Mixed Freight Services

The aviation sector in which cargo screening and delivery company Mixed Freight operates is surprisingly traditional. A combination of legislation, long-term employees and the demands of security screenings gives the company limited time to advance its operations.

“We come from an industry which has employed people from 16 to 17 years of age,” said director Steve O’Keeffe. “We have very few people that come through the university pathway. Modern learning is a side for our company to explore.”

Steve had gone to Brunel University London to see how he could access its academic prowess and what potential there was to enhance the company’s management capacity.

Co-Innovate helped connect the company with Business Masters student Felix Doepke. Felix highlighted operational constraints and future marketing strategies through observation, data analysis and a dissertation representing 600 hours of work.

Felix, now working as a strategic management consultant at Accenture in Norway, had learned a lot about the logistics sector during his major module and was able to apply theoretical knowledge to practice.

“In the job interview [for Accenture] I could tell them spot on examples of why I think consultancy is the right thing for me and which capabilities I have developed to bring to the firm,” he said. “After employment, my boss also told
me that my good internships were an important reason for employing me.”

In the 2015 Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index, 1.2 million British SMEs still remain without basic digital skills. Mixed Freight has continued working with other Brunel students to bring the company to digital maturity. Sean Sweeney was one of them.

“I attended a Co-Innovate digital marketing course, which Sean attended at the same time,” said Steve. “This gave us a fantastic start to the project. We bounced ideas off each other and he got to learn about me very quickly. That’s like any of these projects – it’s what you put in that you get out.”

Sean agrees: “The result of working on all these tasks has greatly improved my commercial awareness, business etiquette, interpersonal skills and my employability,” he said, now working full-time with the company until he finds the ideal next step for his career.

Online marketing is a relatively new concept in Mixed Freight’s sector. With Co-Innovate, the company has taken steps forward with web development, advertising and social media presence.

“The key with Co-Innovate is that it brought a sense of learning back into the company and opened our eyes. If you’ve got students with you, you’re teaching and learning all the time so you don’t make a mistake.“
Steve O’Keeffe, Director, Mixed Freight