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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister