Tea brand Teatulia retains MTI for strategic consulting in UK expansion

25 September 2018 Consultancy.uk

MTI Consulting has been retained by the specialty Bangladeshi tea brand Teatulia for strategic advice and implementation support as Teatulia eyes ongoing UK expansion.

Teatulia was established as a social initiative in 2000 with the aim bringing the unique-tasting Bangladeshi tea to greater market attention while providing support to impoverished local communities, with the niche tea brand’s range of single-origin organic teas sourced entirely from its own sustainable farming operations in the north of the country – which now provides jobs for over 600 local workers. 

After achieving a stocking deal with Harrods in London in 2011, and following a successful expansion to the United States in 2005, Teatulia has recently celebrated another milestone with the launch of its first bricks and mortar tea bar in the UK – with plans for a further roll-out across the country.  To mark the occasion, it was announced that MTI Consulting would be retained as strategic advisors for the expansion pursuit.Tea brand Teatulia retains MTI for strategic consulting in UK expansion“We are very excited about the launch of Teatulia Tea Bar in London and our future expansion plans across the UK,” Teatulia’s Director Kazi Anis Ahmed said at the launch ceremony, where he was joined by a team from MTI including founder and CEO Hilmy Cader. “We believe this is an opportune time to involve MTI Consulting, with whom we have a successful working relationship spanning over 15 years.”

In the lead-up to the launch, Ahmed expanded on the company’s relationship with the consulting firm; “We have been working with MTI Consulting for the last 15 years and as always, we are very pleased with the outcome of this project. Organic tea is one of the fastest growing food and beverage market segments in the world. In order to capitalise on the increasing opportunities, we have sought MTI’s expertise and advisory.” 

MTI Consulting, which was established in Sri Lanka and Bahrain in 1997 and has since expanded its activities to more than 40 countries – including a permanent office in London – is a boutique management consulting firm with lines in Strategy, Business Operations, Corporate Finance, Talent & Resourcing, Go-to-Market and Tech-Advisory among others, with the firm serving a diverse range of sectors.

Present at the launch of Teatulia’s new tea bar close to London’s iconic Covent Garden district, MTI Consulting’s CEO Hilmy Cader said; “The UK tea market is currently experiencing drastic changes with increasing demand for herbal and organic teas and the rapid decline of traditional teas. MTI will assist Teatulia UK and Tea Bar to identify and capture these opportunities to position them as a premium organic tea brand in the UK.”

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.