When Sean Carr took the decision to set up on his own in 2012 after 20 years in the construction sector, he had the technical knowhow and the contacts, but without the back-office support of a larger organisation, he knew his business had to be professional but also agile.
He created Sean Carr Lining Technology Limited - a business that specialises in supplying and installing geo-synthetic linings, predominantly at large landfill sites to ensure that contaminated ‘run-off’ does not reach local water supplies. The company targets other sectors too, installing pond and lagoon linings for farmers, as well as specialist linings for anaerobic digestion containment and reservoirs.
The business has a core team of employees, with the flexibility to hire additional workers when needed. The core team needed the ability to work remotely but with access to shared information, so Carr looked to cloud technology, and products like Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive, to help the business to operate efficiently in managing the sales, accounting, inventory and purchasing functions.
Documents are now safely stored and accessed online
Using Office 365, the business has developed a simple but efficient IT solution that allows the team to update live documents online, rather than emailing multiple versions. OneDrive provides sufficient space to store all relevant files and, when new legislation was introduced recently, together with a new industry accreditation system, it helped ensure that the business was fully compliant. New regulations required daily job logs to be held in a secure location, together with greater amounts of confidential data on completed projects.
“A large proportion of our business continues to come through positive word of mouth and referrals, but we still have to submit a lot of tender documents,” explains business development manager, Jody Beedie.
“Although we’ve managed to build an excellent reputation in the industry, we still need to demonstrate that we are a sustainable business, with robust processes in place for data security and business continuity.”
Online marketing will help us grow the business going forward
There is now greater emphasis on online marketing as the company explores new ways to grow its customer base and explore new markets. Direct orders from customers for smaller projects are supplementing a consistent programme of larger installations for major contractors, while the adoption of cloud technology has also helped the business to trade internationally, completing projects in the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland and recently securing a commission in the Ivory Coast.
One recent development for the company is its selection as an approved installer of an exciting new product. Manufactured in south Wales, Concrete Canvas is a flexible, concrete impregnated fabric that hardens on hydration to form a thin, durable, water proof and fire resistant concrete layer that can be used to create anything from channel linings to temporary buildings.
“The website is becoming a more important resource for us as a business, both in terms of providing comprehensive information to customers who have been referred on, but also in attracting new customers from different sectors,” added Ms Beedie. “There is an ongoing focus on ensuring that our search engine rankings are consistently high and that the content we have on the site is both up to date and visually strong. These are both areas in which we have engaged with Superfast Business Wales about the support available to further develop our online marketing capabilities and assist the business in its next phase of growth.”