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Written by Guest Blogger

 

I applied to Scott & Fyfe through the Saltire Foundation, an organization who provide internships across the world for penultimate undergraduate Scottish University students. When the internship options were posted I was studying at the University of North Texas as a part of my degree. I focused solely on Scottish based internships as after being away for five months I wanted to be able to catch up with friends and family on weekends!

 

I applied to Scott & Fyfe as I am studying the International Business Management course at Edinburgh Napier University and was interested in the variety of different markets that they manufacture technical textiles for. It was my intent to gain valuable experience through applying my university knowledge directly into the workplace.

 

My internship focused on the knitted hose reinforcement fabric, Polyknit Easyform, for use in automotive silicone hoses. I was tasked with analyzing the current market in order to determine how Scott & Fyfe should proceed with the textile product.

 

Through my degree so far I have studied numerous topics relating to business such as accounting, marketing, management and logistics; this knowledge proved extremely useful when launching the product and completing my final report. Alongside this I carried out marketing communication work and completed a market analysis and sales forecast using a variety of business framework tools. My internship culminated with a presentation to the board outlining my key findings and recommendations for the product.

 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Scott & Fyfe. By being part of this technical textile business I benefited through being able to apply the theory from University into practice. The internship gave me a great amount of freedom regarding my approach to the task and this improved my time management and organizational skills.

 

The environment at Scott & Fyfe is extremely friendly, with the open plan Innovation Space it was easy for me to ask for advice whenever I needed it. The project was important and provided value to Scott & Fyfe; it defied the stereotypical image of internships being all about making coffee! The responsibility I was given made me much more motivated, as I felt valued by the company. I would highly recommend working for Scott & Fyfe; this internship has given me skills and experience that will greatly benefit my future career prospects!

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Robert Gathergood

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On Thursday we held our own Wear it Pink event for Breast Cancer Awareness in order to help raise some money for the great cause. As usual everyone got involved and had fun in the process although some definitely had more fun than others as you can see in the pictures!

 

Everyone was asked to participate by following the simple rules of wearing pink and donating to the charity.

 

For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness month have a look at their website:

 

 http://www.wearitpink.org/

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Written by Guest Blogger

Living abroad can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to study and even work in a place totally different to where you came from. My name is Leonardo Fantinati, I am Brazilian and I took the challenge to live and study on my own at Dundee. The results of my experience were quite exciting!

 

I started my study program at DJCAD (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design) on September 2013 under the ‘Science without Borders Programme’ scheme. As a Product Design Student I got involved with projects and subjects exploring multidisciplinary fields of study and solving numerous problems by the use of appropriate research techniques.

 

My interest into new methodologies and innovative materials to work with led me to attend a specific module, ‘Textiles Futures’ aiming to give students opportunities to understand and have contact with the field of technical textiles.

 

The project briefing, in partnership with Scott & Fyfe, tasked us to consider how some of the their existing textiles could be re-appropriated, developing innovative contexts of use and researching new areas of application in terms of market viability.

 

Focusing on the ‘wearable industry’ and providing the user with good ergonomics and comfort during hours of use, the product concept was to provide a low-cost utility shoe formed with a two-piece die cut pattern dispensing conventional construction models such as sewing, being easily foldable and constructed around the user’s foot.

 

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Due to my efforts I was offered the opportunity of a two month paid Research and Development Internship at Scott & Fyfe. As a part of the Composites Pod my duties included gaining market insights into the Composite industry with a view to analyze distributors and potential customers not recognized in Latin regions. Another element of my work was to gather insights into Composite product ranges and support new product developments.

 

The best part of everything? I’ve learnt a lot, both at DJCAD and Scott & Fyfe. Studying and working abroad provides you with the ability to leave your comfort zone and it unequivocally influences your worldview. On a personal level, independence and self-confidence is what you take. Besides that, the interaction and contact with people all over the world can provide you long-standing friendships and a diversified network of contacts.

 

On a professional and academic level, the whole experience taught me cross-cultural and interpersonal communication skills while working in a multicultural team, making me able to easily adapt to new settings, backgrounds and challenges that may appear. Scott & Fyfe gave me an awesome opportunity to develop these abilities while working with a competent and challenging team. Thank you guys for everything! 

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Written by Katrina MacKay

On the 30th of September we welcomed over 30 people into our Innovation Space as a part of the Co-operative Development Scotland series of Successful Succession events. This coincided with our 150th Birthday Celebrations and Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning and we think the event was a great success!

 

The purpose of the Employee Ownership event was to promote and encourage current business owners down the route of employee ownership by explaining the journey we took, and the model we are using. Richard Tough, our former family owner, spoke poignantly about the decision that was taken by the family to become employee owned in order to ensure that the company stayed in Tayport, Scotland and would not be sold to a global conglomerate. 

 

Nick Kuenssberg, Chairman then discussed how the transaction took place and how this decision was communicated to the employees. John Palmer, Employee Elected Director closed with a detailed account of how this change has affected the company and its new owners and how we are currently on a mission to achieve employee engagement as we are only 18 months in.

 

After a tour of the factory and the talks we held a Q&A session with the questions being streamed live via twitter (#SFEO) for all to see. There were a lot of really interesting and thought provoking questions asked by our visitors and I think our panel answered them all well!

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For our 150th birthday celebrations we had a Scottish themed hot buffet for our employees and guests and a fantastic cake to cut. The cake was cut by our current longest serving member of staff, Dennis Auld who has been with the company for a whopping 42 years now.

 

Our Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning was also held on this day to raise more funds for this important and worthy charity, to date we have raised over £140. As always there was a fantastic turn out for the cake and candy stall and all of our visitors dug deep and had plenty to eat, who could refuse?

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Written by Michaela Millar

On the 30th September we are thrilled to be hosting the 4th Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) Successful Succession event. The event is aimed towards business owners and advisors who are considering the move to Employee Ownership as a succession option just like we had almost 2 years ago now! If you would like to come along, please get in touch to register.

 

We will kick off at 10am with a brief welcome, followed by a tour of our facility and then various talks. Richard Tough, former owner, will begin by discussing the company’s history and the reasons for choosing the employee ownership model.  The transaction  will be discussed by our Chairman, Nick Kuenssberg. Lastly, our Elected Employee Director, John Palmer will give the employee perspective on the transition.  The audience will then be given the opportunity to put questions to our panel comprising of the speakers and representatives from the workforce.

 

As it’s our 150th birthday, there will be a special Scottish themed lunch complete with birthday cake along with our Big Macmillan Coffee Morning. At this point employees will join in and talk to the guests. It is expected that the event will close around 1pm.

 

 

 In preparation for the event, CDS have kindly presented us with their thoughts on Employee Ownership and it is well worth a read!

 

“Research demonstrates that employee owned companies tend to be more productive and profitable than similar companies with more conventional ownership structures, and have happier employees and customers.  From an economic development perspective, businesses owned by their employees are more likely to remain in their local area, providing jobs and opportunities for local people who will spend their cash in their communities. 

 

This is a particularly sensitive time for Scotland’s economy as we are very much a nation of SME’s and family businesses. The recession put the brakes on business sales and as the economy improves, more business owners are looking to sell. The worry is that if these businesses sell to a company based abroad, then Scotland loses not only the company but all of the jobs and future opportunities.

 

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is the arm of Scottish Enterprise tasked with promoting employee ownership as a business model.  This year, CDS is running a campaign called Successful Succession which targets these business owners and seeks to show them that there is an alternative to a trade sale; sell to the employees.   We are absolutely delighted that Scott & Fyfe is participating in this campaign. 

 

Employee ownership has helped Scott & Fyfe transfer from a family business providing an exit route for the former owners.  The event gives Scott & Fyfe the opportunity to showcase how the move helped stabilize the company’s activities and ensure the business remained rooted in Tayport.  It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Scott & Fyfe but the future is now looking brighter.”

 

If you would like any more information about the event then please get in touch with us! For more on employee ownership in general have a look at the CDS website: www.cdscotland.co.uk

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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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