This report template relates to the tasks described in 323MAE: Coursework 1 – Professional Development and Project Planning.
Please complete your responses for each of the tasks within the blank boxes provided. You may extend the size of the boxes to fit your responses to the tasks.
Provide a brief overview of your selected engineering-related sector and the organization within that sector. Support your overview with referenced facts and data. (25%).
(For the engineering sector this might detail the types of engineering activities that this sector covers, the market size, and technology trends, etc. For the organization, this might detail its operational activity, the product range, company size, site locations, ownership, growth data, current markets, etc.)
Engineering related sector:
Manufacturing and assembly services of electric folding bikes. This is a new technological innovation in the United Kingdom market that has received massive popularity. Being a new product in the market, there is a huge customer base as companies shift from the traditional cycles to manufacture electric bikes and gravel bikes (“Brompton bicycle”,” 2020, p. 785. There is thereby a great market opportunity making it a suitable venture.
The manufacturing and assembly industry is an engineering field that is suitable to venture. The industry possesses massive opportunities for career development. I believe that electric bikes have become more popular in recent times and a decision of a bike manufacturing company to venture into this industry would be greatly beneficial and would attract huge profits.
The organization within that sector:
The engineering company will be oriented in the manufacturing and assembly of electric bikes. The company will incorporate conventional cycle mountain bikes and electric bikes. Brompton company is situated in Greenford London. Brompton company was founded in 1976 by Andrew Ritchie. The company is reported to have had over 190 employees after Will Butler-Adams took over as managing director in 2008 (“Brompton bicycle”,” 2020, p. 785). The company specializes in the manufacture and assembly of bicycles and the sale of bicycle accessories. The company is unique for its unique folding bikes which makes them occupy less space and thereby convenient for travel (“Butler-Adams, William David, managing director, Brompton bicycle Ltd, since 2008,” 2014). According to Laurence and Ben 2015, Brompton company is the leading bicycle producer in the UK producing over 40,000 bicycles per fiscal year. The company also offers bicycles for hire. In March 2009, the company reported a turnover of approximately 1 million Euros. The continued growth in the company saw it awarded numerous awards including two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, in the Innovation and International Trade categories
Since the first Brompton prototypes were built in 1976 from Andrew Ritchie’s bedroom workshop, the company has grown to a multi-million company with an average of 200 employees (Fhima, 2020, p. 305). The company enjoys huge success in the market with its unique set of folding bicycles. These bicycles give the company a competitive advantage since they are foldable and thereby convenient to carry around in public transport including trains. The company had continually operated on a small scale until a change of management in 2007. Will B. Adams brought in vigor and efficiency in the company which steered a sudden growth rate that pushed the production of electric bikes up from 6,000 to 40,000 bikes per ear. The production made the company one of the leading bike producers and sellers in the UK. The company also forecasts a growth rate of 25% each year (“Brompton bicycle”,” 2020, p. 785). Brompton company continues to dominate in the UK market having a competitive advantage emanating from its lightweight bikes that come with an additional folding advantage.
Butler-Adams, William David, (born 11 May 1974), managing director, Brompton bicycle Ltd, since 2008. (2014). Who’s Who. https://doi.org/10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.281937
Fhima, I. (2020). Functionality, cumulation and lessons from trademark law: The advocate general’s opinion in Brompton bicycle. Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, 15(4), 301-307. https://doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpaa034
“Brompton bicycle”. (2020). IIC – International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 51(6), 773-773. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-020-00957-4
Analyze the external environment using the PESTLE framework to establish the current and future factors that might impact this sector (including the Covid19 pandemic). Comment on your key findings and the potential impacts. (25%).
Please create and insert a PESTLE matrix (this should be bullet points, as covered in Lecture 2):
The recent move of the government to exit the European Union (BREXIT) has brought about devastating effects on the economy. The bike industry has also been adversely affected by this move reporting delays in shipments, red tape, and increased costs of up to 71% (Lyne Biewinga, executive director of membership at NBCC) (Sampson, 2017, p. 166). Risk for increased taxes, change in fiscal policies, and trade tariffs are among the political factors that could have a devastating effect on Brompton company. With the recent rise in Covid 19 cases, the government has been forced to enforce containment measures which have led to an economic downturn (Chadeau-Hyam et al., 2020, p. 36). The economic downturn has immensely affected people’s disposable income thereby affecting the sale of bikes.
There has been a recent economic downturn all over the world and UK has not been left behind. This economic recession has emanated from the recent containment measures which have resulted in many losing their jobs as many businesses have been affected adversely. A lot of money has also been channeled towards mitigating the effects of Covid 19 as other resources have been used to purchase Covid 19 vaccine. Brexit has also adversely affected the country reporting a slowed economic growth since the EU exit (Sampson, 2017, p. 166). Brompton company has been greatly affected recording low sales levels which have forced it to scale down on the production (Derclaye & Ricolfi, 2019, p. 18). There has also been a retrenchment of workers due to the low production kevels currently being experienced.
Based on demographic reports, UK continues to record slow population growth. The recent pandemic has accelerated the mortality rates and thereby adversely affecting the population. A decrease in population is a threat to the future of the company since it affects the customer base. Other factors such as culture and population beliefs have very minimal effect on the bike manufacturing company.
There has been a surge in technological innovations in recent times as companies seek ways to improve their efficiency and overall profitability. Brompton company has a technological competitive advantage has come up with an electric bike which is foldable and quite light. The company has also adopted new technologies such as electric bikes thereby making it technologically feasible and enabling it to cease the market opportunity. The company also has a versatile team of leaders who synthesis modern production techniques thereby increasing efficiency and overall production (Lacity et al., 2021, p. 3).
These factors are structured upon compliance and legal obligations a company possesses. To ensure that it does not contravene set laws, Brompton company has a team of legal experts who it consults on various issues. The legal practitioners also help it during cases when it seeks to sue or is being sued. There are various legal factors that the company has to abide by; health and safety laws, zoning laws, employment laws, intellectual property laws, and civil rights laws.
These are factors that affect the environment upon which a company is operating. In the UK companies are expected to undertake corporate social responsibility (Derclaye & Ricolfi, 2019, p. 18). The companies are expected to be aware of the effects of their actions on the environment. Being a manufacturing company, it has to check the levels of emissions on the environment and come up with effective ways to reduce pollution to the environment. Brompton company is also expected to comply with the health and safety act and the environmental regulations set by the UK.
Comment on your key findings and the potential impacts:
Based on the comprehensive study on various effects of external factors, I discovered that external factors have quite a substantial effect on a company. The company should however come up with a risk assessment matrix to determine the levels of risk and the possible effects a certain risk has on a company (Wu et al., 2018, p. 62). The company should assess the impact of various risks against the probability of occurrence and solve the risks based on urgency and likelihood. Political and legal factors have a low likelihood of occurrence but could have devastating effects on the company once they occur. They should thereby be considered and given key priority. Economic factors are unforeseen and could have a great effect on a company, the company cannot control them but could mitigate the impacts by proper planning. Social factors could be mitigated through feasibility studies and proper strategic planning. Technological factors could immensely affect a business rendering other businesses absolute as other technologically feasible businesses thrive (Lacity et al., 2021, p. 12). Managers must be flexible and adopt new technologies to enable them to remain relevant in the market (Wu et al., 2018, p. 61).
Chadeau-Hyam, M., Bodinier, B., Whitaker, M., Elliott, J., Tzoulaki, I., Vermeulen, R. C., Kelly-Irving, M., Delpierre, C., & Elliott, P. (2020). Risk factors for positive and negative COVID-19 tests in UK Biobank. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3605145
Derclaye, E., & Ricolfi, M. (2019). Opinion of the European copyright society about the pending reference before the Cjeu in Brompton bicycle V Chedech / Get2Get, C-833/18. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3506071
Lacity, M., Willcocks, L., & Gozman, D. (2021). Influencing information systems practice: The action principles approach applied to robotic process and cognitive automation. Journal of Information Technology, 026839622199077. https://doi.org/10.1177/0268396221990778
Sampson, T. (2017). Brexit: The economics of international disintegration. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(4), 163-184. https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.31.4.163
Wu, S., Wang, J., Wei, G., & Wei, Y. (2018). Research on construction engineering project risk assessment with some 2-Tuple linguistic Neutrosophic Hamy means operators. Sustainability, 10(5), 1536. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051536
Describe the key innovations/areas of research that are being progressed within this sector and when these might be expected to reach the marketplace. (25%)
Consider all aspects of innovation – product, process, and or service-related innovations – please refer and use models discussed in lectures 4 & 5
The bicycle industry has experienced quite a huge boost in innovations from mountain bikes in the 1970s to electric bikes and now to the most recent gravel bikes (Archana D. et al., 2017, p. 37). These past innovations have played a crucial role in the industry making it one of the top 10 global technology trends in 2020. Programs such as MaaS (Mobility as a Service) have seen a forecast in the increase in the number of vehicles and bicycles (Jittrapirom et al., 2017, p. 15). The increased need for mobility has spearheaded the momentum for Maas as more stakeholders including bicycle sharing systems coming together to provide solutions for increased demand for mobility.
SMIDSY bikes by Frankie Chan.
In contrast to any other, SMIDSY is a light bike, covering the whole cycle length and with wireless indicator lights. SMIDSY is a magnetized clip device that connects to a common bicycle, making cyclists visible and improving urban cycling safety. The new technology is yet t be developed further but it is an interesting innovation that will immensely improve cycling safety.
Curve Saddle bike seats by Katy Koren
The Curve Saddle supplements the female shape supports the pelvis and equally distributes pressure (Huang, 2018, p. 169). The twist spring allows the saddle to reverse and reduce the pressure experienced by the cyclist. The idea has already been adopted by some of the major bicycling companies but is yet to gain momentum in the industry.
Archana D., Boomija G., Manisha J., & Kalaiselvi V.K.G. (2017). undefined. 2017 2nd International Conference on Computing and Communications Technologies (ICCCT). https://doi.org/10.1109/iccct2.2017.7972296
Huang, V. L. (2018). “What shall we do?”: Kathy change, Soomi Kim, and Asian feminist performance on campus. TDR/The Drama Review, 62(3), 168-174. https://doi.org/10.1162/dram_a_00778
Jittrapirom, P., Caiati, V., Feneri, A., Ebrahimigharehbaghi, S., González, M. J., & Narayan, J. (2017). Mobility as a service: A critical review of definitions, assessments of schemes, and key challenges. Urban Planning, 2(2), 13-25. https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v2i2.931
Using the SWOT framework and your findings from tasks 1-3, analyze YOUR current skill set about the type of work activities that will be occurring in the sector. Comment on the NEW key skills and development areas (e.g. both soft skills and technical skills) that YOU might need over the next 10 year period within this sector. (25%)
SWOT featured in lecture 3 – Please note this task is about your skill sets and development NOT your chosen organization. (Note – Completing this for the organization is classed as having failed the task.)
Discuss the soft and technical skills you identified in your SWOT analysis.
How you will address these and over what timescale?
I intend to grow my skills over the first 2 years of working. I intend to identify the various fields my strengths would apply and regularly study to determine how to grow my skills (Nikjow et al., 2021, p. 18). After having grown my technical and soft skills, I intend to deal with my shortcomings to ensure they do not affect my work and the overall productivity. In dealing with my weaknesses, I intend to seek help from a senior trustworthy employee who will regularly check on me and identify whether I have considerably reduced my weaknesses. The senior employee will also offer me guidance on the possible techniques (Nikjow et al., 2021, p. 92) could adopt to reduce these shortcomings. I intend to have worked on my weaknesses and perfected my skills by the 4th year of working.
Hess, J. L., & Fore, G. (2017). A systematic literature review of US engineering
ethics interventions. Science and Engineering Ethics.
Nikjow, M. A., Liang, L., Qi, X., & Sepasgozar, S. (2021). Engineering procurement construction in the context of Belt and Road infrastructure projects in West Asia: A SWOT analysis. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 14(3), 92. https://doi.org/10.3390/jrfm14030092
Note on Referencing
From 1st September 2020, the University Group switched referencing styles from the Coventry University Guide to Referencing in Harvard Style to APA 7th edition.
Returning students who started their course before 1st September 2020 are permitted to continue to use CU Harvard until they graduate if they wish.
For support and advice on this, see the resources to link to: