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Savvy students support local business

Date 24.05.2021

A gem of a collaboration with two University of Northampton postgraduate students has helped, Diamond Hard Surfaces Ltd, to strengthen its business.

The MSc Business Analytics students, Bartek Glenn and Alex Kaplun have been working with Diamond Hard Surfaces (DHS), a high-performance materials technology company based in Northamptonshire, as part of their dissertation project at the University.

Through the collaboration with the University, DHS hoped to streamline and enhance their existing quality management process control systems.

The students have had just three months to understand and evaluate how DHS processes work, from customer quotations, to their final delivery of products to clients in the aerospace, defence, motorsport, thermal management, and oil and gas industries.

Using their analytical skills, the students got to grips with the complex data from across the DHS systems to enhance business performance and efficiency, by reducing duplication across their different platforms.

Jack Foxcroft, Project Engineer at DHS, who has been working closely with the students said: “The digital transformation to streamline our system within our business means that we have been able to reduce duplication, allowing the business to further focus on delivering the high-quality products our global clients expect from Diamond Hard Surfaces. I was very impressed with the way the students approached working with the DHS team.”

Speaking about working on the collaboration with DHS, student Bartek Glenn, said: “We worked with the DHS team to examine their existing policies and processes to find enhancements, and also with their staff in terms of culture, training and existing knowledge, to support with training and roll out of the bespoke database we’ve created for them. It has been an excellent experience for me.”

The collaboration with DHS was part of the student dissertation project, speaking about the experience working with DHS, Alex Kaplun, said: “To get the chance to put into practice everything I’ve learnt as part of the course with a business has been a fantastic opportunity. I’ve found the input from the DHS team extremely valuable.”

Dr Amin Hosseinian-Far, Associate Professor in Business Systems & Operations said: “Collaborating with industry supports our students to not only put into practice the academic skills they develop throughout their studies, but it also develops their critical thinking skills. This collaboration with DHS has encouraged the students to approach problems from both an academic and commercial perspective, as they evaluated the existing processes, and developed a business database solution to reduce administrative duplication.”

Dr Dilshad Sarwar, Subject Leader for Business Systems & Operations said: “At Northampton, we pride ourselves on creating opportunities for our students to work with industry connections as part of their programme. The collaboration with DHS is just one of the ways in which our students work with to industry, on live projects to enrich their learning, and further develop their commercial skills, which will support them to be more competitive as they begin to look for graduate jobs.”

If you are interested in the MSc Business Analytics programme, join us at our postgraduate drop-in event on 7 July. Register to attend here.