'Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.'

Charles Eames

'To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.'
Milton Glaser

Applied Commercial & Quality Principles in Engineering

Learning aim A

Examine business functions and trade considerations that help engineering organisations thrive

Activity 1: Review the video below and make notes as you go, identify the following:

Task 1: The functions of the business and its workers

Task 2: Any trade considerations, e.g. timeings, dependencies, transport & material costs.

Task 3: Identify how the company gains & maintains competitive advantage

Activity 2: Spend 5 minutes discussing your findings with your collegues

Activity 3: Using the directions on the card below use the next 15 minutes to copy out your notes on the video from activity 1. Do this quietly focusing on improving the whole document.

Structure of an organization                                                                                              

Definition "Utility, Division of work into activities, Linkage between different functions, Hierarchy Authority structure, Authority relationships, Coordination with the environment"

Task 4: Using the button below select four of the engineers, review thier information and biography. You are to write a short essay of 800 - 1200 words entitled 'The importance of the functions, structure and commercial principles in an engineering firm'

You can work in pairs to research / discuss and compare your findings but you must write your own short essay.

Contract and tender process

Learning aim A continued: Contract and tender process


Tendering and contracting is an essential busness function that make up the main source of income for most engineering, design and production businesses.


This set of tasks aims to teach you the reasons why and how businesses and potential clients must follow the tendering process.

Activity 1: Review the business process wheel above, what do you notice about the proportion of time given over to planning and bidding?

Activity 2: Note down the main steps of the tender and contract process

What is a PQQ? What is an invitation to tender? Explain why one tender may be chosen over the others?

Activity 3: Review the Market analysys animation below

In 500 words answer the questions: How do you obtain market information? and Why do we analyse markets before deciding on a project?

Learning aim A continied: Marketing and sales, brand awarenes.


Marketing and sales have a direct relationship to eachother as both contribute to brand identity and brand awareness.


This set of tasks aims to help you understand the functions and relationships within the sales and marketing branch of a business.

Assesment task: Conduct a case study on Alfalaval, a local manufaturing company.

Your case study will be your main source of evidence for this module so it should be indepth and written to a high standard. Use spell checking and well designed page layouts to access higher marks.

Your case study should cover the following:

  1. Business overview
  2. Contracts and tenders
  3. Marketing and sales
  4. Client base
  5. Corporate image
  6. Company structure
  7. Policys and legal

Use diagrams, images, links and corporate reports as well as, conversations with members of the business and data gathering sources from online public records such as the companies annual reports.

Task 4: Proof read your case study document again looking for areas that require more detail. 5 - 8 minutes

Identify the following instanes of: unclear wording, lack of refrencing, lack of detail and any oppertunities to expand the depth and/or range of information given.

Task 5: Compare your case study with a peer by swapping papers and proof reading it. Discuss how you could improve any parts that are unclear to you on reading it or in which you require more information.

Task 6: Develop your case study by adding refrences, providing more detail on areas identified in the assignment brief and checking for spelling and grammar.

Applied Commercial & Quality Principles in Engineering

Learning Aim B

B: Explore activity-based costing as a method to control costs and to determine if an engineering product or service is profitable.

Task 2: Review the video above and then amend your previous notes to clarify any points you may have been unsure of.

Task 3: Using the ABC activity sheet above complete the a costing for the design and production of the Y12 woodburner project as if it were to be costed out as a commercial product.

Make sure that you cost out, each material, each human activity, the time each process takes, the tooling, any brought in components, also plan to cost out packaging and delivery of a batch of 30 woodburners.

Task 4: Using the data from activity 3, complete another spreadsheet with improved costings, write a short explanation to acompany the new costing sheet that details where you have managed to make savings. Explain the reasons for controlling costs.

Topic 3: Value management systems and ISO9000 / ISO14000 standards 

9001 Powerpoint Presentation
Microsoft Power Point presentation [908.9 KB]

ISO 9000 is a series of quality management system standards that have been created to help organisations ensure that they meet the needs of their stakeholders, such as customers, shareholders, personnel, etc., while at the same time complying with statutory and regulatory requirements.

The ISO 9000 series consists of the following standards:

  • ISO 9000:2015 - defines the specifics of quality management systems, which form the basis of the ISO 9000 family, while also stipulating the terms used in these standards.
  • ISO 9001:2015 - this is the requirement standard which provides directions on how to achieve quality requirements, meet the relevant regulatory requirements, improve satisfaction for all stakeholders and have a method of identifying and implementing improvements.
  • ISO 9004:2009 - offers guidance for sustained success according to the eight quality management principles. It lays out the principles that senior management should use to improve performance while taking into account the requirements of all stakeholders.
  • ISO 19011:2011 - sets out guidance on internal audits, which are used to confirm and improve the effectiveness of a quality management system, and external audits, which are generally audits of suppliers but can also be done by any interested third parties.
Quality Management Principles
PDF from ISO Organisation
Quality Management Principels.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [490.7 KB]
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© Julian Kupper