For nearly two years now we have made steps to become involved in both education and career initiatives to help raise awareness of the Manufacturing Industry. We have endeavored to take opportunities where we believe we can add value to those in education and helping to support those looking for a career by providing an insight in to the opportunities that our industry offers.
We were approached by a good friend to Pentagon ‘Elaine Hickmott’ who asked if we would be able to provide a case study on a real business issue, which would be worked on by Physics postgraduate research students taking part in the SEPnet Summer School. The students taking part at this event, which was held at the NPL Centre in Teddington, were given the opportunity to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills as well as expand their business modelling skills.
Pentagon Plastics (along with three other businesses) submitted a case study surrounding staff motivation and how to encourage innovative ideas for improvement within a small business. All of the business issues were worked on by 3-4 sets of students all looking to deliver a winning solution.
It was evident that the students worked hard in small teams of 3-4 over a three day period where they put together their ideas and worked on delivering some eye catching presentations. On day four Gabby Day, our Business Development Co-Ordinator at Pentagon, attended the SEPnet Summer School to hear all of the presentations from the teams working on the case study’s and view their posters which held full details of their initiatives. Following the presentations we were asked to choose a winner of our particular case study with the winners receiving a prize.
Each group gave a verbal 1-2 minute presentation focusing on the key points which was followed by Gabby taking time to look at the posters the students had put together and asking questions surrounding the ideas and business consideration. The ideas that came out were all positive but some more realistic for implementation to a small business than others. However, there was something to be taken away from all of them. Ideas were varied but well thought through for the most part and included such things as a weekend away for staff and their families, taking part in some business focused workshops, general team building concepts through to giving staff diaries to note the highs and lows of their days and identifying areas where there is room for improvement.
Once a winning team was chosen we went to the auditorium where we announced our winner. For Pentagon it was the team with simple but effective ideas which could translate to a small business and could be easily implemented at a relatively low cost whilst encouraging staff to deliver their own initiatives.
To be able to be involved in this event was a great experience for us and we hope we will be able to take part in more of these schemes in the future, doing our bit to help educate the next generation…….