Four ways to simplify and grow your business

As a business owner, you’re probably thinking about the most effective way to grow and build a profitable company. But it can be hard to focus on growth when you spend all your time working on the smaller details. And if your business is not functioning as effectively and economically as it could be, it can be even harder.

These tips can help you simplify the way you run your business, leaving you time to focus on the areas that will help you to grow it…

  • Put all your data in one place

When you use one software application that integrates all your systems, you get instant company-wide insights into all areas of your business. So you don’t have to search through multiple entries, across a number of spreadsheets and databases, to find what you’re looking for. Instead, you have all the facts at your disposal instantly, so you can make smarter decisions. And you can make them quicker.

  • Save time and money through automation

Manual entry of data across a number of systems can be very time consuming. And it takes staff away from performing other critical functions, or working towards helping you achieve greater ambitions. If you automate the key functions of your business, everyone will have more time to focus on development projects that help you drive growth.

  • Reduce simple mistakes and human error

Mistakes in your data can be costly. Experian’s Global Research Report 2014 found that 59% of data errors are caused by human error. And it can cost between £1 and £100 to rectify each mistake, depending on the time at which the error is noticed. Cut down on the potential for mistakes by streamlining your operations, reducing the number of physical entries that need to be made.

Studies also show that up to a third of data breaches are the result of human error. So not only will your systems run better when manual input is reduced, you’ll also benefit from improved security.

  • Make sure you’re working with clean data

Clean up your data by removing any outdated information, incorrect figures or poorly input customer details. Research shows this ‘bad data’ affects the bottom line of 88% of companies worldwide. And the average company could be losing 12% of its revenue due to wasted marketing spend, resources, and staff time – all due to inaccurate data.

By cleansing your data and integrating it into a single system, you can ensure against duplicate or inaccurate entries, spot errors more easily and make sure you have one single version of the truth. So you can be confident in your data, cut down on wasted resources, and focus on growth.

As a smaller or mid-sized business, in order to take these tips on board, you need to ensure that any new software solution you invest in isn’t going to break the bank.

With a single IT application helping your business run more simply, you’ll see increased efficiency and productivity. And with all your data stored in one place, you can be sure it’s accurate and up to date – so you can make more confident decisions more quickly. You’ll also save time and resources that would otherwise be spent simply managing your data. So, your smoother running business will give you more time to focus on the areas that really help you to grow.

Want to find out more? 

Call us on 01244 676900 or email

I think big, therefore I am

If you’re a small or medium-sized business, chances are you’re interested in planning for growth. One of the best ways to build your business is to think and work like a larger company, whilst staying agile and flexible to offer a competitive advantage. If you adopt the techniques they use, and position yourself as a firm that can compete with larger rivals, you can level the playing field and build the confidence to achieve your ambitions.

Work big to appear big

All businesses need to be efficient. But for larger companies, customer bases, staff numbers, and departments are all on a bigger scale. So they need a streamlined management system to ensure they’re integrated and functioning effectively. And by thinking big, you can do exactly the same. Implement a similar approach, and you too can consolidate your operations and run more efficiently. Your systems work better when they’re integrated together. So, you can cut down on disruptions in production and distribution. And with sales, marketing, finance, and operations all working together, you’ll spend less time dealing with the little stresses. That means more time to focus on the big things such as aftersales service, customer retention and plans for growth.

And if all your data is in one place, you’ll have better insights into all areas of your business that will help you make decisions quicker. You can also cut down on costly data errors and duplicate entries, giving you a single version of the truth. So you can make quicker decisions, and be confident they’re right for your company.

We’ve all been there

All businesses start out small. Even global online retailer Amazon began in founder Jeff Bezos’s garage. But the company thought big and took advantage of the early internet boom, mailing out books to customers who wanted to purchase online. And now Amazon is one of the biggest retailers in the world – also successfully expanding into other areas like cloud computing and technology manufacturing. Amazon attributes much of its success to customer focus. They realised early that customers were interested in choice, availability, good prices, and customer experience.

By offering these elements, they were able to satisfy their customers and build a loyal base of people who came back time and again, enabling them to grow. People didn’t see them as a large or small company – just one that delivered a service.

Think big

If you think like a big company, you can operate like one. And most importantly, your customers or end users will think of you in the same terms. They won’t care what size your business is – just the quality of your products, services, and your ability to deliver. You can offer better customer service if you’re not distracted by running multiple systems. And you can run a streamlined business with fewer disruptions by joining all your operations and automating key processes.

But do affordable solutions for small to mid-size businesses exist, they do. SAP Business One is a flexible application that can be hosted in your existing infrastructure or in the cloud. You can increase what you use as your business grows, and flex it to meet your specific requirements. It also comes with embedded business intelligence software, which you can use to produce sophisticated reports that allow you clearer insights into all areas of your business.

And with added visualisation tools you can create stunning graphics and explore your data like never before. So, in your customers’ eyes, you’ll be running a streamlined business as effective as any larger company. Thinking like a big company, can give you the confidence to operate like one. And by employing the same ways of working, through a cost-effective, manageable IT application, you’ll be able to offer the same quality of service, manufacturing and customer satisfaction – the key elements that will help your business to achieve its ambitions.  So, think big and growth will follow.

To find out more about how we can help call 01244 676 900 or contact us here.

Visual Batch Tracking – An innovation in information delivery

If you’re part of a regulated industry supply chain whether it’s pharmaceutical, chemicals or food, traceability is a necessary evil. Governing bodies and codes of practice regulate the industry to ensure standards are implemented for consumers, examples include FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 (CFR) and Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs)  , FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)   and the BRC Global Standards

Just saying “Batch Traceability” sounds really easy, but in reality it’s a complex multi-dimension business issue which touches all parts of the enterprise, and should be managed in a holistic manner.

We all hear the term Big Data and its loose definition of large volumes of data, and its related problems with data capture, storage, search, analysis and visualization to name but a few.

But depending on the industry, product, customer and user, Big Data problems tend to be specific to you!

Searching through batch records and other related data can take time, with input from different departments, when trying to understand the cause and effect, when undertaking a real life recall or a BRC audit. But with the paradigm shift created by SAP HANA, data visualization and predictive analytics totally changes the way users consume data and analyze business problems.

Visualization is the optimum way to view data, dramatically increasing visibility to help hotspots, while predictive analytics can provide early warning of problems before they arrive, thus reducing time and cost to make timely and informed decisions.

An example of Visualization would be a traceability dashboard or plotting customers with the defective batch on a google map. While for predictive analysis trending customer complaints indicating a potential product re-call.

ProcessForce already provides relationship map visualization (as shown below) to tackle the topic of batch traceability and this, for example, has helped UK food and beverage producer Evolution Foods support their BRC requirements

Batch Track


With the introduction of 360 Traceability , this SAP HANA based solution will take the traceability topic to another level.

With a planned release for 9.1 SAP Business One version for SAP HANA, watch this space over the coming months to get an update of this revolutionary industry solution.

To discover the benefits for your business, call us on 01244 676 900 






An interview with Tom Brumwell, Operations Manager at Polyurethane Progress Ltd

Polyurethane Progress Ltd has seen tremendous growth over recent years and has ambitious plans to ensure its place as a market leader within the industrial plastics marketplace.  Find out more about the business and the processes it has put into place to continue its success, from our interview with Operations Manager, Tom Brumwell:


Q: Tell us about Polyurethane Progress Ltd

A: Polyurethane Progress Ltd is a family owned company, which has been in the manufacturing industry for almost 30 years. We offer the highest quality in our products with the most advanced designs, material specifications and technical solutions in the manufacturing industry.  Operating from a modern processing facility based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire we are constantly producing high quality polyurethane goods with fast turn round times, operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Unlike many of our competitors, Polyurethane Progress Ltd operates a full ‘in-house’ system, which means that none of our products are imported – they are all produced onsite.


Q: What is your role within the business?

A: My role is mostly sales based – taking on new enquiries from customers, quotations, order inputting etc. However I also take on other roles too, such as: purchasing, social networking, dabbling in IT support and website projects, to name just a few!


Q: What industry does Polyurethane Progress sit within?

A: Polyurethane Progress are specialists in both cast moulding and injection moulding of Polyurethane and other industrial plastics. Our parts serve industries around the globe at opposite sides of the spectrum.  From automotive bush components through to sealing solutions for oil rigs, we can do both mass production and smaller batch production of parts, based on our customers’ needs.


Q: What are your products and services?

A: Our products range from seals to bespoke components, we offer both cast and injection moulding and also have our own in house tooling department, which allows us to take on new enquiries and make the required moulds in house; minimising lead times for our customers.


Q: How many products do you have?

A: In the region on 12,500.


Q: What has the last year been like for you?

A: This last year has seen the company grow at a dramatic rate across the board, allowing us to further expand and future proof our company with a new ERP system – SAP Business One from Signum Solutions.


Q: What made you decide to implement a new ERP system?

A: The existing system was disjointed, slow, difficult to use and allowed for too many mistake.  Support was lacking too, with required changes or fixes taking an age to resolve.


Q: When is SAP Business One going to be implemented?

A: We are due to begin implementation later this month!


Q: What’s different about the new ERP system?

A: The new system will encapsulate all of the inner workings of the company.  Whilst before we had various different procedures in place, some paper-based and others using the old system, everything will now be covered within SAP Business one, which will make it easier for us to operate as a business and easier for our customers to operate with us too.

Also, the solution that we have chosen will be hosted in The Cloud, which means that we are able to save money by not buying, storing and maintaining our own  servers.


Q: What are the benefits that you are expecting from implementing SAP Business One?

A: We think the benefits will include: increased productivity, fewer mistakes, ease of use and an increase in profitability by having the ability to highlight areas of concern that we currently may be unable to see, due to the limitations of the existing system.


Q: How did you come across Signum Solutions?

A: I was searching for ERP solutions online and found the Signum Solutions website.


Q: What made you decide to partner with Signum Solutions for your ERP project?

A: Their experience in dealing with situations similar to our own, where medium sized businesses had outgrown their current ERP system and needed a robust and long-term solution, gave us the confidence they could successfully implement and support our new system.


Q: You’re officially Signum’s 50th customer – how does that feel?

A: It’s good to know that we have partnered with a company that has a good level of stability and a customer profile that is well represented by businesses similar to ours. We know that Signum also has 100% customer retention, which is impressive when dealing with 50 different businesses over more than 10 years.

View customer case studies to find out more about how Signum Solutions’ experience within manufacturing and wholesale industries has helped similar businesses achieve streamlined processes and financial benefits, with SAP Business One.