Created in November 1992 by a group of consultants who met at the Fire Service College, TMPL (The Management Process Limited) originally focussed its work on the public sector. This original team evolved into a new structure of two directors - Peter Cox based in Wales and Debbie Kingsly in Warwick - with a network of Associates throughout the UK and Europe. This structure - linked by state of the art IT systems - enable the company to build teams for projects that are exactly what a client needs for a particular task. It means highly skilled people are brought together, often in a unique team to undertake a unique task. Like many small companies - TMPL employs five people in Cardiff - a major task is convincing clients, especially very large ones, that TMPL can impact substantially on their business. After ten years this is less of an issue, being replaced by others such as cash-flowing the rapid growth evidenced by being in the FG50, and a resistance by clients to innovation and the exploitation of new technologies.

Success Factor

Four factors have helped TMPL achieve its growth: two relate to the services and the client, one to technology and the last - the most important probably - to its people. Business transformation - and developing the potential of individuals - is only demonstrated through success. The development of a solid reputation for success is the first factor in TMPL’s growth. Repeat business through word-of-mouth is essential, particularly in the public sector where funding for work is often through agencies such as Arts Councils, development agencies, WDA etc. Delivering to the client what it says in the business proposal is key to reputation and repeat business. Exceeding expectation is better. Achieving the transformation of the client’s business or the potential of an individual is the second measure of whether a TMPL intervention has been successful. The business has depended in turn on transformational technologies to support its growth and its aspirations for extending the kinds of services it provides for its clients. For almost ten years it has used collaborative ICT tools such as Lotus Notes which allow all the staff and Associates to work together, share resources, and develop ideas regardless of their location or the time. The skills developed in using such technologies also provides the company with a range of services for its clients including IT audits, building collaborative/web delivered workspaces, creating web portals and Knowledge Management research. Finally, the people factor: TMPL achieved Investors in People status partly because it uses the idea of people excellence as a set of standards when auditing other businesses. It ensures that training and development are at the heart of its business for staff and Associates as much as for its clients. Developing the business has meant continuously developing all its people - its most important asset.

The Future

The business has always been able to adapt according to the demands of its clients and long term planning is thus more dependent on them than the company itself. It now has several long term projects - such as the Action Learning in The Arts programme - than ever before and is attracting research and development tasks that take months - such as a review of the Arts Council England decibel project - or years. The recent facilitation of the planning of a new MOD fire service response took place over two years and has helped shaped views of how a modern fire service can be organised. "We hope that our being in the FG50 demonstrates to companies and the public sector in Wales that high quality, innovative consultancy and development services don’t have to be imported", said Managing Director Peter Cox. "Rather, knowledge skills - particularly when based or supported on ICT - can be a crucial export for the country".