Carol and Kevin Shanahan founded Synectics Solutions together over 25 years ago and now employ over 350 people at the Staffordshire-based business, with an annual turnover in excess of £18m.
The couple have worked closely with Staffordshire University since the company’s inception. Accessing high-calibre IT students was a primary factor behind their decision to base Synectics in the area. They have been providing graduate job opportunities since the mid-90s and, in the past five years alone, have taken 28 students on various placements. Two of the company’s senior leadership team are also graduates of Staffordshire University.
Kevin himself graduated from Staffordshire University in 1972 with a degree in Computer Science, before spending a further year as president of the Students’ Union. He then spent many years in IT sales, covering mainframes, distributed computing and finance, working for British Leyland and Teradata, among others.
Carol left school without any qualifications but, through sheer determination, found a job as a mainframe computer operator for Hoskyns Systems at the age of 17. She eventually moved to CMC, installing and supporting data preparation and distributed data processing systems. Carol worked on CMC’s British Leyland account, where she met Kevin.
In 1992, the couple decided to launch Synectics based on the principle of putting people first. To this day, Carol and Kevin continue to reinvest the majority of the company’s profits back into the business and staff, proving their conviction of looking after their employees and customers makes for success.
The company’s main area of expertise is building complex data management and software solutions, which help to prevent fraud and various forms of financial crime for both the UK government and a multitude of national and international financial services brands. They also provide a range of other data management services to a number of well-known automotive manufacturers across Europe.
Synectics recently won the ‘Business of the Year’ award from Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce as well as ‘Business of the Year’ and ‘International Trade’ awards at the 2017 Sentinel Business Awards.
The joint award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Carol and Kevin in recognition of their long-standing success, their impactful work on the National Fraud Initiative and as supporters and employers of Staffordshire University graduates.