Hills Numberplates Ltd

The Company

Birmingham based Hills Numberplates was incorporated in 1927 and trades as a manufacturer of number plate components, ready-made registration plates and the latest number plate manufacturing systems.

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The Challenge

An innovative company that has invested heavily in its production facilities, Hills Numberplates was looking for further opportunity to develop its processes and attended two demonstration workshops with us in 2013. They had identified the potential of bringing new digital systems into the business to help it build capacity and were also keen to work with our user insights specialists to support the development of a new anti-theft product. The key challenge was to understand the customer experience associated with the purchase and installation process of this particular product.

The Solution

Initially we undertook a two day digital health check at the company to review current systems and make recommendations as to which new platforms could benefit the business. It became apparent that the area in which the company would benefit most would be implementing new processes to help with new product development. We went on to work with Hills on a project specifically related to the new anti-theft numberplate.

WMG’s Kate Ainscough helped the company identify three customer groups that were likely to buy the plate, including hobbyists, theft victims, and security conscious individuals, and then set up user tester sessions with a sample of these customer groups. They tested the installation process of the plate using sticking, gluing, and drilling, and were also given a questionnaire to complete

The Results

The customer experience testing provided Hills Numberplates with a clear insight about the product and its application. There were some practical issues with the installation process that were able to be addressed, and the company were able to fully understand the needs and requirements of the customer groups to take the product forward. They are now much more informed about which markets to launch the product in and have identified further areas of work to be undertaken before they take the product fully to market. The process they followed can now be implemented for future products and has transformed the existing process for the better. The project led to 10 jobs being safeguarded in the company.

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