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Case Study: Oxford Instruments PLC – on global Value Chains
Oxford Instruments PLC was established in 1959 as a spin-out from Oxford University and specializes in the design, manufacture and support of high technology tools and systems for industry, research, education, space, energy, healthcare, and environment protection. Oxford Instruments have been quick to exploit the opportunities global value chains offer in terms of access to new and emerging markets. China is now the fastest growing market for the company and has seen an average annual sales growth of 50%. In fact, Oxford Instrument products can now be found in every Chinese province. Starting with a representative office in Beijing in 1997 the company now has offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shanghai. Oxford Instruments believes another important product it exports to China is co-operation and has set up unit-laboratories with many universities, institutes and factories. In this way the company is playing an important role in the growth of China, and in strengthening the relationship between the peoples of China and the UK. Charles Holroyd, Executive Director of Oxford Instruments comments “We believe firmly that our future growth will come in partnership with the rapid development of emerging economies and markets, and we will be vigorous in changing the ways in which we work to ensure that we can satisfy fully their requirements ”. Production is mainly carried out in the UK, with some in EC partner countries and the USA. Oxford Instruments have also set up a WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) in Shanghai that assembles some product for local and export markets. In addition, this facility serves as a base for customer support activities and as a source for local procurement to supply the company’s UK factories. Regarding other emerging markets, Charles Holroyd adds ”The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets have very high visibility and are important targets for Oxford Instruments plc. In addition to China where we are approaching 100 personnel (out of a total Group headcount of some 1600), we have recruited our own people in India and Russia and intend to increase our presence and grow strongly in those markets.” In 2008, Oxford Instruments won the KMPG 2008 Business Award for UK Exporter of the Year for demonstrating the utmost energy, novelty, patience and persistence, in the field of exports from the UK to China during the year.
For nearly 19 years. Over the years. These include the development of new technologies for the reduction of carbon emissions in everything from cars to domestic heating systems. Its business model is based upon partnering with customers thereby creating strong linkages between the respective value chains. Best of Britain’ emphasizing the international cooperative nature of the project. Prodrive will often embed its own value chain in their customer ’s value system by offering a turnkey solution that can include intangible activities such as design. with the product’s proposition ‘Best of Italy. this partnership has grown to include road car projects where Prodrive has worked with Subaru to develop a number of limited edition performance cars to enhance the brand. Prodrive has worked closely with the Japanese car manufacturer to develop and run the Subaru World Rally Team. said: “We were able to bring our skills in chassis. engine and suspension development to bear on this classic Italian sports car. the company has evolved since its creation in 1984 into a business that has differentiated its offering through developing a specialisation in the development of advanced technology for road vehicles. Prodrive has continued to focus on its core competencies and has essentially broadened its offering to exploit global opportunities through linkages to its customers ’ value chains. transferring its skills into sectors including aerospace. marine and defence. all the way through to prototype builds and testing.Case Study – Prodrive Ltd on global chain values and Technology Exploitation Prodrive is one of the world’s largest motorsport and vehicle technology businesses with annual revenues exceeding £100m. Prodrive also has its own manufacturing facilities and supplies components for everything from Formula One cars to space satellites and high performance winches for racing yachts. A recent example of this is the Alfa Romeo Brera S launched in May 2008. Despite this diversification into new markets. One of the best examples of this is the relationship with Subaru. Today Prodrive has broadened its areas of business still further. ” . While its roots are in motorsport. managing director of Prodrive’s automotive technology business. Alfa saw so much value in the work we were carrying out for them that the marketing of the car was based around our involvement. Prodrive operates on a global scale and offers mainstream automotive manufacturers an opportunity to differentiate their own products through limited editions that employ Prodrive technology. Tony Butcher.