How do you get the right expertise to support future growth?

12th January 2018

Case Study: NYMAS

The challenge

Billingham-based company NYMAS manufactures bathroom and toilet equipment for elderly and disabled people for customersincluding care homes, hospitals and the hospitality industry. Recognising a gap in the market for specialist ‘luxury’ products NYMAS approached us to help them look at whether it was cost effective to bring their product design and development in-house, as well update their internal processes to support the company’s future growth.

“The demographics of the population are changing and we’re seeing a lot more multi-generational homes with an increased need for specialist products to ensure their bathrooms are fully inclusive. As a company, in order to meet the demands of this new market, we need to function as efficiently as we can and we need our product to be more than purely functional but also have a quality design aesthetic.”

Craig Anderson, Managing Director

Our approach

We worked with NYMAS to complete an initial diagnostic and explore their objectives. By identifying that fundamental changes to their processes would need to be implemented without compromising on the day-to-day running of the organisation, we were able to advise the company to pursue two Knowledge Exchange Internships (KEIs). This is where a graduate is embedded in an organisation for 6 – 12 months to work on a specific project. Uniquely, a KEI also includes the support of academics from Teesside University who will be able to direct and advise the graduates.

The two KEIs will research ways in which NYMAS can streamline its systems and processes as well as developing new product designs and implementing new design processes.

How can you implement and embed new systems and processes?

We supported NYMAS to recruit two Knowledge Exchange Interns. Lawrence Stratton, a BA (Hons) Product Design graduate, is working with the company on developing a range of new product designs and improving its design processes. This will embed new design thinking and capability within NYMAS to allow them to become more proactive in the product development market.

In addition, Dr Thanos Klonis (PhD in manufacturing management) is working on a 12 month KEI looking at how NYMAS can implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software into its business operations. The project will help the company manage its data across all of its operations and investigate ways in which it can operate more efficiently and improve automation to support future growth.

The results

The Knowledge Exchange Internships are helping NYMAS to become more efficient and improve its design processes. The company has already seen extensive cost savings by bringing product design and development in-house as well as a greater degree of innovation and flexibility in its designs.

The new ERP system will streamline the company’s processes to save staff time and to be more aware of issues relating to quality, design and delivery so that they can be resolved before and during manufacture.

“As the average life expectancy increases and multi-generational households become more popular, working with Teesside University and Thanos and Lawrence is
helping us to meet the growing demands of this market and we’re looking forward to the benefits it will bring.”
Craig Anderson, Managing Director

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