6.4.2021 | Logistics

Become change reactive with TALE

Grants and support available to help businesses become more productive and better able to react to change.

Ahead of the 30th of April grant application deadline, we spoke to Lisa Brazier, programme director to learn more about the TALE (Transport and Logistical Efficiencies) programme, and how it’s helping businesses in the logistics sector and beyond.

What’s the background to the TALE project?

“Logistics is a key sector for the Haven Gateway Partnership and supporting economic growth and SMEs has always been an important part of what we’ve done. Our previous ERDF project, Low Carbon Freight Dividend, looked at reducing carbon emissions by switching container movements from road to rail or coastal shipping.

After that project, we wanted to continue to support the sector. So, we looked at the sector research with Essex University, which has data as a specialism. The University’s Institute for Analytics and Data Science recognised an opportunity to help the logistics sector, and businesses from other sectors that have a significant logistics provision, to become more efficient and more competitive.

So, TALE is about helping businesses unlock their data and then understanding it. Once you can collect it effectively, you can start to look at it and see what it tells you.”

How does TALE help businesses?

“Businesses have a lot of data, but they don’t necessarily use it. So, therefore can’t identify how they could become more productive and efficient. What we’re aiming to do, through grants and support, is to help them try and do things slightly differently to improve and grow their business.

One of the things we’ve been able to do with the grants is to help businesses put new software in place, so they can switch from paper or Excel-based systems to something that is designed specifically to do the job in hand – rather than just making things ‘work’. Businesses find these solutions save quite a lot of staff time usually taken up with manual processes and repetitive behaviour. They also reduce the number of mistakes being made through human error when inputting. Staff can then use the data created by the system to focus on business development rather than spending a lot of time doing admin. It’s all about making the best of their workforce.

In addition to the grants for new software, the support we’ve offered, including our Microsoft 365 online workshops, has really made people think about all the hidden gems in their existing software. There are lots of different elements in the software that can make you more effective as a team.

During the pandemic, we’ve been able to shift our focus slightly and provide grants that support businesses to become more resilient, more flexible and to enable their staff to work more easily from home.

What’s next for the TALE programme?

“Our grant application deadline is coming up on the 30th of April, but our online coaching programme will be running through to the summer.

Beyond that, I think the legacy of the project is that we’ve enabled businesses to continue to be more productive and do things differently, and set them up to react better to change.”

Visit tale.org.uk to apply for support today.

TALE is funded by ERDF.