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A few anecdotes...

Tricky thing, giving anecdotes about our work, as confidentiality is everything in our business, and clients are reluctant to publish what they often feel might be weaknesses, on which their competitors may capitalise.

Product Management

These days it's hard to switch on the TV and not find a show about entrepreneurs, start-ups, and innovative service and product proposals, usually presented to a panel of dragons but increasingly a single VC or angel investor. 

So often, brilliant product offerings are shown, only to fail for any one of many omissions or errors in Product Management.
Yes, we always end up shouting at the telly! Perfect Gogglebox fodder!

Nothing is perfect in business, we all accept that!
But omitting Product Management essentials is costly, damaging to your brand, and when on a prime-time TV show, embarrassing. 
Getting 'most of it right' massively increases the chances of success.


We were employed to help develop the Product Management function at a construction products supplier in the UK.

This involved establishing an overall strategy that complemented the business's existing corporate goals and markets.  Working with all functions, processes were developed that had the buy-in of everyone; careful change management was key to gain acceptance by all. This can be one of the biggest blockers to successfully implementing any new system. We help!


The improved approach to product development dramatically reduced the 'time to market' of new and existing product development times, by over 56% compared to similar previous developments. In turn, this retained customers that were being tempted by competitor proposals, and obviously sped up ROI.  

"We thought we were doing pretty well with our product developments. We knew we could speed up but there seemed to be so many stages where we were bogged down. I mean once it's in engineering, designs kept getting tweaked, and different managers and directors put their oars into the mix, myself included so that the designers were getting pulled in all directions.  Nick straightened this out, helping the team understand the important steps we needed to tighten things up and getting them to agree on a process and firm procedures. I'm proud of our Team and grateful to Nick"

QMSs and IMSs 


ISO9001:2015 Quality Management Systems - Requirements
It's the internationally recognised, non-industry specific, standard for quality management.  Organisations of any size can use it to set up a quality management system with which to improve the quality and customer service of their operations, and having done so, get independently certified.


Certification gives customers and stakeholders reassurance that are more likely to provide a reliable service or product, and that if things do go awry, that you are more likely to put it right satisfactorily.

An Integrated Management System (IMS) brings all of an organisation's systems together into a coordinated single system. This reduces duplication of effort and gives a far more efficient way of operating. So having one system that combines the processes required for ISO9001, ISO14001 and ISO45001 would be an example.

We were able to guide a Northamptonshire-based facilities management firm through establishing its IMS.  They had been well established in the private maintenance sector, where they had excelled. However with growing team they decided to begin targetting lucrative commercial new-build contracts that had hitherto eluded them without certification.

Lantern Davis provided awareness training, support with setting up processes and a framework of procedures, along with coaching their team of managers and directors in how best to run their system day to day. They wanted to achieve certification within six months ideally, so allowing establishing three months' records for the auditting process, this left three months to set up their system. Though tough, they were determined and dedicated their time and resources wholeheartedly, achieving certifications in just under seven months. They have retained us as advisors ongoing.

"LDL was invaluable in getting us over the line to ISO certification. It was a big commitment in time and effort, in fact, we underestimated it despite their warnings. But Nick was very patient and helped us with drafting and refining the procedures and the system overall. We still feel we need to make improvements here and there but LDL are very willing and have given us lots of food for thought in how we do things across the business"

ISO Audits & Certification

Certification to recognised standards should assure stakeholders that the organisation in question meets the standard's requirements. An audit is to some degree a snapshot in time but as historical records are inspected it is usually obvious if an organisation is operating to their systems and procedures or simply paying lip service in order to 'tick the box'.

One of the larger arboricultural and landscaping companies in the UK, covering most of the UK with their head office in London, needed to renew their annual ISO certification, being conscientious in trying to achieve best practices through their Intergrated Management Systems (IMS). We have repeatedly provided independent audits of their quality management systems and then been able to issue them certificates for ISO 9001, ISO14001 and ISO45001.  During this process, we were able to add additional value with constructive criticism and proactive suggestions for continuous improvement. 

The certification, as well as validating the company-wide determination to offer excellence in customer service, environmental management, and health and safety, enabled them to tender for contracts that demand this certification as a preliminary requirement.

"Nick spent a single day each year simultaneously auditing us for our three ISO certificates, reducing duplication and saving my team and me lots of time. We had a few non-conformances that we were able to address swiftly for when Nick returned. We got through second time and have LDL's certificates that we needed for a contract worth half our annual turnover. He gave us some good ideas for things we might implement in the future, including cybersecurity risks and CRM systems".

Risk Management


It has been said that managing risks is the prime objective of any business or organisation, and indeed this is enshrined in UK law and in The UK Code of Corporate Governance (by the FRC) as a duty of company directors to the company shareholders - directors can be individually held responsible for failing to mitigate risks that damage the company.

Despite this, a recent survey concludes that a 'strong majority' of directors are actually poor at this, with public companies faring slightly better.


A leading international automotive products supplier developing a new safety technology for a car companies in Europe and the USA, needed help with setting up and administering a risk assessment of the new product. We ran workshops, polled various stakeholders and employees at the three client UK sites and in the USA, resulting in a risk log 40 pages in length.  This Design Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (DFMEA) was developed to provide design and commercial mitigations which we facilitated throughout.  This uncovered many new areas for investigation for the client, including one which had not been considered previously and when tested revealed a life-threatening failure that would not have surfaced for a year or more in service, had the product launched.  Unfortunately, this technological limitation killed the project, but in plenty of time so that the vehicle manufacturers were warned and able to fall back on old technology in time for launch. Our client received a thank you letter for preventing potential massive vehicle recalls in years to come, from which the following excerpt...

"I really appreciated working together with you and your colleagues. On the other hand I accept fully your opinion "going the safe way" to avoid any potential warranties. Please also give my thanks to Nick Hudleston..."

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