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University partnership opens doors for ambitious interiors firm


Business and management experts at Leeds Beckett University are set to transform Wakefield company, Global Doors, through a new partnership to support the company’s ambitions to grow and innovate.

A bedroom with bespoke sliding doors

The team of academics, all based within Leeds Business School, will work with Global Doors Ltd - one of the UK’s premium manufacturers of bespoke sliding wardrobe doors - on a two-year project, to set in place the key management structures needed to meet their plans for growth.

Led by Dr Catherine Ashworth, the Leeds Business School team are set to transform the company’s management structures – from operations to human resources, leadership and marketing – to achieve a total organisational and cultural change which will set the company up for future success.

Dr Ashworth explained: “I am delighted to be the academic lead on this joint project which will transform the culture of Global Doors and embed key capabilities across all functional areas of the business. Through this, we will improve their operational conductivity and create a strong platform for growth.

“We will embed a structured approach to management - at both strategic and operational levels - to improve both the productivity and sustainability of Global Doors.” 

A man working on the construction of a sliding door in a warehouse

Matthew Fletcher, Commercial Director at Global Doors, said: “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.”

A skilled graduate will be recruited to carry out the project as a full-time member of the Global Doors team throughout the two years, with the full support and input of the academic team at Leeds Beckett. The team has extensive experience in working with small and medium-sized companies as consultants, empowering businesses to grow and be sustainable.

The project is one of the country’s first Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (mKTP), receiving financial support from the UK government department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through Innovate UK. mKTPs aim to help businesses improve their efficiency and productivity through the transfer of knowledge and expertise held within UK Business Schools. 

A man constructing sliding doors in a warehouse

Matthew Fletcher said: "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.”

Dr Ashworth added: “Embedding a rigorous, more agile, innovative and strategically-focussed functionality will be critical to small firm survival in the increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business climate, particularly following Covid-19. 

“This collaboration presents an excellent opportunity for a team of highly skilled academics from a diverse expertise set to design and execute a plan for total organisational change.  We look forward to integrating Global Doors into a future of innovation and success.”

The government-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has been helping companies innovate and grow for over 40 years. Partnerships are used to help companies of all sizes introduce new technology, develop and launch new products, enter new markets, or develop more efficient ways of working. Leeds Beckett University has completed a host of successful KTPs with companies including Quorn, Amey and Citu. For more information, please visit the Leeds Beckett KTP website.

Global Doors Ltd is a multi-channel manufacturer of sliding wardrobe doors, supplying independent kitchen, bedroom and bathroom retailer showrooms, national housebuilders, leading architects, specifiers, interior designers and the leisure industry. 

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