We’ve just finished watching the England game against Slovenia in the conference centre at our offices in the Technology Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park.
As we look out to all the other facilities, which include the Boeing/AMRC centre, The Welding Institute (TWI) and the Castings Technology International (CTI) facility, it occurs to us, that the total investment in the park (including the land, the buildings, the equipment and the people) would not buy you Wayne Rooney!
Do not get us wrong, we believe in the free market and entrepreneurship, but it does create some perverse consequences…a game of football anyone!
These are interesting time for Fripp Design and Research as we prepare to launch two of our own products.
Although we originally planned to license our IP, we finally decided to manufacture them instead.
We have two choices; either invest in setting up our own manufacturing facility or, alternatively, buy a manufacturing business with the skills and knowledge to add our products into their existing product portfolio.
So, if anyone knows of a manufacturing business in the North Midlands/South Yorkshire region up for sale, we’d like to hear from them.
We’re very pleased to announce that Charles Turner, MD of Sheffield based Durham-Duplex and Chairman of Made in Sheffield has agreed to join the board of Fripp Design and Research as non executive Chairman.
We all look forward to Charles helping the business to continue its growth as well as develop its manufacturing capability for the products it currently has in development.
One of the directors of Fripp Design and Research is the proud owner of an early 90′s Porsche. Recently after a brief spin in the peak district a huge stone chip was to be found in the windscreen. Yesterday, the windscreen was replaced but the director was concearned when the job took such little time to complete. The concern was that this car started off in life as a thing of real quality and that such an important job could never be completed to the same standard in such a short space of time. As it turns out, he was wrong. The replacement is superb and there’s a very good reason for both the quality and speed of the work; it was undertaken by a professional.
Professionals are often viewed as individuals who produce work of the best quality and do not cut corners but in fact they do. Professionals in any role will cut corners but ONLY to improve the speed and NEVER at the cost of quality. In the same way the the windscreen repair technician quickly delivered superb quality work because he has the experience, the correct tools and the training to be able to optimise the job at hand without any fuss or complexity. Fripp Design and Research understands, what clients really want (and we would argue what they really need!) is the very best quality and innovative design work to meet the tightest of deadlines. There is, for example, a huge variety of CAD software; some good, some bad, some slow, some fast. Fripp Design and Research has invested heavily in the right software (rather than the cheapest) because it does not compromise in its purpose and our extensive training means that we are very fast and very effective at using it!
It’s a good job that like us, the technician was able to undertake his work in this manner as it started to rain just as the windscreen went on and so thanks to cutting only the right corners, the director escaped an interior valet too!
Our MD went to a political hustings this week at Costco in Sheffield and found himself getting rather hot under the collar. It seems that the FSB are the antithesis of innovation in the private sector, the whole thrust of their contribution was the cost of…
He sent the following email to John Walker, their president:
I attended political hustings organised by the FSB in Sheffield this week.
I have to say I was very disappointed at the thrust of the FSB’s position on most issues.
It seems to me that the FSB’s focus is on costs; the cost of employment, the cost of the minimum wage, the cost to local business through the dominance of supermarkets and so on.
The fact is all statutory imposed costs affects everyone (including the big supermarkets) i.e. it is a level playing field. If a business focuses solely on a strategy of ‘lowest cost’ then they are doomed to fail as there will always be someone who will do something cheaper.
For me, SMEs need to concentrate on value add; here’s an example.
There is a famous brand of butchers in Sheffield called Talbots. Apparently, a couple of decades ago, they had butcher shops across Sheffield. Today they have 1 in Sheffield but it is a thriving business; how?
It realised it could not compete with the supermarkets which are cost rather than quality driven. But there is a constituency of people out there who value quality. So what do they now do? They sell wholesale to quality restaurants and individuals who value quality. The shop is used primarily to prepare the meat and they deliver via vans (thus not paying a mortgage, business rates, electricity etc) to deliver their quality product to their customers.
I could give you many more examples, my point is as an SME business I should want to be joining the FSB; however if the FSB’s focus is primarily about complaining about the costs to business, then I think the FSB is doing SME businesses a massive disfavour.
The local agencies, here in South Yorkshire, RIDO and Creative Sheffield (who I’ve copied on this email) understand this and, so, have much more relevancy to my business.
Please take this in the spirit it is meant; I’m passionate about small businesses (my own father built the biggest branch of the NFSE, as it was back in the ‘70’s, in the UK in Grimsby and Cleethorpes), I just think the FSB should be selling a more positive message about how to compete against the ‘big boys’ in the 21st Century. ”
BTW, Talbots meat is to die for (apologies to the vegeterians reading this)
Abhi, our newest designer is a big fan of the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Apparently they are through to the final on Sunday so we are all routing for Abhi’s team.
Unbelievably (positively of course), Lewis has been with us for a year today.
We enjoy his wit and good humour (as well as his great design skills and continued contribution to our success) and look forward to putting up a similar blog next year!
This went out yesterday; we just want to add a big thank you to all our clients, all our suppliers and, most of all, all of our team. We have a group of people who are passionate about Design and are passionate about the Fripp Design and Research project; without their support, enthusiasm (and occasional sarcasm!) and input, we would not be doing as well as are…a big big thank you:
Fripp Design announces significant business growth
Fripp Design and Research, one of the UK’s leading product design, research and business consultancies, has announced significant business growth in the past twelve months, despite problems with the economy that have affected many other companies across the country.
Sheffield-based Fripp Design and Research has seen its turnover more than double from £160,000 in 2008/9 to £400,000 in the financial year to the end of March 2010. In addition, the company has also doubled its head count as it continues to meet demand for its services in key markets, including the medical, health and safety and retail sectors.
In the last year Fripp Design and Research has also increased its customer base, adding well-known names such as B&Q, Boots, Balfour Beatty, The Welcome Trust and Sheffield University to its client portfolio in the process.
Steve Roberts, director at Fripp Design and Research said: ‘We are delighted with our performance and growth over the past twelve months, especially given the downturn in the economy in that time. Fripp Design continues to deliver a first class product design and development service for its customers, which is reflected in so many well-known names choosing to work with us. We look forward to continued success throughout 2010 and beyond.’
Fripp Design and Research was the first private sector company to be recognised as an Innovation Voucher Knowledge Provider, providing Innovation Vouchers for SME businesses based in Yorkshire and Humber, as well as in the North East. Innovation Vouchers are part of the government’s Solutions for Business Portfolio and, in the Yorkshire and Humber region, provide companies with up to £7,000 worth of 50/50 matched funding.
Steve Roberts added: ‘Innovation is vital to the long-term success of any business and we are proud to be able to help provide companies with the opportunity to tap into our wealth of expertise and support the delivery of an excellent knowledge solution for their innovative project.’
Our MD visited a local comprehensive school yesterday. It is typical of comprehensive’s built in the 1960′s and has a mainly working class catchment of some 1600 young people.
He was invited to meet with the sixth formers studying Product Design, looking at, and assessing, their final year projects. To say he was amazed was an understatement, the quality of their problem solving was as good as any professional designer and some of their solutions have the potential to be of commercial value.
The head of department is an ex Industrial Designer and Engineer who wanted to give something back; and it really shows.
We still believe the majority of the state Education system teaches young people to pass exams, rather than show personal intiative; however Dinnington certainly breaks that trend.
It goes to show that, if you can give young people the right level of support; with teachers who have experience of working in the real world, then our young people will have a brighter future.
This ethos could be seen accross the whole school (he had lunch in the school canteen and the students were first class). We will continue to work with Dinnington as their head of department is entitled to our support; if we are to create the knowledge driven economy UK PLC needs.
We have just found out that we have been approved to provide Innovation and High Growth Associate Adviser Services to Business Link Yorkshire.
Details of what the services offer are to follow.
Again this is another great endoresement for the quality of Design, Research and Business support Fripp Design and Research are providing to the Yorkshire and Humber region.