Case study

Tidyco digitises training with help of placement student

Tidyco Ltd, a hydraulics and pneumatics components manufacturer and specialist, has recently benefitted again from Enscite funding, which has paid for a short-term student placement project. The project has been focusing on digitising the firm’s working practices and standard operating procedures.

About Tidyco

Tidyco is based in Derby and has 50 years’ experience of supplying hydraulic and pneumatic products and services to the rail, defence, utilities and manufacturing industries. An expanding area of the business is providing overhaul work for large train manufacturers and operators like Hitachi, TFL, Siemens and Alstom.

The company has been working with the University for the last eight years, and during that time, has almost doubled its team and grown its turnover by 140%. Phil Mason, Tidyco’s Production Director says this growth has come “with the help of Enscite and the University of Derby”.

The firm has benefitted from several funding and support programmes offered through the University, including grants for new machinery and energy efficiency improvements, as well as subsidised marketing workshops through the Enscite programme.

Looking for digital skills

Having relied on paper-based working practices and standard operating procedures for so long, Phil recognised it was time to digitise these. However, he knew there was a lack of skills and time within the business to make this happen, so he approached the University for support.

“I have such a good relationship with Enscite now (I have them on speed dial!) so I phoned up and said, ‘this is what I would like to do’ and they helped find a suitable student and the funding to pay for their time,” recalls Phil.

A Business and Management student with a keen interest in video, Daniel Grady, was selected and is completing a 20-day placement at the firm. Phil explains the impact he has had so far:

“He’s done seven videos so far and we’ve shown these to our people on the shopfloor to get their feedback. They were very receptive to the videos and felt it was definitely the way forward. They made suggestions for improvements, which Daniel is now working on. He is also training our apprentice so she can continue the work when Daniel has finished his placement. It’s really valuable to have a young person in the business with the knowledge and time to do this.”

It's not the first time Phil has enlisted the help of students. He organised an undergraduate ‘job swap’ with an IT student before, to improve his own IT skills and to provide that person with work experience. He’s also hosted several overseas student placements.

Student Daniel sits next to Phil from Tidyco
Student Daniel Grady (left) has been working with Phil Mason (right) from Tidyco

Support from Enscite makes projects happen

Phil explains how the Enscite team have made it easy for him to access this kind of support:

“I’ve always had a positive experience with the Enscite team. The people are really helpful, especially with the paperwork. SMEs like ours often don’t have the time to fill all the paperwork in for these schemes, so their support on that has been a big, big help. I wouldn’t have been able to do the projects if I hadn’t had this help.”

Man working on machinery in the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering

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