WIT RIKON Kel-Tech partnership

Josephine Holohan, RIKON at WIT

RIKON is a hybrid centre of innovation in Business Technology Management situated on campus at Waterford Institute of Technology.  In operation since 1988, Kel-Tech’s customers include some of the largest original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the UK and Ireland such as Caterpillar, Toyota, Cummins Power Gen, and Cargotec.

Kel-Tech are currently in the midst of designing and manufacturing their first ever Kel-Tech own brand product; Fully Integrated Cabins for the Material Handling Industry. By leveraging their strong reputation in the industry as a valued supplier to major OEMs for 15 years, they feel this will bring a sustainable future to Kel-Tech and create badly needed jobs in Waterford.

Kel-Tech required the expertise of RIKON’s business model innovation experts in order to restructure internal strategy and corporate model to meet the needs and requirements of newly identified customers. Moreover, the key challenge was to begin to imbed a culture of innovative strategy & change among the team at Kel-Tech.

RIKON were chosen to re-design Kel-Tech Engineering as an innovation led organisation. This had significant consequences and change to Kel-Tech’s products and processes.   As a result of this re-design initiative, Keltech are currently undergoing an evolution from a metal fabrication and engineering company to full-scale contract manufacturers.  Kel-Tech Engineering, as a result of RIKON’s work have been able to position themselves away from metal fabrication to contract manufacturing in a more structured manner.

RIKON’s work centred around the development of an innovation led organisation through the building of their innovation capabilities. The project also involved designing and conducting an innovation audit, identifying strengths and weaknesses in capabilities, designing an innovation programme and implementing change. Research on external stakeholders’ also allowed for a greater degree of understanding to enable the process of change.

Declan Walsh, General Manager, Kel-Tech Engineering Ltd said “RIKON are a very innovative company to work with. They are intelligent, smart and insightful. Pat and his team have a talent for always keeping the strategic objective in mind whilst ensuring the practical and operational matters are dealt with. They are energetic and by having enquiring minds they challenged, motivated and encouraged Keltech to see potential in a new strategy and vision for the company. We now have a clear purpose and identity that is driving the company on”