Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Courses in innovation, Project Management and Supply Chain

The SME Knowledge Transfer Network at the University of Bradford School of Management, is running a series of open courses on demand. Details here.
Assuming that there is sufficient interest I shall be running events on 23rd February and 23rd March covering Innovation and NPD, Project Management and/or Supply Chain Management. These will be held at Heaton Mount in Bradford - booking through the SME KTN.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

A slow down in the Public Sector

When the changes to the public sector were announced, my first thoughts (as a consultant to the sector) were that we would either see a reduction in the number of public sector contracts being put up for tender, or a "splurge" as publically funded bodies spent money while they had it, followed by a reduction. As we move into 2011, it looks like the first of those is pretty much what happened. If you look at the sites were public sector tenders are advertised, the number of opportunities being listed seems significantly lower than this time in previous years. I anticipate that it will be even lower after March 2011, when the new financial year starts.

The two big projects that will of course continue to have requirements are the London 2012 Olympics, and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. However both of those are now pretty close, and anyone wanting to be involved has a narrowing window of opportunity.

A further change that is coming is that the regional Business Link operators are being closed in November 2011 (rather than March 2012 as many expected). From April 2011 we should expect that regional support services will be running down, ahead of the establishment of a limited national service from November 2011. As a consultant this is mixed news - the Business Link organisations have occasionally introduced me to clients, but in some ways we were in competition. In future businesses looking for support will have to look to the private sector, which means more opportunities for PAWA and similar companies. I would strongly suggest any business looking for support takes advantage of the Business Link now while it is still there in your region - any free or funded support they can offer you is unlikely to be available after this year (or even before that).