Crowe’s Mindshop Excellence Programme at Coinadrink gives Walsall Academy students a taste for real world business solutions

National audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe has completed the latest of its Mindshop Excellence Programmes, mentoring 12 Walsall Academy students as they tackled a real life business problem.

The week-long event was hosted by Walsall-based vending machine business Coinadrink with managing director Tom Williams setting the students their task.

Mindshop is an internationally recognised network of strategic advisors who coach businesses in profit improvement and innovation through team development and strategic planning.

The event at Coinadrink was led by Jack Edmonds, a Senior Manager in Crowe’s Business Solutions Group who is an accredited Mindshop Facilitator, with support from the Midlands Managing Partner Johnathan Dudley who has over 25 years’ experience as a Mindshop Expert advisor.

Jack Edmonds explained: “Like many SMEs, Coinadrink has an experienced yet aging workforce. This provides great value but also poses a risk as time goes by.

“In a nutshell, the business problem the students were set to tackle was ‘How can the company attract, retain and develop exceptional talent into the business?’”

“As well as interviewing current staff at all levels of the business, they were able to make use of Facilitation tools that were part of their Mindshop training during the week. They worked as a group, but split into project teams for specific tasks.”

After collating their findings and preparing their report, they then presented to MD Tom Williams and members of the Coinadrink management team.

Tom Williams said: “I was first introduced to the Mindshop Excellence programme by Crowe about three months ago, and it presented a really good opportunity to give a local school the opportunity to put some of their pupils in front of us to get some first hand experience within a business.

“For Coinadrink, it gave us the chance to put a business challenge that we are experiencing forward for those pupils to have free rein over all of our staff to come up with some solutions and recommendations as to how we can overcome this challenge.

“So the project they were tasked with addressed the issue that Coinadrink, a very long standing business established in 1962, has a  very experienced management team, which is great, but our biggest challenge is, how do we foster the next generation of exceptional talent within our team, and produce the next batch of managers to drive the business forward for the next 60 years?”

He said he and his team had been really impressed with the depth of thinking evidenced in the presentation and the findings of the 12 students had given them plenty of food for thought.

Student Lois Vita said she had found whole experience great fun and chance to show her skills.

“I feel that we were all valued to be part of the project and everyone played their part in an inclusive way.

“The part I most enjoyed was working out how we were going to apply all the research and make it profitable and presentable to Tom and his team. The project has shown me how to be a better accountant because before I first came to Coinadrink for the week all I had seen was the surface of the subject, but this has given me a deeper understanding of what accountancy is all about.”

Johnathan Dudley said: “This week has been a rewarding experience for everyone who took part – the students, the team at Coinadrink and Jack and me as Mindshop facilitators.

“Working on real life problems that SMEs face on a daily basis, gives students a taste of the bigger picture and how accountants such as Crowe apply their skills to help their clients.” 



Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

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