North West Companies Briefed About Invest NI Support for Business Growth

Oct 18, 2004

Prof. Fabian Monds, Invest NI chairman, outlined a new and innovative approach for business growth with Leslie Morrison, Invest NI’s chief executive, and Tracy Meharg, managing director of Innovation and Capability at the briefing in the City Hotel, Derry.

Prof Monds said Invest NI’s has developed an integrated business approach that delivers a more effective and customer-focused service to client companies. He said the new Business Solutions will enable them to engage with Invest NI across the agency’s portfolio of programmes, “as their individual business needs evolve.”

Within the business solutions, the new portfolio of programmes has been grouped in five core themes:- Invest in Capability; Invest in Trade; Invest in Growth; Invest in Knowledge; and Invest in Research, Design and Technology.

Said Prof Monds: “We believe that this simple architecture has allowed us to build an easy to understand grouping of programmes which will enable us to improve our customer responsiveness. The approach complements our recently launched North West Action in its focus on assisting companies to help drive faster growth. New investors in Derry, such as HML- announced earlier this week – will also be able to benefit for this greater flexibility in support services.

“In overhauling our support programmes, we have listened to our customers and have proposed a more integrated approach to company development.

“To achieve this, we’ve focused on our customers and their relationship with Invest NI; on improving the way that services are delivered; and on the factors that drive individual businesses and the economy as a whole.

“First, we’ve simplified our product range by moving to a smaller number of broader, more flexible programmes that better address the real needs of customers.

“Second, we’ve designed the new portfolio to enable our business support efforts to create a greater impact both at a company level and at the macro economic level.

“Third, we’ve shifted the focus of the new programme away from delivering products to delivering solutions, tailored to client needs,” he added.

Detailing the new business solutions, Tracy Meharg said: “We recognise that the set of issues facing any given company is usually unique to that particular business. Nevertheless, we want to work on a partnership basis to develop a solution that is right for individual companies.

“It is important that companies receive the appropriate support focused on current and projected business needs. Client companies will be able to access this tailored support through their Invest NI client executive or client team.

“The new range of Business Solutions is not simply a slimmed down, better organised version of what we’ve been offering up to now.

“The portfolio also contains some significant initiatives. These include the Strategic Excellence and Innovation Service programme to support of our commitment to innovation; a new unified marketing support package to assist clients expanding into export markets that will offer significant financial assistance over three years; and a broadband support scheme to promote greater use of digital technology.”

The business solutions were described by Leslie Morrison as “an important milestone in the development of Invest NI and our contribution to the local economy.”

“The new programmes embody the principles of partnership and holistic company support that underpin Invest NI’s strategy. They also reflect the customer focus that we’re adopting throughout our organisation.

“I’m very confident this important initiative will help us at Invest NI do our job better and that ultimately, it will make an important contribution to how you go about yours,” he added.

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