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Written by Michaela Millar

 

 

Scott & Fyfe are pleased to announce that they have become a member of the Composites UK trade association.  The decision was simple to make as Composites UK play an integral role in the UK composite industry.

 

Paul McMullan, Composite Director explains that the decision to join was “due to a desire to play a more active role in shaping the future of composite materials both within the UK and on a more global platform. As a company committed to innovation and pushing the boundaries of composite technology, we felt it important to be connected to the UK trade association for composites so that we can positively influence the strategic direction of research and government support to UK SME’s within the Composite sector.”

 

The decision ties in with the ambitious plans of Scott & Fyfe to further grow their technical textile business within sectors including Automotive, Mass Transit, Construction, Marine, Oil & Gas and Renewable Energy. Membership also provides an ideal opportunity to network and engage with like-minded and ambitious UK companies.

 

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Scott & Fyfe became a member during the run up to the recent Composites UK event, "Supporting Composite Industry Growth in the UK" - an event hosted by Scott & Fyfe within their Innovation Space. The event was a real success, providing a great opportunity to meet new contacts who are involved within the composite industry throughout Scotland. 

 

 

 

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Written by Guest_Blogger

Next week will be my last week at Scott & Fyfe, and as I am typing this, I am trying to remember all the events and lessons that I have learnt so that I may make this post meaningful, inspiring and interesting. That being said, I don’t think that will take too much, as my experience at Scott & Fyfe has been something of a well needed reality check and a definite game changer for my skills (in a good way).

 

Coming directly from art school (Duncan of Jordanstone), my head was bursting full of creative ideas; spontaneous and bubbling like a sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice about to explode. Nothing was my limit and nothing could stop me.

 

I was thrilled to hear that I had been accepted into Scott & Fyfe and couldn’t wait to get started. I carried out my research and found out that they are an innovative textile company, producing technical textiles for various industries around the world. All from their wee home in Tayport.

 

I got started almost immediately. My first project was to design a show board for one of their many exhibitions. I was nervous but again, my ideas helped along the way. After many adjustments the board was sent for printing as the exhibition was in 2 weeks time in London. My first day and I already had my work sent down to London. The exposure was fabulous. However, that’s where one of my first lessons came in.

 

LESSON #1 JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE UNRESTRICTED, DOESN’T MEAN THE COMPANY CAN BE

Although the company wanted a complete re branding, they also had criteria, rules and guidelines and being a naive art student I didn’t understand why - until later in my internship. As the old saying goes ‘rules are put in place for a reason.’ Whilst Scott & Fyfe were innovative and different to most technical textile companies, they still needed to uphold a professional, definite standpoint within their industry and had to consider all sorts of factors such as customers and market reactions.

 

So even though they liked my wild and crazy ideas, I needed to appropriate it to the company so that they wouldn’t attract the wrong sort of attention, or even worse, no attention. I learnt quickly though and researched companies to see how far I could go without making myself (and Scott & Fyfe) look like the catch of the day.

 

My work included brochures, flyers, posters, logo design, leaflets, folders and stationery. I got so much out of this including learning how to prototype, use the computer and my programs a lot more efficiently. In fact, I was able to create a template for some datasheets in less than three hours! (I was a technical dinosaur before and it took me at LEAST half a day to create something of such magnitude) but along with speed, came careless mistakes.

 

LESSON #2 YOU DON’T SEE ALL EVIL, BUT YOUR BOSS DOES

I made so many careless mistakes while typing and creating but my lovely boss Michelle was quick as a whip to correct and notice all evils that happened within my work. She could notice a misaligned line from a mile away so even though I was engrossed in the work, I still needed to pay attention and focus on the minute details because it is always the little things that count.

 

The weeks passed quickly while I was working at Scott & Fyfe and I stopped making silly mistakes like that (I hope), and delved into my perfectionist side.

 

LESSON #3 CAFFEINE IS YOUR FRIEND (even if you don’t mean for it to happen)

In the whole time that I was in Scott and Fyfe, everyone kindly offered me cups of tea and coffee and even on my first day I was introduced to the coffee and tea cupboard. I politely declined, as I thought I could handle the long working hours sans caffeine.

 

Never have I been so wrong.

 

After the second week, I learnt my lesson and made tea (or coffee) every morning before I started work. Somehow, the day passes a lot faster and my work gets shipped out quicker.

 

LESSON #4 WHY SO NAIIVE, SON

One project that really made me wake up and smell the coffee was a special brochure I was working on that was originally meant for the company. However, they needed this done within a tight schedule. The idea was already created during the first few weeks but only at a prototype level with the intention of printing within the office towards the middle of the month. However, the company required these to be professionally printed within a further one week. Whilst the prototypes conveyed the idea well enough, the actual construction and technicality of the art school idea soon became a problem.

 

The printers said it would be expensive to carry out my idea as 2 machines needed to set up for only a few brochures. In addition to this, a lot of man labour would be needed. It hit me right then and there like the cork from said non-alcoholic bottle in the beginning. I was so focused on my idea that I forgot the actual feasibility of the product. While it was easy enough for me to produce, I could only make one or two at a time. The company needed around a thousand copies and the printers had to have the technology to print and re-create my idea.

 

But lesson learnt, keep your safety belt on at all times until the idea has safely been examined and we land on the ground.

 

LESSON #5 EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE

I’m drawing to the end of my post and even after all the ups and downs and rushes and slows, I am immensely grateful to have had this opportunity with Scott & Fyfe. The experience really grew me as a designer, as a person and also as someone who someday wants to build an industry of my own. I understand why it is essential for all students to have an internship. It really does help and change you. What I learnt at art school may be the Cinderella dream come true, but companies that take fresh interns like Scott & Fyfe, help to shape and build the dream into a much more happily ever after that we actually need.

 

Thank you Scott & Fyfe, for giving me a dose of reality, and a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

Thank you Scott & Fyfe, for giving me the kitten heel that I really needed.

Thank you Scott & Fyfe, for everything.

 

Written by Ummi Jameel

 

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The Pipe Fabric Technology (PFT) POD recently took part in the Oil and Gas Technology Road show. The road show took place on a unique exhibition vehicle that travelled to a different Oil and Gas company every day around Aberdeen and Glasgow. Scott & Fyfe was one of 18 companies to exhibit on this road show that took place from 2nd June to 19th June.

 

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During this time companies including The Wood Group, Technip, Weatherford, FMC Technologies and One Subsea to name a few were visited. Over 500 key personnel from these companies visited the moving exhibition and Scott & Fyfe have received a great amount of interest from people in relation to our new pipe relining and repair products including the newly launched Alphashield.

 

This was a great and unique experience and is the first time S&F has ever exhibited on a roadshow. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who visited the stand over the 3 weeks and for their interest in our products.

 

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Written by John Lupton

Scott & Fyfe is happy to have celebrated its second Employee Ownership Day. A day dedicated to celebrate the significant benefits employee ownership delivers to the UK economy as set up by the Employee Ownership Association in 2013.

 

To celebrate this day, we asked our new employees exactly what joining Scott & Fyfe as an Employee Owned company means for them, as they are the first employees to join the company since we made the transition. It has been great as a company to have so many new faces join us and shows the progress we are making. We all appreciate the great work that they are doing.

 

To mark the day, we also held a coffee morning for all employees within the Innovation Space with bacon rolls for all. The POD leaders remained in their PODS and provided presentations to anyone interested to share what they are working on, on a day-to-day basis.

 

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Jason Argo

"Joining an employee owned company is refreshing. Compared to other companies Scott & Fyfe enable all employees to speak their minds. Everyone has a can do attitude that is driven by the fact that they all are considered equal. You aren't just another number."

 

David Greig

"Employee Ownership is a great thing to be a part of because it not only ensures that the company is run by people who know the business but it also means that we are all committed to its future and success."

 

Liz Nisbet

"I joined Scott & Fyfe as an employee owned company believing that all employees would have a personal interest in making the company successful as our efforts will be rewarded. We all have the same goal and if our company grows we will reap the benefits."

 

Scott Shields

"Joining the Employee Owned company, I was met with a warm welcome and friendly, helpful people."

 

Lewis McGonigle

"I have found joining and fitting in at Scott & Fyfe remarkably easy as everyone has been welcoming. As Scott & Fyfe is integral within the Tayport community it has been a pleasure becoming part of the Employee Owned team."

 

Chris Williams

"I was very interested in employee ownership before I started here, wondering what the differences would be. I think the effect is subtle and not always obvious. Most people feel employee ownership could be a useful force for the company. I'm quite excited at the prospect of buying shares and working with everyone to improve the company, there's a great foundation here to build on."

 

Greig Noble

"I came to Scott & Fyfe having never worked for an Employee Owned Company before and saw a real difference in the amount of information shared with employees about the company's performance."

 

Felipe Vergera

"Scott & Fyfe has taught me that employee ownership is a learning process, which involves a huge behavioural change. It is not simply acquiring shares and becoming an owner of a piece of the company but it is also a process of understanding my responsibilities as a shareholder. For me this means:

 

  • Judging my own work and my colleague’s work for improvements
  • Gaining a voice in key decision-making
  • Having the ability to plan and action changes or opportunities to improve"

 

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Written by Peter Thomson

The industrial textile industry has gone through difficult times in recent years with many struggling to survive. Scott & Fyfe have been no different and some five years ago we watched our traditional business go into decline and plummet off the bottom of the graph. This made Scott & Fyfe really sit up and take notice, realising that in order to survive we needed to adapt and react to new opportunities but at the time we were not sure how.

 

Developing the Now Team with GlasgowSchool of Art (GSA)

 

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As this realisation occurred our Chairman, Nick Kuenssberg, heard that a Glasgow School of Art (GSA) team were working on a new innovation programme and made contact with them. As a result, the S&F NOW team (New Opportunities Within) was created and dispatched to GSA in order to learn all they could about ideation, innovation and opportunity spotting.

 

Historically, new ideas had been the domain of a certain few within S&F and were kept within the confines of what we knew or thought we knew. What GSA did was to encourage and empower members of the NOW team to think outside of their normal constraints.

 

As a member of this myself, we were given carte blanche to look at anything and everything, with many of us finding that as individuals we had more to offer than we had previously believed. We also realised that as a team we could tackle almost any problem. A huge part of this process was learning the Innovation Tools from GSA.

There were plenty of these, more of which can be found in our Innovation Toolkit but my personal Top 5 are:

 

1. Six Hats

Six hats is a discussion tool, which facilitates more productive and creative meetings. It is a simple metaphor for putting on your different thinking hat. For example, if a person is wearing the yellow hat they must be optimistic and hopeful whereas if they are wearing the white hat they must be objective and provide facts and figures.

 

2. Brainstorming

A good brainstorm session generates a lot of different ideas. During a brainstorm there is no filtering, no judgement and certainly no such thing as a bad idea!

 

3. POINT

POINT is an acronym of useful words to use in order to organise your thoughts after a brainstorming session. It allows you to group things together, draw conclusions and consider things in greater detail. The acronym stands for:

 

  • Problems
  • Opportunities
  • Insights
  • Needs
  • Themes

 

4. Dotocracy

This is a great method to narrow down ideas. Each person is allocated a number of dots (usually 3) and they then use the dots to vote for their favourite ideas. This method allows everyone to be heard equally and is a fast and effective filtering method. 

 

5. SCAMPER

SCAMPER is an acronym for a useful list of words that prompt you to further develop an idea to its full potential by covering each of the letters within. It stands for:

 

  • Substitute
  • Combine
  • Adapt
  • Modify
  • Put to another use
  • Eliminate
  • Rearrange

 

Putting the Innovation Tools to Use

 

 We created a metaphorical hopper (funnel) filled with ideas and using the tools developed with GSA we selected our target markets and products. After this we then set about bringing these to fruition.

 

Many of the ideas were way of the mark but we were not overly concerned as we had adopted the fail fast philosophy and as we are always putting new ideas into our hopper, we could quickly replace the failed ideas with new and potentially better ones. The tools allowed us to quickly put meat on the bones of theses ideas and make informed decisions on whether or not to take these forward.

 

As a result of this new innovation – led strategy and rapid prototyping, we have managed to successfully put around thirty new products into the market place in the 5 years since we began this process.

 

For more information on this, have a look at the GSA and S&F Culture Of Innovation; New Opportunities Within book. These tools have allowed us to work more effectively with our new and existing customers, developing innovative textile solutions to problems that would not have been considered before.

 

We have also held workshops with various blue chip companies, working in partnership with them to generate ideas and also to teach them these innovative and creative tools that we use. If you would like to work with us in this way or learn more - get in touch! 

 

 

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About Us

With innovation, diversity and partnership at the heart of our company’s ethos, Scott & Fyfe have been designing and producing a vast range of technical textiles for numerous market areas worldwide for almost 150 years. Our ability to design and manufacture products for both current and future market needs have allowed us to build a global reputation for excellence in both quality and service.

Scott & Fyfe
Tayport Works, Links Road, Tayport, Fife, Scotland
DD6 9EE

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We would love to hear from you, whether you have an idea, an innovation or a question. Please get in touch with us.

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