Why use the PCN?
More and more successful companies are today shedding their peripheral activities
enabling them to concentrate on their core expertise, and when they need up to date
specialised knowledge, they call in the acknowledged experts - professional consultants.
And when the expertise required involves plastics they call in the best available -
from the Plastics Consultancy Network.
Consultants form a vital part of any management team, a valuable resource that can be
used whenever required and without the significant overhead cost of full-time staff, they
are a variable and controllable cost, used only when required, and need never become an
There are few businesses today that are not exposed to global influences. The Plastics
Consultancy Network has members throughout the world and individual members can tap into
pools of knowledge to provide both global and local solutions to major or local issues.
Our focus on the plastics sectors involves us in sharing the knowledge and information
generated from many years of experience in all areas of the polymer businesses. Our
commitment is to helping clients find effective solutions, actively, quickly, creatively
and at minimal cost.
PCN members work as individuals or in project teams, the Network exists to enable your
project, however large or small to be accurately directed at the most appropriate
What is the PCN?
The PCN is a professional network of the
best independent plastics consultants in the world:
PCN member is an independent, highly qualified and experienced
plastics consultant. Membership is controlled and is restricted to
professional consultants - it is not available to people who are
simply ‘between jobs’.
PCN member has a proven track record in plastics consultancy and
years of experience in industry. They can bring this experience to
your company at a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house
Selecting a PCN member consultant guarantees
a professional response to a professional’s need.
The one stop shop for all you need to know about plastics - from the
Driven by your needs
Every market is under price pressure and
it is not surprising that many companies are recognising the need to reduce
overheads and fixed costs. They are seeking to replace fixed costs with
variable resources which are used and paid for only when required.
Professional companies use professional
contract resources for a range of services ranging from legal to security
services to reduce overheads and fixed costs. Controlling and reducing these
allows companies to get in front of the trend and leave the competition
behind. Reduce your costs now before they reduce you!
Plastics consultancy is no different.
Expert knowledge is available on a
contract basis from members of the PCN to reduce and control costs. There are
no overheads or fixed costs when you use PCN consultants.
PCN Members provide an ideal answer to
your needs for expert assistance. They provide:
The highest quality variable cost services and resources.
Services that are designed specifically for the plastics
industry and at a fraction of what it would cost to provide the same
resources within the company.
The PCN is the future for plastics companies
in today's marketplace.
You pay for results as you need them
Project management and teams
Running a major development project using
many the different skills that are not available in-house can be difficult and
dangerous. Using a PCN member as a Project Manager can provide the high level
skills you need at minimum cost.
Select a PCN member with the right skills as
a project manager and let him put together a professional project team with
all the skills to meet your needs. Project costs can be fixed at the start of
the project and at the end of the project the team can be dissolved with no
Projects will be delivered on time, on
budget and with no overhead costs.
Contacting the PCN
Tapping into this level of skill has got
to be difficult, hasn’t it? No, it isn’t.
To contact any member of the PCN simply:
the area you need help in.
a possible consultant from the list.
that the selected consultant has the required range of skills.
the consultant direct from the Web Site!
are unsure of the exact needs then use the ‘Query’
link to send a query to the PCN.
If you want to discuss your possible needs
then contact the PCN Chairman (Dr Peter Cox) by email on:
The role of the consultant in the plastics industry.
During the buoyant 1980's there were many people in the plastics industry who were
offering their services as consultants. Their success, if at all, may have been due to the
fact that expanding companies were having difficulty in finding staff to cope with the
rapid expansion experienced by most plastics related organisations in the UK.
Unfortunately, some of the consultants who worked during this period were neither
experienced, nor well equipped to carry out many of the commissions that they had
accepted. As a result, consultants as a group were often regarded as being an expensive
luxury, and sometimes of doubtful benefit. Furthermore, clients often disregarded the
consultant's advice, since in a boom time it was still possible to remain in business in
spite of the company's apparent inefficiency.
In 1988 the UK Plastics Consultancy Network (PCN) was formed to provide clients with a
network of bona fide, qualified and professional plastics consultants. The PCN is a method
for potential clients to choose an appropriate and experienced individual consultant or to
quickly gather together a team of experienced people to undertake tasks that were too
large or time-consuming for the individual consultant. The typical PCN consultant has many
years of theoretical as well as practical experience, which is instantly available to
The PCN celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2008, and has been affiliated to the
British Plastics Federation for the past 16 years. The PCN also has links with the Plastics
and Rubber Advisory Service (PRAS), where it offers extensive consultancy expertise
services to inquirers. It also has overseas members in the USA and Europe and is
expanding the network throughout the world.
The changing workplace
The world-wide and UK recession that started in the late 1980's is now a thing of the
past but the confidence of the 1980's is unlikely to ever return. The commercial and
industrial landscape has changed forever. Most companies who traded successfully through
the recession found that they were acutely short of experienced and senior staff as they
began to expand into the 1990's. Their uncertainty meant that they were reluctant to take
on additional full-time senior employees until they were totally convinced that the
economic climate had strongly improved. In the late 1990's the trend is towards low
numbers of "core" staff and increasing numbers of contracted and results
It is interesting to note that consultants and experienced freelance staff are already
being used extensively in other industries. It has become far easier for consultants to
work at a distance from their client's office with the rise of personal communications,
the Internet. The trend towards "home-working" as an acceptable alternative to
office based means that even large companies have effectively "contracted out"
many of their core services.
This is one of the main reasons why the independent qualified plastics consultants
find many companies contacting them. They can expect more demand for their services,
because technology in the plastics industry is developing very quickly, and this is
another sound reason for considering a part.
The skill areas
The current members of the PCN can work in all of the following disciplines.
Materials and design - additives & property modification, analysis, materials
selection, product design, product engineering, tool design and sourcing.
Processing - All the plastics processing methods, such as injection, blow moulding,
extrusion, thermoforming, rotational moulding, welding etc are covered.
Secondary Operations - finishing and decorating, testing, welding and fastening.
Commercial - environmental and recycling, expert witness and legal, export &
import, legislative and regulatory, marketing and market research, mergers and
acquisitions, strategic planning and forecasting, technology transfer and licensing.
Markets - All major markets sectors.
Other skills - Authoring, benchmarking, degradation, literature and patent search,
project management, training, translation, trouble shooting, web site design and
The cost savings
Technical and development appointments, as well as most middle management positions
within the plastics industry cost from £35,000 per annum upwards, and that is before
other payments such as company cars, NI charges, pensions, and of course day-to-day
expenses. A PCN consultant is a only paid when required, on a "day by day" fee
basis, or alternatively on an overall job fee basis, which is agreed before the project
commences. Therefore the client is aware at the beginning how much it will cost and
overheads are reduced.
Consultant's charges are often much lower than generally
believed, and quotations are available for consideration before each project
commences. Consultants are particularly useful to small and medium sized
companies, who do not regularly employ technical staff.
A fresh mind applied to a problem often accelerates the
Qualified consultants are here to stay. This is mainly due to the fact that methods of
trading have changed dramatically and these changes will oblige manufacturers to alter
their methods of operation.
At the PCN, we see the role of the PCN consultant expanding with clients and
consultants effectively working together for their mutual benefit.