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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Driving strategic growth through improved management capability
Leeds Beckett is currently partnered with dynamic and growth-orientated Global Doors Ltd on a 24-month management knowledge transfer partnership (mKTP) project. Global Doors is a profitable and ambitious business poised for the next stage of growth and expansion that will see turnover and profits increase and create a long-term scalable business.
Global Doors Ltd is a multichannel manufacturer of sliding wardrobe doors, supplying independent kitchen, bedroom and bathroom retailer showrooms, national housebuilders, leading architects, specifiers, interior designers and the leisure industry. Founded in 1993, the business is led by entrepreneurial Managing Director, Matthew Fletcher, with a senior management team that incorporates sales, operations and marketing.
- Ossett, West Yorkshire
To facilitate growth within the business, the senior management team recognised that they needed to embed new capabilities and strategies within the business that will create the right foundations for sustainable growth. This is being driven by improving management capability across the organisation and achieved through sustainable organisational and cultural change.
Global Doors is a profitable and well-run SME. It has grown well on the entrepreneurial instincts of a small but focused senior management team. In common with many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the company was quickly reaching a point where decision-making was becoming overly concentrated in a few key decision-makers.
Alongside this, Global Doors’ ambitious plans for growth were offering up many potential new routes to business and strategic opportunities – scalable growth required a more analytic and distributed approach to both decision-making and opportunity scanning.
The company required expertise in strategic marketing and decision-making to ensure the appropriate commercial awareness and risk management were central to decision-making and were not overly reliant on just a few, key decision-makers.
Alongside these changes at a strategic level, the senior management team recognised that they needed to bring the Global Doors team along with them. They wanted to harness the wider team’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the business. This required structured and embedded organisational change and change management capabilities that the business currently lacked.
The project began with an extensive scoping exercise between the academic team, led by Dr Catherine Ashworth, and the Global Doors team. An ambitious project plan was developed that would, over a two-year period, address the operational needs of the business. It also transferred appropriate skills and capabilities that would provide for the long-term development of new knowledge and expertise in the business.
The overall approach of the business – and use of academic knowledge and skills – was designed to create a more structured and robust business that is scalable.
The transfer of knowledge into the business is extensive, and ongoing, and includes:
- Strategic frameworks for options evaluation
- Market horizon scanning and foresighting
- Introduction of structured HR functions
- Assessment of appropriate formal governance structures
- Cultural change including the development of the skills and capabilities of the existing workforce
- Introduction and embedding of more structured processes and frameworks
The project is being delivered by a dedicated KTP associate, Claire Thornton, who is employed by our university and works in collaboration with the academic team to deliver the project at Global Doors.
The project is underway and is already providing transformation at Global Doors.
Claire’s work has provided:
- new strategic decision-making and evaluation tools to allow the business to measure and evaluate opportunities and risks, including for new product development
- external marketing and strategic insight reports to inform development of new strategic marketing strategy and associated sales growth
- improved staff engagement through surveys, communication tools and frameworks providing a basis for organisational change and development
- HR audit and skills mapping to explore pathways for development
The long-term aim of the project is to improve Global Doors’ turnover and profitability. This is facilitated by improving the strategic marketing and focus of the business. It will be achieved through sales of new products and new opportunities – and also through the streamlining of the business and creation of a more productive and more streamlined business that is poised for growth.
Our partnership with Leeds Beckett will allow us to push the business forward faster and with more confidence. Working with Leeds Beckett allows us to tap into the managerial experts at the university, streamlining our business processes and increasing our productivity and management capability.
We are investing huge resources into creating an even stronger, more dynamic leadership team to enable our projected growth. As a small business, to have this expertise from Leeds Beckett helping and guiding us will be invaluable.
Our short-term future plans include bringing several innovative new products to market, further developing our manufacturing skills and capabilities, and a comprehensive programme of team development. The mKTP will help us drive our growth and strategy and achieve our plans with confidence.