SW2000 Telework Studies

Established 1988


Telework and Business Project Planning


14 Brookside OXFORD OX3 7PJ

Tel +44 (0) 1865 760994  Fax +44 (0) 1865 769384


Director – Noel Hodson

Email:  noel@noelhodson.com

WEB SITE:  http://www.noelhodson.com



Noel Hodson - Project management background:


1) TMP Accounting Software – 1969/70 - Specified and compiled and co-authored in COBOL the UK’s first single-entry accounting software for professional use. Remotely managed the build-up of users and sold the rights to the TMP business manager. An innovative 18 month project. The business TMP Accounting flourished for fifteen years.


2) McVeigh Hodson – Blackstone Franks 1970/80 – Commenced a firm of auditors and accountants starting with one client. Recruited and managed 1,500 clients and 45 staff and partners. Raised the necessary finance (at today’s values, about £5M). Acted as Production Manager for 10 years. Sold in-house to partners Messrs Blackstone and Franks. A ten year project. At today’s values the firm’s fees would be about £6M.


3) Mallalieu Engineering – 1978/80 – Adopted a failing 5 man workshop with debts after the owner died. Built it up to 50 craftsmen and 4 office staff. Improved immeasurably the quality of specialist vehicles built there which included Bentley Specials; Hand finished MGB’s, Vintage car rebuilds; 2 new prototype cars and “Microdot” which, based on a Mini chassis, was the world’s first petrol/electric hybrid; designed by William Towns, famous for Aston Martin designs. Required dealing with a mass of red-tape including crash testing, vehicle registrations, product liability insurances and exports. Stopped legal threats from Rolls Royce Cars and won them over as supporters. Raised all the finance, including the first-ever venture capital investment from POSSFUND, the venture-arm of the Post-Office pension fund, managed by Mr Ralph Quartano. Displayed cars in Bloomingdales shop windows, in Hollywood Boulevard; in New York; on Japanese TV and in a new “market” structure attached to the Louvre in Paris. 3-4 years project; in today’s values the finance peak was about £15M.


4) Hodson and Associates – Morton Hodson and Co – the first ever UK Business Expansion Specialists – 1980-87. I conceived the idea to operate this business consultancy as a “teleworked” network. Built the firm from one office at my home by franchising. Required licences and authorisations from the British Franchise Association and from the DTI’s forerunner to the Financial Services Authority – a massive red-tape exercise. Designed the adverts to win clients and the adverts to win franchisees; and drafted all the legal agreements. Designed appropriate home-offices for professionals. Designed training and support mechanisms. For the first 5 years I briefed all the associates on all client cases – about 100 per annum per associate; and I personally wrote 500 new business plans and found funding for all of them in respect of my own client portfolio. Conceived, designed and published a quarterly magazine “Inventors to Investors” that published about 50 cases at a time to high-net-worth individuals. Built the firm to 38 UK offices and left in 1987. It still operates as Morton Hodson & Co with 52 offices – just about UK saturation. I raised all the required finance up to break-even; about £4M at today’s values and weathered two major legal attempts to break-up the company.


Within Morton Hodson & Co I personally raised money for and assisted in the management of dozens of new enterprises ranging from TelSat – the forerunner of Sky TV etc. to new hotels, to professional firms, to computer manufacturers, to heavy engineering. My smallest case was a solo-operator, baby garments maker. 


5) Docklands redevelopment – Jacob’s Island Company and associated projects – 1979-83 – I assisted 20 year old Andrew Wadsworth over his first 2 years to start-up his  London docklands regeneration company, advising on all commercial matters and writing the business forecasts and cash-flow projections. Jacobs Island grew to be a significant docklands developer with contracts in progress of more than £100 million by 1985.  I introduced the first two high-net-worth investors, introduced the finance director and wrote the forecasts for New Concordia Wharf that Lloyds Bank relied on to finance that 90 apartment conversion; at today’s values a project worth about £70M. The company still has its pavilion offices moored on the Thames near Tower Bridge and is a significant inner-city regeneration developer.


6)  The Southbank Technopark – 1980. I was hired by Prof John Beishon the director of the Polytechnic of the Southbank, London, now the University of the Southbank, to help to get the 30,000 sq ft (3,000 sq metres) techno-park built and tenanted. This was very much a team effort, energetically led by Mr Jeffe Jeffers who became the first manager of the building. We raised the £6M costs/value from Prudential Properties and venture funds for new tenants from Nat-West bank. The project involved sensitive negotiations and agreements with trade unions operating at the Poly, and between the Techno-park and the academic department heads so as to give business tenants access to jealously guarded Polytechnic equipment. We ensured it was accepted as a member of the respected UK Science Parks Association. I worked on the project for about 18 months.


7) The Oxford Research Science Park 1980-92 – An object lesson in plagiarism.

I led this exciting, major proposal for twelve years. There were numbers of obstacles to overcome that included: persuading the Hebdomadal Council at the University to accept university linked science parks in Oxford; winning the support of the local and county planners; designing architects’ plans and responding to tenders called by the British Rail Property Board (BRPB), the site being 20 acres at Oxford rail station; and not least, raising £80 million for our 300,000 sq. ft. (30,000 sq metres) plan. I built a high quality project team including Wolfson College as partners and Sir Martin Wood as a director, and we responded to BRPB’s tenders on 3 occasions some years apart. Each time our bids won the open tenders – but surprisingly the tenders were then withdrawn and BRPB refused to sell (to us).  The end of this twelve year long and large project was that Jonathan Aitken, a government Minister, won the ear of BRPB (now RailTrack), acquired the site for/with his friend, the arms dealer Mr Wafic Said, with the help of two of Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet Advisers, who are now (or were recently) both directors of Mr Said’s enterprise, The Said Business School, and are (or were) senior officers in Oxford University. Even more surprisingly the site has been developed almost exactly as we tendered, with the same masses and positions of buildings, homes, roads, walkways and offices – so somebody liked it, though they murdered the fine design for the main building. Sadly, it is not an incubator for new science based businesses as we had intended. 


8) Experts Unlimited 1997- to date – in 1996 I raised 500,000ecu from the European Commission to test the novel concepts of Experts Unlimited in Scotland, Ireland and Spain. This was a 2-3 year project that had as its main objective to persuade European telephone companies to allow businesses to charge £90 an hour by telephone. In Ireland we equipped business mentors with, then scarce, mobile phones and ran a Dublin<->West Coast business advice service.  In Spain we tested a service for marketing advice and practice with the help of Madrid University- and in Scotland we set up Tax-Line, charging the public £1.50 a minute for advice. BT found it successful and introduced £1.50 a minute for pre-vetted professional lines. The nearest developed example, though free of charge, is now the NHS Health-Line which was inspired and enabled by Experts Unlimited.  I raised another £400,000 commercially and we operated Tax-Line from a test office in High Wycombe from Mar-Jun 2000. It was a success and we attracted the public to call in. When the venture capital world has recovered from the dot.com collapses and scams – we will raise the £5m required to launch Experts Unlimited in the UK, and ultimately overseas. I managed all aspects of these actions including the business planning, reports and finance-raising. (Ask me for a business plan).


9)  DIPLOMAT, The European Charter for Telework. – I co-applied and co-led this EC funded 3.4M ecu 50% funded project that employed 60 professionals and academics across Europe. Led by Professor Dr. Josef Hochgerner in Vienna at the University of Bodenkulture, our main objective was to write, win consensus for and acquire VIP signatures for a Telework Charter. In tandem we created much of the basic drafting now used for union agreements, IPR considerations, fiscal and tax issues, training and all other aspects of introducing the revolutionary concept of telework to mainstream European persons of influence. I worked on this project for about 3 years – 2 years full time. I was also primarily responsible for producing fiscal and tax papers.  At today’s values this was a £5M project. Were we successful? In 1990 there were about 500 UK and 3,000 USA teleworkers – today there are about 10M EU and 20M USA teleworkers. So we got something right.  Together with my book, Teleworking Explained and my paper The Economics of Telework, this promotion of the Information Society often involved me in media appearances – newspapers, TV and radio.    For signatories see – http://www.noelhodson.com\index_files\PAGETWO.htm


10)  I have managed innumerable smaller projects, at one time or another touching on almost all commercial and academic activities, in the public and private sectors, and in all industrial sectors.


Noel Hodson – May 2003.