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Evaluation of PDPI and SCPI Programmes


The evaluation aimed to assess the overall success of the Supply Chain and Product Development Process Improvement Projects (SCPI and PDPI projects) in meeting their objectives. Secondary aims were to assess the projects' impacts on the individual companies assisted, both in hard economic and 'softer' terms. The SCPI project was set up to improve the supply chain management capability of electronics companies. The PDPI project was set up to improve the product development management capability of small and medium-sized companies in the electronics sector.


The study comprised: desk research into the background of both SCPI and PDPI designs; consultations with SE account managers and three of the consultants delivering the programme; and a survey of seven firms.


It was found that promotion of both projects was an issue both within and outwith the Network. The findings for the PDPI project were: strategic influence was negligible; consultants' outputs were short-term and generic; relatively little knowledge transfer led to 'breakthrough' thinking; and the project may have underperformed because of the relatively low starting point of participating firms, the engagement in projects of technologists rather than senior business managers and the lack of a common benchmark for firms and consultants. The findings for the SCPI project were: both firms and consultants recognised it as a premium business development product and take-up has reflected this; it is considered to have scope for application in other sectors; and there is some overlap with the service offered by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service.


It was recommended that Scottish Enterprise discontinue support for the PDPI project. It was recommended that Scottish Enterprise broaden SCPI's sectoral application and identify how the programme could be included within the current range of Network products. More effort should be put into promoting the SCPI programme within the Network. The name 'supply chain' should be reconsidered, as it has strong manufacturing connotations. The programme's niche position is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.

Author O’Herlihy and Co Ltd
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Innovation
    Business innovation