Poland. The IT requirements for the company therefore became essential, with a workforce operating in more than one country, and pressures from both sales teams, and the engineering base to utilise IT resources. The second associate introduced a new CRM system and investigated the workflows for the sales team to optimise the IT systems to support the sales process. The associate worked closely with the company directors to provide real-time reporting on sales and leads. The associate took responsibility for creating and managing a new IT department within the company, with staff in both the UK and Poland.

Layman's description

KTP with Motiontouch Ltd (Later BlueMT Ltd) for £214,475

Key findings

• The company launched its third party electronic design services as a result of the KTP which now generates 25% of the revenue (£360K)
• Manufacturing projects resulting from electronic design projects accounted for a further 18% of revenue in the last year
• Gross profit for electronic design projects is the highest across the range of service offered by the company
• Growth for electronic design projects is forecast to grow at more than 50% in this financial year
• Projects involving or resulting from electronic design resulted in more than £300K of export orders in the last financial year
• The CRM system has enabled the company to take on 10 more members of staff and integrate them into the companies processes quickly
• The time for staff to become productive has reduced by 30%
• As a result of the understanding that CRM has delivered advertising is now 30% more efficient
• Websites are enabling better targeting of customer segments and a significant element in being able to the company being confident in forecasting a growth rate of 25%
• The web site and communication technology has contributed to the growth of export share to 40% of turnover
• The service benefits of the CRM package have resulted in a 30% increase in customer satisfaction
• The CRM system has enabled management to make faster and more informed decisions
• Downtime on mission critical systems has reduced by 75% resulting in a saving of £5000 per annum
• The KTP has enabled the company to respond to customer requirements with a greater level of technical expertise. This has allowed MotionTouch to respond to and win more challenging projects, and has also had an impact on the customer’s perception of the company’s abilities, which in turn has won more business.
• The modular and testing methods developed in the KTP have been transferred successfully to a number of new projects which would not have been won without this approach, and as a result the company has been able to expand its engineering resources.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/05/0410/01/08

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