Leadership programme provides vital skills and confidence to local business leader

The progression of DRM Technic Ltd has been nothing short of impressive. Over the course of five years, the environmental monitoring specialist has grown from a single employee to a team of eight turning over £1.6m. However, despite leading this success, Managing Director Martin McGraw felt that he needed to enhance his skills further to support DRM’s exciting future expectations.

“At DRM, we support national legislators with their environmental reporting, and carry out a range of work including system integration, distribution and manufacturing. In recent years we have also become a leading supplier within the large combustion applications industry,” Martin explained.

“As our growth has been quite rapid, I felt that I was struggling to keep up with meeting the leadership and organisational development needs for the larger organisation. When I heard about the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL) programme* taking place at Keele University, I knew that it would answer both my immediate and future needs.”

Over the past six months, Martin, alongside fellow business leaders and entrepreneurs from across Staffordshire, attended 12 sessions, each focusing on different aspect of leading and growing successful businesses.

“Having completed the programme, I am personally now much more confidence and have a fuller understanding of running and developing a larger organisation. I have, and will continue to, implement systems and strategies that I have taken directly from the MCIL programme.

“From a commercial point of view, MCIL also gave me the confidence to look and tender for much larger projects, of which we have already secured two.”

Whilst participating on the programme, DRM Technic has moved into new premises which are four-times the size of their previous accommodation. They have also focused on developing their sales department, created a new product, and invested heavily in new workshop and stores facilities.

Summarising his time on the MCIL programme, Martin said: “Although many of the strategies and development plans I had for DRM Technic may have eventually happened, the input of Keele University meant that I was much more comfortable and able to continue upsizing and growing the business.

“The MCIL programme, coupled with its action learning sets, has given me the tools, confidence and contacts I need to promote creative ideas, collaboration and growth within my company and to understand that we can keep the same core culture regardless of our size.”

Newcastle-under-Lyme-based DRM is also currently participating in Keele’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator** to help develop new low carbon and sustainability-related technologies, and they have also previously benefitted from a Keele intern who is still with the company after three years.

The MCIL programme is fully-funded and has no cost attached to the business other than time to attend the sessions. The programme is part of a range of specialist support and funding opportunities available to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent businesses by Keele University. Interested companies can find out more by contacting the University’s Business Gateway on 01782 733001 or by emailing business.gateway@keele.ac.uk.

ERDF and UK Government logos *The Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (ref: 32R15P00229) is part-funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds England Growth Programme 2014-2020.

**The SEND project (ref: 32R16P00706) is part-funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds England Growth Programme 2014-2020, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).