InterTradeIreland - Design Services Sector

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  • 1.A Study of the Design Services Sector on the Island of Ireland

2. AcknowledgementsInterTradeIreland would like to thank the Centre for Design Innovation at the Institute of Technology, Sligo, the members of the Steering Panel, and the design service providers and companies who participated in the research for their assistance with the development of this report.STEERING PANEL MEMBERSHIPInterTradeIreland Enterprise Ireland Institute of Designers in Ireland Invest Northern Ireland DISCLAIMER InterTradeIreland is confident that the information and opinions contained in this document have been compiled or arrived at by the authors from sources believed to be reliable and in good faith, but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made to their accuracy, completeness or correctness. All opinions and estimates contained in this document constitute the authors judgement as of the date of this document and are subject to change without notice. This publication is intended to provide general information to its readers concerning the subject matter of the publication. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive statement of the subject matter of the publication and does not necessarily reflect the views of InterTradeIreland. While care has been taken in the production of the publication, no responsibility is accepted by InterTradeIreland for any omissions herein.01 3. ContentsForeword 41. Executive Summary 62. Introduction73. Profile of the Design Sector on the Island 104. Analysis of Design Sector on the Island315. Conclusions and Recommendations3302 4. Table of FiguresFigure 1Survey Respondents by Type 8Figure 2Membership Status of Respondents 9Figure 3Design Services sector Employment & Value Figures 10Figure 4Comparing the Design Services sectors 11Figure 5Design Service Providers by Size13Figure 6Types of Services Provided14Figure 7Degree of Specialisation15Figure 8The Role of Design in the Innovation Process16Figure 9Usage Profile of Services 17Figure 10 Design Services sector Clients19Figure 11 Sectoral Distribution of Clients20Figure 12 Geographic Distribution of Clients20Figure 13 Location of Main Competition21Figure 14 Drivers for lack of Cross-Border Activity 22Figure 15 How the Sector Wins Business23Figure 16 Pitching for Business 24Figure 17 Expected Change in Fee Income 26Figure 18 Designers Perception of how Clients Value Design 27Figure 19 Barriers to Success 29Figure 20 Relevance of Business to Design Curriculum3003 5. ForewordCountries that wish to increase their competitive advantage have turned to design as a mechanism to add value to the goods and services that their indigenous companies produce. Recognising that those companies that use design are more successful than those that do not, they invest significant time and effort in promoting and supporting companies to overcome the barriers to its effective use. Their goal is to increase the demand for design.Increasing demand is only one side of the equation however; it is just as important that there should be a broad and deep supply of designers who can provide services to business to help them add value to their products and services. Without them, an economy can be starved of a key input that helps to differentiate the goods and services it produces.A range of interrelated issues governs the supply of designers who provide services to business. The role of education is critical, as is the aspiration of the individual and ultimately the market for their services. But there are also a number of other more subtle influences such as the role of the industry support bodies, the nature of continuous professional development and the business empathy of designers themselves.This report examines the strengths and weaknesses of the sector and makes recommendations about how to build on those strengths in order to stimulate one small but important part of the economy that can create added-value to the economy as a whole. Given the similar barriers faced by the sector in Northern Ireland and Ireland, it makes sense to adopt a cooperative approach to optimise the potential of the sector.Aidan GoughDIRECTOR, STRATEGY & POLICYInterTradeIreland04 6. 1 Executive SummaryInternational evidence supports the observation that there is a close correlation between the use of design and the success of individual businesses as well as the competitiveness of entire countries.Of equal concern is that the sector is not Essentially, this report shows that the use of contributing to the economy at the level where it design by businesses across the island is an could add most value. The majority of business is under utilized source of competitive advantage. confined to activity at the tail-end of the product or service development process such as styling This does not mean that the Design Services or graphic design. This is not a problem in itself; sector is not successful. On the contrary, within it is an area where the island can consider itself the sectors own definition of success, things a world leader although low-cost competitors are looking good. Optimism is high, growth are starting to enter the market. The problem is prospects look good and the sector is populated that there is limited business activity supporting by highly skilled, experienced practitioners. The early stage product development, co-creation or problem comes when one considers the needs open innovation; these are areas where overseas of the wider economy and the ability of the competition is limited and where the sector Design Services sector to fulfil those needs. can add greatest value to its clients particularly within the service industry. This can best be The starting point is that the sector is quite addressed through education, not only of small. Not only has it not grown much in the clients to demand higher value services, but also last 10 years, it is also proportionately about through continuous professional development one third the size of the sector in Great Britain within the sector itself. based either on proportion of total workforce or proportion of Gross Value Added (GVA). This Amongst the constraints to the sector, the reflects primarily on demand for design services existence of the border appears to limit the but is also influenced by the desire for growth opportunities that could be generated by fluent amongst individual businesses and the nature of exchange of business between Northern Ireland what is a relatively isolated, closed community and Ireland. Not only does this limit growth, it of practitioners and clients. Strategies that can also reduces the scope for generating innovative encourage growth are important if the sector is services that might arise in a more competitive to scale up effectively. environment. This is best addressed through transparent access to information about business opportunities both North and South. 05 7. 1 Executive SummaryThe report contains four recommendations addressing the issues of promoting the value of design and the growth and skills requirements of the Design Services sector. These include:1. Develop an all-island campaign which promotes the importance of design andthe intrinsic value it adds to business.2. Assist the Design Services sector to expand into new markets and activitiesacross the island and further afield. 3. Support business training amongst design practitioners at both undergraduatelevel and through continuous professional development. 4. Develop an all-island business programme to facilitate knowledge transferbetween the Design Services sector and the end-users of design. 06 8. 2 IntroductionThis study is interested in the role of design in so far as it adds value to other businesses.THE REMIT OF THIS RESEARCH REPRESENTATIVENESS OF THE SURVEY This report contains the results from a studyThis study is interested in the role of design of the Design Services sector on the island of in so far as it adds value to other businesses; Ireland. Field research was undertaken in Aprilthus its focus is on organisations and 2008. The objective of this study was to provide individuals who provide Design Services* to an evaluation of the Design Services sector in other businesses (or as a unit within their own Northern Ireland and Ireland with conclusionsorganisation). The study deliberately omits those and recommendations on strategies and actionsareas of design that do not provide services to that would address any perceived gaps in current business, not because they are not valuable in provision that limit the capacity of the sector to themselves, but because its goal is to identify play a full part in the economy. how best design can add greater value to theentire economy. To achieve these goals this study assesses the size and make-up of the sector and interpretsTo achieve this, the research first concentrated qualitative data to determine the strengths, on the memberships of the key professional weaknesses, opportunities and threats that organisations that service and support the currently prevail within the sector itself.Design sector: the Institute of Designers inIreland (IDI), the Graphic Design BusinessAssociation (GDBA), the Institute of CreativeAdvertising and Design (ICAD) and the InteriorsAssociation (IA). Membership of theseorganisations includes sole traders and designconsultancies as well as in-house designers. There are of course consultancies and soletraders that can be validly classified as DesignServices sector participants but who are notmembers of the professional organisations.Therefore, to ensure representativeness acrossthe entire sector, businesses of this typewere also included. However, their lack ofinvolvement in professional organisations reflectsin many cases a lack of identification with thesector. In order to reflect this, the percentageof such businesses included in the study isproportionately lower than for the membershipsof the professional bodies.