Heriot-Watt knowledge transfer project boosts firm profits

Postgraduate student Andreas Holter with Professor James Ritchie from Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

Postgraduate student Andreas Holter, from Heriot-Watt University's School of Management and Languages, has designed a bespoke web-based transport management system for recycling company Caledonian Alloys which has saved the firm £2.1 million in operating costs with predictions that this will rise to £3.9 million in the next three years. The knowledge transfer project scooped top prize at the recent Scotland-wide Knowledge Transfer Partnership Awards.

This success is the latest in a series of knowledge transfer project triumphs for Heriot-Watt and was featured in the influential Business 7 newspaper. Andreas Holter told Business 7, "The challenge we faced was how to create a logistics management system to enhance the world-wide operation of the company. The systems I made set out to manage transport in a much more specialised way than was done previously. We set up internal databases to track and manage all inventory which was in transit and when it would arrive. There was a great deal of collaboration with the transport companies to achieve good quality data and get them to commit to transit times."

John Wardlaw, managing director of Caledonian Alloys said the link up with Heriot-Watt University had a tangible benefit. He said, "We are delighted to have won this award which recognises the impact of the knowledge transfer partnership on our business. Knowledge transfer partnerships are key to our innovation efforts and we hope to engage in further KTP projects in the future."

Professor James Ritchie, from Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences said, "We are delighted to have been recognised again in Scotland. Central to the success of this project was the collaboration and cooperation between the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the School of Management and Languages. The benefits to the company, the associate and the University were substantial and reflect the considerable opportunities available to organisations through participation in the KTP Scheme. "

Andreas Holter will now fly the flag for Scotland, and for Heriot-Watt University, at the UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership Awards in London in March.