10 Mins with Team Consulting

Team Consulting are an award-winning medical device design & development company based in Cambridgeshire. They’ve been CW members since February this year so last week, we caught up with Tom Brooks to find out a bit more about the type of work they do.

1. You work with Pharma & MedTech companies – how do you help them?

We help our clients take their ideas from early concepts to full commercial launch of newly developed medical devices, and everything in between. As a consultancy with a diverse set of skills in product design, human factors (ergonomics) and many different engineering disciplines, we’re known as the experts in medical device design and development.

One of our fastest growing teams is our electronics and software engineering team, headed up by Peter Matthewson. Our team is building in number and in experience, delivering exciting work for our clients who are developing IoT and connected healthcare devices.

2. What’s the team like? And how did you find yourselves working at Team Consulting?

Our staff are a smart bunch, we’ve got hundreds of degrees and patents in the building. The team is built up of people with a wide range of skills: from project managers to mechanical designers, software designers to technicians, risk analysers, etc. We asked this question to Michael Penman, one of our Electronics & Software Engineering Consultants, and he commented that “it also has a good mix of experience and youthful optimism!”

Hearing from one of our newer employees, Charlie Dean, a Graduate Design Engineer, he added that “Team is full of experts. As one of the least experienced here, I have the most to learn from everyone around me – all with unique abilities that complement each other’s. Despite developing these skills over several years, all of them still possess a keen willingness to learn and adapt which I expected would be lost over time – I was nicely surprised!”

3. What might a typical day be like for you?

A typical day at Team completely depends on the projects being worked on, so we asked one of our project managers and managing consultants, Dr Stella Wooder, she commented that her day “may consist of a mix of technical work (down to the “raw optics” level), thinking about user requirements, accounting and making sure things happen.” For an engineer, they may be designing new or refining existing test rigs for product development testing. They’ll be doing this to assess the performance of the product we are developing to help determine what parameters need adjusting to ensure the product performs to specification. The devil is definitely in the detail!

Engineers at Team Consulting at work

Engineers at work

For all of our technical staff, we tend to find that a typical day usually has a good mixture of desk based analytical, planning or technical documentation work, and then lab-based testing and investigations into the particular devices they’re working on. And don’t forget a few meetings thrown in for good measure too.

Team Consulting brainstorming on a whiteboard

TC’s approach to medical device design

4. How long might a project last or is it more of an on-going relationship you have with your clients?

It depends on the project, but we do like to stay in regular contact with our clients. We really pride ourselves on the relationships we have with our clients, and even though some projects might only taking a matter of days to complete, whereas others take years, it doesn’t matter either way – regular and clear communication is key for any project.

5. We have serious office envy of your digs! We take it that you do everything in-house?

Team Consulting offices

Yes, we do all our product development and design in-house (or should that be “in-barn”). Our labs and workshops are here on-site, and the work that we do here helps to develop medical devices which are highly tuned to user needs and manufacturing robustness. All this happens while going through rigorous safety and regulatory processes and documentation.

6. What role do you play within the IoT sector and can you offer any insight into this growing trend? Or mhealth technology?

At industry events and global conferences in our medical device world, over the past few years, we have seen a growing interest in connected and smart devices. Attending these events has really helped us build our capabilities to meet anticipated demand. In doing so, we are continually developing our own voice and opinion in the benefits of connected devices for patients.

7. The tech industry is huge – do you manage to network in Cambridge or London at all?

We do indeed. Despite the fact that most of our clients are in the USA and continental Europe, it’s definitely beneficial for us to keep abreast with the Cambridge and London pharma and tech networks. Quite a few of our staff keep up with their alumni networks, and others network in the local area as well as London. It’s rewarding being on the doorstep of intelligent, likeminded people who have similar passions in helping to improve healthcare.

8. Being in Cambridge, are most of your clients Cambridge based or do you have a global reach?

Over the past thirty years, we’ve worked with companies all over the world. We’ve got a few close relationships with local companies, but quite often our clients come from outside of Cambridge and outside of the UK. We think having a global client base helps us to develop a broader picture of what’s going on in the industry and the trends developing.

9. Do you have any links with pharma/biotech/medtech startups?

Yes, we love working with start-ups. It’s rewarding to help new companies develop and realise their ideas. Our work with pioneering MedTech start-ups over the past few years has resulted in acquisitions of hundreds of millions of dollars and stock market launches on the back of the devices that we’ve developed for our clients.

10. Have you attended any CW events?

Not yet, but we’re booked to attend a couple of them! Two of our electronics and software engineers will be attending events in the coming months, and hopefully we’ll be able to attend many more in future. It’s a busy community and we can’t wait to get involved.

Written by Tom BrooksSenior Marketing Executive at Team Consulting


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