ANALYSIS OF HOW A GRANT AIDED INDUSTRY/UNIVERSITY COLLABORATIVE PROJECT CHANGED COMPANY CULTURE AND HOW THEY DO BUSINESS

Dennis McKeag, Wesley McKnight

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Abstract

Prior to 2004 Rapid International were a small company employing 50 persons and their main output was design, manufacture and installation of bespoke concrete batching plant. The company had 11% of the market in the British Isles, but the industry as a whole had stagnated through lack of innovation, leading to increased price competition from new start-ups entering a mature craft based industry based on fabrication of relatively low technology products. It was seen that to achieve growth and profitability the company would have to change the way it did business.Following six years of grant aided research, knowledge and technology transfer collaboration with the University of Ulster, Rapid International are now a high technology company focusing on manufacturing of mobile concrete batching plant and related products for worldwide export. Better management organisation and structures are in place; new continuous improvement procedures and techniques have been introduced, as has new CADCAM technology. Productivity, efficiency and product quality are improved, and costs reduced. Most importantly the company culture has changed from one focussed on production to one focussed on innovation. The paper outlines the theoretical, engineering and business approaches and techniques that led to new strategic, tactical and product planning underpinning the six-year programme of change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-733
JournalProceedings of the 11th International CINet Conference
Volume1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2010

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Keywords

  • Innovation
  • creativity
  • new product design
  • product development
  • strategy

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