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  • Subject area(s): Engineering
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  • Published on: 7th September 2019
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ABSTRACT

This report presents a reader with an investigation into an Engineering company called MICROSAIC SYSTEMS PLC. This research investigates the objectives and strategies of the company. Microsaic systems is public limited company (PLC) that specialises in developing and production of chip-based mass spectrometry instruments for analysis of matter. This research proposes and examines a conceptual framework for analysis and decision making concerning effectiveness of microsaic system’s organisation structure. It discusses important determinants of effectiveness including sales, marketing and production performance.

INTRODUCTION

It was established by a team from an academic institute of Imperial College London in 2001. Microsaic specialises in the production of miniaturised mass spectrometry into a desktop instrument by integrating the key microsaic system components onto patented chip technologies called ionchip, spraychip and vac-chip. These components are as shown in figures in Appendix C. Mass spectrometry is a highly rated analytical technique used across many industry sectors, including industrial chemicals, diagnostics and healthcare, energy, government, utilities, environmental, food and drink, security and defence, and pharmaceutical. The company’s combined market is estimated to grow to $2.5 billion by 2017. The company aims to introduce compact and deployable MS products based on its core technology into a series of these target markets. [1]

Mission Statement

Microsaic Systems plc is a high technology company developing and marketing next generation mass spectrometry (MS) instruments for the analysis of gaseous, liquid and solid samples.

COMPANY’S OBJECTIVES

During the investigation the group discovered that Microsaic systems PLC just like any other profit driven company fulfilled the objectives as listed below;

Management: The company has a recognisable management and organisational structure. It was also found out that company has good employee relations, promotion and career development. Through this the company’s objectives and strategies are accomplished using available resources efficiently and effectively.

Market standings: It is an objective for the company to establish itself in the global markets. This has been done through market shares, customer satisfaction, and product range.

Public responsibility: The company also complies with social and ethical laws which is a requirement from government regulations.

Innovation: The company is investing in the production of new products and better processes. It also invests in the development of new software so that its products are used on a range of platforms.

Profitability: The company’s annual reports prove that it is focused improving its level of profit and rates of return on investment. This is based on the amount of money the company invests in the commercialisation of its miniaturised products.

Productivity: It is also the company’s objective to optimise its use of resources and focus on its value proposition. The company has signed long term contracts with mining companies to ensure continuous raw material supplies.

Financial resources: The annual reports also prove that the company invests in assets and these are crucial when the company is in need of raising capital since they can be used against to acquire secured loans from financial institutions like banks.

COMPANY’S STRATEGIES

Portability: Robust and smallest footprint in the market.

Flexibility: Stackable, that is, one box solution and the chips can be changed as the user needs change.

Affordability: Cheap

User friendly: easily deployable.

Compatibility: The Company is developing and updating software for its products

MICROSAIC SYSTEMS STRUCTURAL ORGANISATION

GOVERNANCE

Microsaic systems is just like any other structured business organisation. They have a hierarchal structure (as shown above) through which discipline, respect and the company’s value proposition are delivered

Microsaic systems motivates its employees by rewarding them in various ways. Its employees enjoy competitive salaries, annual performance bonuses and pension contributions. Team members also benefit from share options. [2]

SALES AND MARKETING

The company signed a supply agreement with GE Healthcare this year, for the sale of its 4000 MiD unit in combination with GE Healthcare’s instruments. GE Healthcare is one of the front players in the global market for scientific instrumentation. The agreement is centred on the development and commercialisation of an innovative new analytical instrument for use in research and healthcare applications. The two companies are working towards the commercial launch of the integrated product, expected in 2016. [4]  

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

This involves research and development of the products and software development. For example, in September 2015 the company released a statement on its main website saying that “its product range is now compatible with Clarity Chromatography Software, the advanced Chromatography Data Station developed by Data Apex”. [3] This is one way of how the company is upgrading its products without the requirement of them being altered and this also provides the customers with the ability to deploy their purchases on different software platforms.

The Clarity software interface includes control modules for data acquisition, processing and operation for more than 500 liquid and gas chromatography platforms. With the addition of a control module for Microsaic’s 4000 MiD miniaturised mass detector and MiDas compact interface module, Clarity provides a single-point control solution that enables users to increase workflow efficiency by incorporating simple to use mass detection.

The software provides a variety of tools supporting the Good Importer Practice (GlP) regulations and complies with the requirements of the 21 CFR part 11 directives of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [3] This is another confirmation that the company complies with law and it is also an assurance to its customers that they are purchasing legitimate products built for purpose.

The company has also proved that they are focused on product development being part of the agreement signed this year with GE healthcare as mentioned under the “sales and marketing” section above.

MARKET RESEARCH

Microsaic systems boasts a large customer target niche in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and healthcare, government security and defence, energy, utilities, environmental, and food and drink

Since keeping an eye on the market is one of the company’s strategies, its market research department which comprises of Numis securities Limited works with the London Stock Exchange’s AIM to ensure that the company’s annual reports, forecasts and news are delivered on time and comply with government regulations and law. Numis Securities Limited is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting as nominated adviser, financial adviser and broker to the company in relation to the placing and admission of share prices.

FINANCIALS

The finance department is responsible for the company’s funds allocation and its book keeping requirements. The book keeping entries are as shown in tables 1 to 8.

The most recent annual report released by Microsaic systems on 31/12/2014 indicates that the company has an annual turnover of just over £1.2 million Great British Pounds. This as shown by the blue line on Graph 1 of key financials and the profit and loss account (Table 2) of the company in appendices A and B respectively. The profit and loss account also shows that the turnover values increase year by year between 2010 and 2014. This attracts potential investors and stakeholders and also assures those who already have shares that they have invested their funds in the right business without any doubt.

Table 4 indicates that the company would hardly experience funding crisis since they have more than one financial reserve and this has also increased on a yearly basis.

In 2014, the company entered into a conditional placing agreement with Numis Securities Limited as the company’s agent to which it was agreed to use a reasonable promotional offer to attract potential shareholders for the placing of shares at the placing price. The placing price represents a discount of approximately 6.7 per cent to the closing market price of 45 pence on 6 October 2014. This is one of the revenue streams of the company.

The major aim of placing conditional shares was to use the net proceeds as an additional working capital and capital resources to execute its revenue growth plans as mentioned below;

(a) It was aimed at generating volume sales of its miniaturised mass spectrometry system by establishing the company as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partner to market leaders in scientific instruments in a number of parallel application areas and developing its own sales channels to customers. This aim was accomplished as mentioned under the “sales and marketing’’ section.

(b) The net proceeds were also aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of its products and technologies, negotiating complex customer contracts and further outsourcing of manufacturing, and also to provide a strong financial position from which to support commercial negotiations.  

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