Imprint Group: Software graduate helps firm generate £2m of new business

When Imprint Group wanted to develop their largely manual business process into IT driven systems, the company turned to the University of Sunderland for expert help

Kris Carr with Graeme Wilkie of Imprint Group
Kris Carr with Graeme Wilkie of Imprint Group

A software graduate has helped a Newcastle print company generate £2m of new business through the introduction of new software technology.

When Imprint Group wanted to develop their largely manual business process into IT driven systems, the company turned to the University of Sunderland for expert help, resulting in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), a programme designed to provide businesses with access to university expertise

The KTP enabled computer software graduate Kris Carr to spend two years supporting the company’s ambitions in IT solutions.

Now Imprint, a supplier of digitally-printed promotional material for retail marketing campaigns, employs Carr as a full-time software engineer, after his efforts and those of fellow graduate Tommy Catherall helped the company grow year-on-year by 30% and produce revenue gains of up to �2m through increased efficiency and new client wins.

This has, in turn, led to an increase in staff from 40 to 70.

Carr, 24, from Fulwell, Sunderland, got involved in the KTP in the final year of his BSc Computing degree after a lecturer asked him if he would be interested in applying to become a project associate.

He said: “During the project, I gained a great two years’ experience in the field I wished to focus on, with great challenges and opportunities.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my time at Imprint, the working environment and atmosphere of the business in IT is lively and challenging and with various projects under way or planned for the future, means there’s always more to look forward to.

“I will be working on maintaining the systems created during the project as well as building and improving upon them to improve integration across the organisation.”

Imprint was suffering from bottlenecks and some inefficiencies in their processes, and the KTP was designed to give the company access to the latest knowledge and expertise from the university’s department of computing, engineering and technology, around the development of management information systems.

Carr also helped with complex processing technologies, as well as ways to get employees to engage with new technologies.

Graeme Wilkie, Imprint Group IT director, said: “Since Kris joined us in 2011, he’s been fantastic, bringing with him new technologies which have helped transform the way we work.

“The KTP has helped satisfy the needs of our company in the long term and simultaneously given a graduate a new career path.”

Mark Donnelly, business development manager for the University of Sunderland, said: “KTPs are the gold standard in terms of the University working with businesses to help them access the latest research and thinking, embed new capabilities and to grow.

“We’re successful at securing KTPs and we run them in the right way.”

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