Tidyco talks to Bob Wood of Mediatide

Derby-based Tidyco, a supplier of hydraulic and pneumatic products to the UK rail industry for over 40 years, talks to Bob Wood of Mediatide about his journey with Tidyco so far...

Hi Bob, can you give a brief overview of your career to date?

I studied fine art at Birmingham College before moving to Stafford College to study Graphic Design and Typography gaining certification from the Society of Industrial Artists as an LSIA.

After a spell at a major Ad agency in Holborn, London as a designer and typographer, I decided to go freelance and have been so pretty much ever since. When Desktop Publishing came along I was an early Apple Mac adopter. Then when the Internet arrived I found clients who I was working for in the traditional design area wanted to push ahead with websites.

There were few Companies in the web development arena to go to so I decided to skill-up!

All the joys of http. css, javascript, sql query language, database design that came with it followed.

All this led my first online store project for Tidyco with a steep associated learning curve!


What were your first dealings with Tidyco?

I have been working with Tidyco, initially along with my freelance co-worker and College friend Dave Kirk in one way or another since the 1980’s. First off creating the first Corporate Identity, which is still recognisable in the latest incarnation. Along with the promotional print and advertising material that the Company used at the time, (before websites!).


When did you first begin online development for the business?

As I mentioned, Tidyco were a very early adopter of the Internet as a customer presence and the first site I worked on goes back to the late 1990’s


Can you explain recent developments with the online store?

I have worked with Tidyco to ensure that the web presence keeps up with the latest technology. Recent developments have been to convert the store and portals into “responsive” design so that they work well across all screen sizes and smart phones etc. Along with this have come advances in security with SSL web certification. The Tdyco store has numerous products and the development of a store that would expose these products to customers as clearly as possible for rapid product finding and easy online purchase was quite a challenge.

You have recently been instrumental in helping the organisation achieve Cyber Essentials, how important is it to address cyber defence?

I was asked to look at how we could implement this by Barry Aldridge, the Marketing Manager for Tidyco a short while back.
Between us we identified a number of weaknesses and took some quite tough decisions to get a viable plan in place including dumping the entire Corporate CMS Website to install a better equipped and more resilient version on a brand new and much more sophisticated web server.

Incredibly the system was in place just before the wave of recent cyber attacks started making the decisions taken at the outset so much more justified.


How has Tidyco grown as a business over the years?

From my perspective, I have seen Tidyco grow from a relatively simple “hire station” originally known as “Tidy Hire” into the sophisticated multi-product multi-service company it is today with cutting-edge engagement particularly in the Rail sector.

I am sure that Tidyco will continue to grow and continue to invest in best-of-breed solutions.