Unite with bUSINESS
Example Projects & Case-studies
In terms of possible placement projects these have to date included:
- Web design and development
- App Design
- Development of a supplier improvement framework for an engineering company, by which key suppliers can be continuously improved in terms of their quality and delivery
- Quality control – investigation of methods to ensure compliance with regulations related to food packaging
- Lab based – research and development, assistance with establishment of experiments and creation of standard operating procedures
- Market research for new products, new markets, new pricing strategies, white papers.
- Development of marketing strategies (including digital marketing)
- Implementation of marketing strategies
- Development of marketing materials
- Investigation of and recommendations for the introduction of Customer Relationship Management systems
- Design for print and web
- Development of branding strategies
- Film production – videos for use in social media marketing strategies
- Translation of written materials for print and web
- Sourcing agents outside the UK
- Development of educational materials
Vacancies are advertised across the North West; companies therefore have access to students/graduates from a very wide skill set – not just that covered by the academic offer at Lancaster University.
Here are a selection of case-studies from companies who have been involved with the Unite project.
Steve Pendrill Photography is a small business based in Lancaster focussing on commercial, wedding, portrait and event photography. The business was established as a full-time enterprise in 2009 following the redundancy of owner Steve Pendrill after a twenty-five year career as a local press photographer.
As a sole trader, I quickly found that I didn’t have the time or financial resources to invest in effective market research. Whilst the domestic side of the business was growing well and was relatively easy to research, I was conscious that I lacked knowledge about my local commercial competitors.
Coming from a media background, I particularly wanted to develop my presence as an experienced and reliable PR and commercial photographer. I couldn’t do this effectively without knowing a lot about other photographers in the area, what and how they were charging, as well as how potential customers found them and vice-versa.
I was put in touch with Unite With Business through a Business Link contact. My initial fears about mountains of complicated paperwork were quickly allayed by Unite business and placement adviser Jackie Gregory. The whole process was simple and unexpectedly quick. Within a few short weeks a post was advertised and Jackie guided me through the interview process.
My chosen placement student Elizabeth proved to be an instant asset. I found her enthusiastic, reliable and exceptionally personable, as well as very hard-working. We had a number of meetings to establish the business’ needs and to keep a check on progress. Apart from that I was able to leave the student to do the research on her own, using her own initiative.
The project was completed within four months and the results presented in a clear and concise manner, which was easy to understand. The result is a valuable insight into my competitors. I quickly identified that some of the advice I had from within the industry itself was flawed and misleading, when compared to customers’ needs and expectations. I realised that my website needed improvements and my pricing was a little too ambitious!
I would strongly recommend the Unite with Business programme to any business that needs help. It’s an unexpectedly straightforward process and is a priceless asset to any new or developing business.
-Steve Pendrill October 2011
Fyne Boat Kits designs, builds and manufactures all types of boat kits from surfboards, kayaks, SUP's, rowing and sailing boats up to a performance cruising multihull. Fyne is well established in the UK and was seeking to broaden its market by adding some dealers in strategic countries. After failing to make any headway with UKTI, Fyne were put in touch with the Unite scheme and the opportunity was seized upon.
Unite helped identify and write the job specification for the placement which was for a research post to identify and contact potential agents. The advantage of the scheme is the University has a vast resource pool which the student was able to tap into which minimised the burden. Most of the research was conducted remotely which worked well for both of us.
The end result was a meeting with a potential agent along with the student who was then the translator and a deal was struck and agent found.
I would recommend this very good scheme and it certainly helped us achieve our objective where Business Link and UKTI were unable to. Thank you.
Savvy Productions is a cross platform productions company - creating drama and comedy on a number of platforms - often where the audience has a defining role.
The company identified the need to increase the depth and strength of programmes with audience and content research.
We interviewed and employed a student in her final year, clearly competent and able to self motivate beyond a brief. She proved an excellent asset. She was quick on the uptake, did more than was asked, learnt about an industry very unfamiliar to her with speed and efficiency. In fact all you'd wish for in an employee. She was also incredibly flexible and able to adapt.
She not only achieved the development outcomes for the project as agreed but was also able to take on a research role for another drama and was invaluable to the writer and myself in the production.
I'd recommend a placement because not only was the quality high, the application and interview process easy and the support from Careers Lancaster, but it was useful for my company in assessing whether this was indeed a role we may expand into.
A big thanks, especially to Jackie who was an absolute please "to do business" with.
CEO Savvy Productions