Since moving away from paper-based systems, A&M Generators which supplies and test generators for local authorities, the police, our water supplies and even the BBC has seen a 20% uplift in new business and generated an additional 600 hours a month in productivity gains. Whilst this positively impacts the bottom line, it importantly allows the company to cut the time it takes to run onsite tests, and action a report on critical kit from a week to 24 hours.
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Like a growing number of Welsh businesses, A&M is using digital solutions, such as Google Drive, to boost productivity across every area of its business, from lead generation to job estimates and accounting. But it was the adoption of GoCanvas, a customisable job-management software package for engineering businesses that has made a vital difference to the company’s ability to anticipate problems and respond to customer emergencies.
“We can input data on site in real time so reports can be shared instantly with our customers”
“Data for all our generators is stored securely in the Cloud and can be accessed using a PC or an app whilst engineers are on the job. It sounds small but it means we can input data on site in real time so reports can be shared instantly with our customers who agree remedial action there and then. It’s important because being able to schedule repairs and flag up potential compliance issues means we can plan proactively and turn work around efficiently which keeps cashflow moving,” says A&M’s, business development manager, Shaun Harrison.
Almost three-quarters of Welsh SMEs now use online platforms for positive gains, according to the Digital Maturity Survey for Wales 2018 produced by Cardiff University. And in A&M’s case it reduced paperwork by automating processes for smarter collaboration, saving 600 hours a month. This made the company realise it was in a prime position to grow its customer base, so it signed up for the Welsh Government’s Superfast Business Wales programme where it received training and one to one business advice on how to refine its website and social media strategy to drive new enquires.
“The benefits of investing in digital have been clear and our recent engagement with Superfast Business Wales has provided further impetus”
“One of the first things we did was to invest in a new analytics package so we could track our online performance and see what tactics were working,” says Harrison. “We still use Google AdWords to run paid-for advertising campaigns but more than a third of traffic to our website now comes from organic sources, which is up from a fifth just six months ago. This is mostly due to regularly updated website content to improve search engines visibility and putting more emphasis on social media, including Facebook and LinkedIn, which has allowed us to reduce online advertising costs and increase in overall website traffic.”
“Working on a cloud-based system has made everything quicker and easier”
Buoyed by the success of its digital strategy, A&M Generators plans to further develop its website, possibly adding an e-commerce platform to its website to allow orders and payments to be taken online, linking directly through to its QuickBooks online accounting system. “The benefits of investing in digital have been clear and our recent engagement with Superfast Business Wales has provided further impetus,” added Harrison.
“Working on a cloud-based system has made everything quicker and easier, from sharing large files with clients to accessing quotes or historical reports on generator maintenance. These efficiency savings have not only enabled us to provide a better service but also to invest more time in doing the things we need to do to grow the business.”