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Signs of progress on the high street

20 August 2012


Store signage which shoppers are familiar with on the high street is being kept up to date with help from Teesside University.

High end, point of sale printing company Simpson Group sought support from Teesside University when seeking to streamline and develop its store profiling system to bring together information relating to the signage and in-store advertising needs of a range of well-known brands and retailers.

A web-based solution provided through this relationship with the University enabled the Washington and Heathrow based firm to develop and maintain customer relationships with the many major brands and retailers it works with.

Teesside University graduate Srikanth Kataram has been working on the project to develop the store profiling system through a KEI (Knowledge Exchange Internship).

He said: 'I came from India to Teesside University for the MSc Computing and developed really good relationships with the academic staff. It was really good to be able to continue those relationships through the academic support provided during the project with Simpson.'

Simpson software development manager Mark Flanagan, who is supervising Srikanth, said: 'The store profiling system holds the requirements of each individual store. Technology is constantly and rapidly changing and the new system developed by Srikanth helps us to bridge those innovations.'

The company has been working with Teesside University since 2006 and Mark Flanagan is himself a former University intern.

He said: 'Having my own experience through a knowledge transfer project in a different area has really helped, and also having completed my first degree at Teesside several years ago before going on to study for a PhD, it’s been great to continue that relationship.'

Barry Hebbron, senior lecturer in the University’s School of Computing, is providing academic support. He said: 'Simpson Group needed a solution for in-store point of sale promotional materials specific to each location and store. We have helped them consolidate existing contracts and move into new markets with improved processes. A programme was developed to understand the dynamics, location and needs of each retailer.'

Mark Simpson, chairman of the Simpson Group, said: 'The partnership with Teesside University has continued to work well, with programmes such as the KTP and KEI providing a good way of introducing graduates to the business, with academic support for the practical work they are involved in.'

The project will benefit from £3.9m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.


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