Webanywhere – a Yorkshire business succeeding through innovation

A mobile boardroom, created by Bradford University School of Management, has helped 15 business leaders with ideas to innovate in their own organisations.

Professor Christos Kalantaridis, who leads the School’s Innovation Club for businesses, organised a roadshow to visit Systagenix (formerly Johnson and Johnson), Webanywhere – a fast growing education software business and the off-site manufacturing arm of NG Bailey, the leading building services company.

Each business highlighted a particular challenge and the background and asked the directors how they would tackle the issue, using their experiences from non-competing sectors. The challenges included how to prioritise good ideas, quality control and building an innovation pipeline.

Sean Gilligan, MD of Keighley-based Webanywhere, said: “The ideas and experience from the group was amazing. I looked at the people in the group and believe I’d need to pay £10-£20k to get that level of advice and input. Two people have specific expertise that they have offered to me as a follow up. I am so grateful to the management school for organising this.”

Other businesses on the bus included Walker Morris, Foster’s Bakery, Beaumont Robinson, Lhasa and Northern Lights PR as well as ten academics and MBA students.

Christos Kalantaridis, professor of enterprise and innovation, said: “I was really impressed at how open and helpful businesses were to each other. It was really a day of innovation at its best. There were a number of themes identified to look at in the future and I’m now developing a programme of activities for the year ahead. Businesses would like to look at how you identify the problem; measuring and tracking innovation; learning from the supply chain; innovation from customers; and internal systems to encourage employee innovation.”