Academic experts at Leeds Beckett University have joined forces with an innovative North Yorkshire business – to transform their management capabilities and develop innovative, agile strategies to break into new international markets.
The team of academics, all based within Leeds Business School, will work with York-based Ardent Limited on the Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (mKTP) project, which is part-funded by the Government through Innovate UK.
Ardent are suppliers of fire protection and electronic safety systems for people and businesses using plant, public transport, and specialised vehicles – in the UK and overseas.
The project will run for 30 months and will focus on building long-term marketing and internationalisation strategies for Ardent as they continue to grow. This will help Ardent to achieve its goal of being recognised as a safety industry leader that puts its customers’ needs first.
The mKTP’s goal is to embed permanent transformations in leadership, management, and culture across the business.
Dr Catherine Ashworth, senior lecturer in strategic marketing at Leeds Beckett, is leading the partnership. She explained: “Through our new partnership we aim to create strategic growth within Ardent. We will do this by embedding new management capabilities across the value chain – and a new leadership model across the organisation.
“We will also focus on improving Ardent’s capabilities in gathering expert market intelligence, strategically assessing overseas market opportunities, developing internal and stakeholder communications, and by delivering strategic decision-making.”
Neil Crowther, Managing Director of Ardent Limited, said: “Since our founding in 1993, we have always aimed to continually improve our offering and service. We always prioritise challenging ourselves and encourage collaboration across the company. This partnership is a natural fit for us and we look forward to it being a productive relationship that will help us provide even better service to all our customers around the world.”
A skilled graduate has been recruited to carry out the project as a full-time member of staff within Ardent, with the full support and input of the academic team at Leeds Beckett. The academics all have extensive experience of working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on knowledge exchange projects and as industry practitioners – which will add an extra level of value to the business.
The team will create a range of tools, frameworks and capabilities for Ardent, which can be used, and continuously developed, following the completion of the partnership.
The mKTP has received financial support from the UK government department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through Innovate UK.