Saturday, 27 February 2010

Supply The National SME Engagement Programme - Workshop

I shall be delivering 2 seminars on Wednessday 3rd March 2010 on behalf of BiP Solutions. These will cover Effective Tender Writing, and Understanding Pre-Qualification Questionnaires.

The venue is the Stuart Hotel, 119 London Road, Derby. Details are here. The cost is £75+VAT per delegate for each event.

I shall be presenting the same two seminars at the Jury's Inn in Leeds on 24th March 2010. Same price, details are here.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Course: Market Research in the Chemicals Industry

We are due to run the above course on Monday at the Heath in Runcorn.
We have been asked by potential delegates to consider an additional date - 10th May 2010.
If anyone would be interested, please could they let me know. The content and timings would be as advertised, but the venue is not yet fixed.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

New Product Development (two day workshop) 22/23 March 2010

I shall be running a 2 day event for the SME network at Bradford University School of Management at the end of March 2010.

All businesses need to develop new products and services in order to keep up with changing customer requirements and to beat the competition.
These can be new physical products, new services or even just new ways of delivering your existing
products. The path from idea to successful delivery and profit can be long and difficult.
This two day seminar will go through the process with case studies, worked examples and exercises to allow
you to create a template for new product development for your business.

· Why NPD?
· Stages of NPD
· What products/service?
· Generating ideas
· Research and development
· Stage gate processes
· Market testing
· Launching new products
· Feedback and continual improvement

If you would like to sign up to this event please contact us on

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Research into Innovation

PAWA consulting have been asked by UKTI Northwest to provide an independent evaluation of an project supporting innovative R&D based companies to export. The aim of this project has been to stimulate both exports and further R&D in the UK.

Having just completed a study into links between Innovation and trade (about which we sadly cannot give details), it is clear that in technology industries it is essential that UK companies continue to develop their R&D in order to maintain the commercial advantages we still have over developing regions. The UK has a real advantage because of the existing knowledge base within the country, which we can retain if we continue to innovate.

Friday, 12 February 2010

NPD - slides

As promised.

NPD - a personal case study

On Tuesday night I gave a personal case study on New Product Development at the SME Network at Bradford School of Management. Apologies for the delay in putting the slides up.

I am experimenting with using for hosting these files, so please forgive any unusual formatting. You should be able to access a PDF file by clicking here, or on the title. And just to be sure I shall attach the slides as Jpegs as well.

NPD case study presentation -

Monday, 8 February 2010

Evening Master Class – New Product Development – 9th February 2010

I shall be speaking at the Bradford University School of Management SME network event on Tuesday 9th February 2010. The event is supported by a range of funds, and so is free to attend.

Dr Rana Tessabehji will be presenting before me, with an interesting talk entitled : Killer Ideas, developing new products and services. I will then be talking through a case study from my days in the chemical industry

The event kicks off at 5pm for coffee, with presentations from 5:30 to 7:15pm, followed by networking. Directions to the venue can be found by clicking here.

We hope to follow this event with a full day event later in February or March 2010.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Business Basics 6: Leadership and Management

I have been reminded this week that so much of business comes down to leadership and management at the top level. In particular the way in which senior people set the values and tone of an organisation. You might call it the predominant meme of the business.

By leadership, I am not thinking of the sort of problems that have been in the papers recently about the role of John Terry as Captain of the England team – whatever the ethics and morals of that situation the management issue there is about relationships within the team.

When I started in consulting one of my drivers was to help improve the status and delivery of purchasing within businesses. My view was that this important function was undervalued, under resourced and misunderstood in many organisations.

This week I was at a seminar at Bradford University on Innovation, which emphasised how easy it is for management to accidentally prevent innovative behaviours in their organisations by not showing behaviours that will encourage innovation, such as experimentation, broad thinking and (that most difficult thing to accept) failure.

It is quite easy to see both of these as functional issues, and indeed tackling them functionally is part of what we do as a consultancy. However it is also clear that the problems of both of these vital business activities can easily arise from failures in general business management and leadership.

Senior managers have difficult and demanding jobs, and naturally they tend to pay the most attention to the areas that they understand in detail – which are usually the areas that they previously worked in. Which is only natural, but some functions then get stuck in a catch-22 like cycle where they get little attention because they are not a route to senior management roles, and therefore no senior manager understands them and gives them special attention.

The senior management also set the tone for communication within the business. A positive outlook can be essential for success in a business, but if that slips into a refusal to listen to negative comments a business may lose the opportunity to solve problems quickly at an early stage. A focus on improving standards may stifle trying out new concepts and ideas. A culture of success may actually encourage staff not to do anything untested in case it is not successful.
It is difficult to get the balance right, but senior managers have to be aware that they set the tone for the business, and that although company culture is a very difficult thing to pin down and measure, it is vital to the success of a business.