By Paul Janson How to provide flexible support for challenging economic times T he automotive design industry is currently in a period of change as the established methods are being put under the spotlight and their effectiveness questioned. The processes used, and the way they are staffed are changing as rapidly as the financial situation and the technologies available. The ' one glove fits all' approach is no longer suitable, as OEMs realise that they need to be different, not only through their designs, but how they create them. This situation requires adaptable resources.
Drive design consultancy has gained an excellent reputation in the automotive industry since 1997, for supporting major manufacturers as well as niche vehicle constructors in a number of areas, on a wide range of projects. Drive is able to offer a flexible resource, with the right skill set being used at the right time, whether it be for concept development or visuals for top level presentations. " Businesses have always outsourced to allow them to access additional expertise or resources, and also to reduce the fixed employee costs and their additional hidden costs - nearly two thirds of their wage - such as software and hardware upgrades," says Chris Longmore, managing director and founder of Drive. " But recently there has been a change from hiring a contractor for a three-month period, to an increase in