A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Driveworks's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Driveworks is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Glen Smith, CEO
DriveWorks, based in Warrington, Cheshire, is a software
company that allows manufacturers to build their own
3D configurators which can be used on desktops, mobiles
and tablets. With sales spanning Europe, North America and the
Asia-Pacific region, the company is a shining example of good
practice in the global 21st century. Despite the ever-evolving
landscape of the technology sector, DriveWorks continues
DriveWorks brings together engineering and sales teams to allow manufacturing
companies to offer customisable and configurable 3D products as part of their
digital strategy. This is often referred to as “configure, price and quote” (CPQ). A
DriveWorks configurator uses rules in the background to automate SOLIDWORKS
3D CAD (computer aided design) – this means it generates all the sales and 3D
manufacturing data quickly and accurately. This ultimately helps companies to be
more competitive and win more orders.
Customisation and personalisation drive sales
In our personal lives, we have become accustomed to configuring and customising
the products we want. Check out any car website and you’ll find an online
configurator. We can customise all manner of products, including – among other
things – trainers, computers and watches. It makes sense that manufacturing
companies in the business-to-business marketplace should be able to do this too.
It is this deficit in the market that constitutes a sweet spot for DriveWorks.
Manufacturers who sell configurable and/or custom products can easily embed
»CEO: Glen Smith
»Vice president: Maria Sarkar
»Established in 2001
»Based in Warrington, Cheshire
»Services: Design automation
and sales configurator
software for manufacturing
»No. of employees: 41
»Global sales throughout North
America, Europe and Asia Pacific
»20 per cent year on year
growth for the last 5 years
»A Microsoft Gold
Development Partner
Certified Gold Partner
»DriveWorksXpress is included in
every license of SOLIDWORKS
Highlighting best practice
repetitive tasks,
our engineers
are freed up to
focus on the
aspects of our
Shawn Casebolt,
engineering lead
at PL Custom Body
their design and manufacturing know-
how, rules and logic into DriveWorks.
The software enables them to create
an easy-to-use configurator that
anyone can use, which offers several
benefits and opportunities, as these
users could be in-house engineers,
sales teams, dealers, distributors or
even customers anywhere in the world.
The fact that DriveWorks automates
SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and has its own
web-friendly, 3D technology means
that companies can incorporate great
3D graphics in to their DriveWorks
configurator. Building on the adage
“a picture paints a thousand words”,
think how much more a 3D interactive
model can do!
Automation = productivity +
It’s not just about the visuals. While the
3D and visual front-end make selections
and choices easier, DriveWorks’ greatest
unique selling point comes from
its ability to connect directly to the
manufacturing process, which allows
it to generate all the downstream
data. Once the specifications have
been entered into the configurator,
the benefits of automation really start
DriveWorks also creates all the
manufacturing drawings, data and
tasks so that the products can be
manufactured. These activities, which,
in the past, might have taken days
or hours to accomplish, are now
automated to save time, reduce costs
and boost productivity.
Before using DriveWorks we
would create 20 quotes in a
month; now we can do 20 in
a day. The process in the past
was labour intensive as prices
needed to be calculated each
time and drawings had to be
prepared manually.”
– David Martin,
managing director
at Elite Balustrades.
DriveWorks’ software enables
companies to embrace the digital
world in several ways: automating
internal and external company
processes; enabling anyone to
configure custom products in 3D and
on any device; responding quickly to
customer enquiries and winning more
business and meeting business goals
by reducing costs, errors, rework and
saving time. Recognising this, over
1000 companies around the world are
already using DriveWorks.
A question remains, however:
How do companies achieve this
with DriveWorks? Essentially, their
underlying technology consists of:
»Best-in-class SOLIDWORKS automation
»Rules Engine (maths, logic, data)
»Form Designer (auto publish to the
»Work Flow (who, what and when)
»Configurable 3D in a browser
»Strong integration with 3rd party
systems (e.g. ERP and CRM)
»Reports and auditing
Passion and professional
One of the things that has helped to
accelerate DriveWorks’ growth is their
passion and professional background.
Vice president,
When an engineer and marketing
specialist – both of whom are
technology enthusiasts – get together,
the result is a highly effective software
product that delivers what the market
needs. Their passion and enthusiasm is
infectious, and the company is built on
a strong “can-do” culture.
We’re a team of enthusiastic
developers, creatives, marketers,
tech geeks and engineers who
all share a passion for design
automation. Innovation is at the
heart of everything we do. Our
shared values help us to create
a fantastic company culture.”
– Glen Smith,
CEO and co-founder
of DriveWorks Ltd.
Internally, as part of DriveWorks’
performance and growth strategy, they
take a proactive approach to their people
and team development. Attesting to this
is the fact that they achieved a bronze
‘Investors in People’ accreditation in
2014 and a silver accreditation in 2017.
They also have a placement program,
graduate training, as well as professional
and personal development programs.
Externally, they’re investing time
to help enhance the skill set of
future engineers. For instance, their
DriveWorksXpress Training and
Certification program incorporates
online training and a certificate.
Future challenges and
Their success has been achieved by
focusing on industry sectors and
market segments where improved
productivity and innovation can be
delivered through design automation
and a digital approach to sales. They’ve
expanded their individual products
by listening to customers, building
fantastic relationships with their
channel and creating offerings to suit
the changing needs of the market.
DriveWorksXpress has been included
in each license of SOLIDWORKS since
2007. With five million SOLIDWORKS
users around the world, the scale
and scope of the market opportunity
for DriveWorks from a design
automation perspective is significant.
DriveWorks can also be used without
CAD for automating many other
Technology is evolving quickly. This
presents both new challenges and
exciting opportunities for DriveWorks.
Innovative technologies are
revolutionising the way companies do
business and paving the way for digital
transformation. They are excited about
the future and committed to ensuring
that DriveWorks software continues
to enable companies to competitively
differentiate their business and
DriveWorks’ dedication to improving
the customer experience and pre-
empting changing market needs is
key to their success. As such, they will
continue to adapt, work hard and keep
creating innovative software solutions.
We even use our
own software to
process holiday
requests, track
orders, automate
our home
heating controls
and much more!
The list is endless.
Maria Sarkar,
vicepresident and
co-founder of
DriveWorks Ltd.
Technology stack

This article was sponsored by Driveworks. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy