Selection of Case studies

Some of the assignments undertaken...........


EMMAN is the not-for-profit data network service provider in the East Midlands HE/FE/Research sector, owned and run by 8 East Midlands Universities for the benefit of its members and the sector. When EMMAN wanted to maximise the return on its assets, for the benefit of its members, it selected Peter Darby as its commercial manager to both advise the board on commercial strategy and then implement the strategy. This involved the planning, development, implementation, management and delivery of the Commercial Strategy,  Business Plan and New added-value Services.
The project required gaining commitment from many educational institutions as well as devising and selling new services to them and other sectors. The new services required commissioning a mix of service delivery partners from both within and without the sector.
Peter Darby has initiated and delivered several significant new added-value services across the membership and the UK sector, delivering a significant new regular revenue stream and net surplus for EMMAN and its members.
One particular new service created was the first self-sufficient UK wide shared service to be part funded by HEFCE. This service went through the phases of feasibility, pilot, and launch, quickly becoming a self-sufficient business in its own right.

Rumbles Catering Project

Rumbles Catering Project is a charity that provides catering based work place training and development for disadvantaged youth, particularly those with learning disabilities. When Rumbles needed to become financially self-sufficient to continue to deliver their social goals, they selected Peter Darby to help them define their strategy and build modular business plans to deliver a new organisation with a clear strategy and the processes needed to be successful. The project required Peter Darby to advise the Board and lead the Rumbles Executive Officer and staff through the process of developing and embedding the strategy, plans and organisational change needed to evolve from a trading charity to a charity supported by a number of replicable Community Interest Companies (CIC) that replicated the objectives of the charity. The result has seen the Charity develop and expand into a multi-CIC group delivering its social and financial objectives.

Tackle Mart

Tackle Mart is a medium sized fishing tackle retailer that need to refine it's strategy for future development, quantify and raise the cash needed and then implement its plans. Peter Darby worked with the management team to develop the business plan, raise the funds from the bank and then mentor the management team in the project management of adding an e-commerce channel to their way of attracting and doing business. On completion, Tackle Mart saw its business increase in line with the plan and quickly started to see the benefits of the business process automation that e-commerce can bring. 

Power Tools Plus

Power Tools Plus is an electrical power tool retail and repair operation that was at the pre-start stage when it needed to to develop a viable business and operational plan to raise the funds it needed to get started and fill a recently formed gap in the local market. Peter Darby helped the owner to create the business and operational plans as well as help identify suitable local premises and negotiate with the bank to raise the finance. The finance was raised and the operation was opened on schedule. The business has been a success from the start and is now operating at a level well ahead of the original plans.

Dom-James plc (Swiss Life)

Swiss Life took a corporate strategic decision to diversify into some new markets with new products to service and help create new communities using e-commerce. They created Dom-James plc in the UK and when they needed an interim General Manager to work with them on the projects and take overall control of the SME business proposition - they contracted Peter Darby. On arrival in the team, Peter immediately reviewed the situation and implemented new controls over the project which until then was being managed and delivered by one of the big 5 consultancies. The result of Peter's interventions was the rapid development of a deliverable business and technical design within a realistic budget and time-scale which showed a £12m saving of initial costs to break-even. In addition, Peter's experience and expertise were used by the board to aid the development and progress of the other business project which was focused on the expatriate communities in the UK and Switzerland. Finally, on completion of the initial interim assignment, Peter was called upon to return and facilitate the strategic planning process of the board of Dom-James and subsequently do the market research to develop the preferred global country rollout rationale and implementation plan for the expatriate business.

NatWest Bank

NatWest Bank needed to get their Internet payments and trust services programme back on track and so contracted Peter Darby as their Programme Manager to bring the programme under better control and introduce new practices to support their goals for faster implementations of high quality business/technical projects. Peter provided and implemented a suitable adaptation of various methodologies that resulted in the programme milestones being more readily understood by all the stakeholders and more regularly achieved by the the project teams. Having experienced Peter's flexibility and adaptability,the Bank also made use of Peter's broader business and technical experience and expertise to develop the full business plan for a joint venture e-commerce business project with a leading IT manufacturer and a leading ERP supplier. 

Hawke Systems Ltd

Hawke Systems was a major IT reseller organisation (circa £20m). When Hawke wanted to win a coveted Services Sales Agent franchise from Compaq, and establish a new division to exploit the multi-million pound opportunity, they called on Peter Darby to help win the franchise and manage the new Division as the Services Director until it was established. This also meant developing the relationship with Compaq and leading and managing the bid for Hawke to win more business from Compaq. This resulted in significant incremental business being won that, in total, more than doubled the value of the initial business allocated by Compaq. Previously, when Hawke wanted to review and revise its marketing and product strategy and plans, Hawke chose to contract Peter Darby into the role of Marketing Director to help them devise and implement a new strategy and branding across the company. The strategy, and it's implementation, led Hawke into an improved business position, both on terms of new business won and with the spread of new accounts. At the same time new areas of the business with additional strategic suppliers such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Compaq were developed as well as the advance into workflow solutions. 

TSB plc

TSB plc, the high street banking group, had a need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their database marketing efforts to their tens of millions of customers. They contracted Peter Darby to devise and implement a Data Quality improvement programme across the TSB group of companies. The programme required the co-operation and involvement of every relevant director in the group in order to make the changes needed to their business processes and systems. The end result of the programme Realised significant cost savings through Reduction of lost and mis-directed mailings and offers from the 12 million customer base Reduced development and maintenance effort on IT systems Significantly improved customer service rating, especially relevant to the TSB Phonebank operation. Significantly reduced the risk of prosecution from non-compliance to the data protection act 

Acorn Hardas Ltd

Acorn Hardas is a metal finishing company that specialises in Aluminium Anodising. Acorn Hardas wanted to review their existing sales operation and develop a marketing strategy and implementation plan that would have significant impact on the growth of their business. They contracted Peter Darby to develop their marketing strategy and design the implementation in a way that would enable them to implement the plan themselves. The final plan was agreed and delivered with the first phases of the plan being executed in parallel to ensure that Acorn could achieve their objectives with their resource constraints. The work was remarked upon as being "excellent" by the MD of Acorn, and they continued to implement the plan and reap the relevant rewards.