The Printed Cup Company Limited

The Organisation

The Printed Cup Company Limited, based in Clitheroe, is the manufacturing division of The Paper Cup Company. The company is a major supplier of printed cups throughout Europe, offering a range of products. The unique selling point of the company is its ability to make small quantities of printed paper cups in a short lead time. They have a long term relationship with the University, and have taken on several students for projects.

The Challenge

Businesses’ computer systems need to be up to date, easily accessible and running smoothly for them to compete. The Printed Cup Company wanted to develop its computer systems, to make all its programmes jointly accessible, and approached Lancaster University for assistance.

Skills Sought

  • Self-motivation
  • Programming skills
  • Software development

The Solution

Harry Messenger, MSci Hons Computer Science, was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a three month internship with The Printed Cup Company. Harry evaluated the current computer systems and developed programmes that integrated different functions, such as stock control, production scheduling, Off-The-Shelf, accounts and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and Post Office Protocols (POP’s), so that all programmes were jointly accessible. Harry was also involved in appointing a full time IT Developer and worked alongside this person to ensure a smooth transition.


The internship was part financed by The Printed Cup Company at £1,800+ VAT, and part financed by Santander, with a total value of £3,660.


The new programme allowed The Printed Cup Company to integrate all its current computer systems  - including stock control, production scheduling, OTS, accounts and SOP’s and POP’s - to one central source of information.

Benefits to the company

  • Knowledge and expertise of Lancaster University Science and Technology students
  • Allowed The Printed Cup Company to create a central interface, from which all its current computer systems can be accessed
  • Increased the company’s knowledge of computer systems
  • Saved management time
  • The company made significant savings from IT system audit
  • Harry was also involved in appointing a full time IT Developer and worked alongside this person to ensure a smooth transition

Company Feedback

“We have had several students do great project work for us over the last few years. Computing and communications student Josh helped our business by increasing the functionality of our order tracking system, enabling us to offer a better service to our customers.

“The year after, Harry was our intern and helped us to create a central interface, from which all our computer systems could be accessed and managed, which helped to improve the efficiency of our business and saved our staff valuable time.

“Harry instigated a full audit of our IT systems, was involved in the Online Tracking System integration with our new Warehouse Management system and showed great skill and willingness to learn new languages in order to help us out.” Jenny Woodward, Managing Director, The Printed Cup Company Limited.

Student Feedback

“One of the main skills I gained was negotiating with other companies and specifying for software. During the internship I was involved in the inception of two new projects – one an internal system for stock control, and another a spin-off company website. I wrote specifications for these and discussed with companies, including getting bids and offers from a number of businesses to help us build these systems. I have also gained an incredible amount of invaluable skills to add to my CV, which will be vital in the future as I go into the back-end web design industry, with the ultimate goal of starting my own company.” Harry Messenger, MSci Hons Computer Science, The Printed Cup Company Intern.

Future Plans

The company will continue its relationship with the university and has already taken part in Lloyd’s Innovation day.