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Student helps business save £50k a year

PUBLISHED: 09:59 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:29 14 July 2010

A UEA student has helped a Wymondham business save an estimated £50,000 per year thanks to a newly designed piece of software.

The project was made possible through the Shell Step scheme, which helps find solutions to difficult business problems.

A UEA student has helped a Wymondham business save an estimated £50,000 per year thanks to a newly designed piece of software.

The project was made possible through the Shell Step scheme, which helps find solutions to difficult business problems.

Through the scheme, Bryan Turner Kitchen Furniture, a business specialising in designing and manufacturing kitchen furniture, worked with student Ruben Galvao to overcome a problem that they thought was insurmountable.

Mr Galvao, a computing science student at UEA, was given the brief to create a computer program that would link Autocad with Microsoft Excel so that as a drawing was being created, a spreadsheet was automatically being populated with the drawing's sizes.

The programme that Mr Galvao created allowed two windows to be open on screen so that users could see the 'cutting lists' being created in Excel as the design was taking shape in Autocad. By automating the process and eliminating any data inputting, measurement mistakes were eradicated and the company solved one of its biggest problems.

Mr Turner said: “We can see enormous potential savings to our business. We estimate that the savings could be about £50,000 per year. Ruben and Shell Step have provided us with a solution to a problem that we thought could not be solved.”

Shell Step projects are aimed to be of mutual benefit to the organisation and the student.

Mr Galvao said: “I found the project very interesting.

“It has given me a lot of experience in a working environment and I have actually improved my skills.”

In recent years, Shell Step projects have delivered benefits to a wide range of regional companies.

This year's programme launched last month and UEA managers have been successful in winning the contract to run the Shell Step programme in Norfolk.

The programme places second-year and penultimate-year undergraduate students with small and medium-sized businesses.

Placements run for eight weeks during the summer break and can be in any industry sector.

In the past, companies have used the programme to investigate new services, research and develop new products, launch ecommerce websites, build software, streamline processes and deliver benefits throughout their organisations.

To discuss a placement in Norfolk, contact Julie Schofield on 0800 633 5645 or e-mail business@uea.ac.uk Visit www.step.org.uk for more details about the programme.

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