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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

demand for us to come up with a flexible package of support, providing specific expertise when it is required within that period." With an experienced team of 15 full- time employees, made up of designers, Alias modellers and CGI visualisers, Drive is in a strong position to provide this flexible package. Where quality, experience, and value are of utmost importance, Drive is able to support its clients throughout the design process, completing projects in its own studio or supporting their in- house teams. It is not only the manufacturers that have had to adapt to the changing industry, but the consultancies too. As Longmore is constantly reviewing the business plan, and monitoring where Drive should be in the future, " It's important not to let the current market conditions sidetrack the vision you have for taking your business forward," he advises. " But you have to continually adapt to provide value for your clients in these challenging times. For Longmore, Drive's key asset is its staff and he feels that part of his role as MD is to ensure that they have a good working environment, are equipped with the right tools, and personally are able to excel at what they do. He believes in training staff to provide the best possible services to clients, and now is no exception. For example, all the designers go on to take a middle management course. The course not only develops them as better designers and modellers,