A Swansea-based company, which specialises in the destruction and disposal of confidential documents for individuals and businesses, has increased its turnover by more than 28%, after seeking advice from the technology-focused support service, Superfast Business Wales.
Matthews Confidential Shredding has revamped its website, put a new strategy in place for online marketing and introduced a cloud-based system for all its management and customer information. The changes have increased the efficiency of its internal processes by more than a third, and enabled the business to secure new contracts and expand its geographical footprint – recently winning its first client in north Wales as a result.
“The introduction of a cloud-based system to store and access management information has made a massive difference to the business”
“The introduction of a cloud-based system to store and access management information has made a massive difference to the business,” explains sales and marketing director Nick Hardwidge. “The ability to access customer orders and records, equipment lists and update the daily work diary on a central Google Drive means the team works more collaboratively and efficiently. We are a family-owned business that offers a very personal and cost-effective service to our customers, but the new technology has enabled us to improve our competitive edge and compete with the bigger players in the market.
”The company takes on contracts for the regular disposal of all kinds of confidential data, from unwanted bank statements and personnel records, to expired policy documents, receipts and printed emails. Business customers are provided with tamper-proof sacks or bins to store confidential documents before shredding, as well as a ‘certificate of destruction’ to show that they have complied with relevant legislation around the protection of personal data.
Matthews Confidential Shredding has expanded its services to meet the demands of today’s information-hungry businesses, and now processes a wide range of different items used to store confidential data – including chip-and-PIN cards, CDs and hard drives, and portable memory devices. With the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulations in May 2018 set to increase the data protection demands on businesses, as well as the penalties handed out to those that are non-compliant, the market is likely to become even more competitive.
The company attended a Superfast Business Wales workshop event and accessed one-to-one advice from a specialist consultant. Access to Superfast Broadband was obtained earlier this year and one of the first steps taken by the business was to move to an internet-based phone system (VoIP), leading to a 70% cost saving on calls and line rental.
“Embracing new technology is key to ensuring that the business keeps pace with change and puts us in the best position to remain competitive and meet future demand,” said Hardwidge. “Our new website has vastly improved search engine rankings and we are using a range of social media platforms to make sure that we stay current and front of mind for our customers. The disposal of confidential data is never going to be the most exciting trending topic on social media but it is becoming increasingly important for a lot of businesses, so we need to be clever about the way we use different channels to communicate with our audiences.”
The company has over a thousand likes on its Facebook page, a few hundred Twitter followers and also uses Google, LinkedIn and YouTube to communicate with customers. Online marketing has become an important part of a wider marketing strategy, which includes exhibiting at trade shows and more traditional print advertising.
The approach is paying dividends, with a steady increase in traffic to the company’s website and a series of successful initiatives being driven by online activity. One recent example is the ‘shredding’ of branded clothing used by security firms. Matthews offers this service in response to concerns over potential security breaches where old and unchecked branded clothing can be used to cross security checks at large events such as stadium events.
Maximising the positive impact of broadband-enabled technology remains a major focus for Matthews Confidential Shredding, but it remains mindful of the pitfalls that businesses can fall into when embracing online working.
“It is important to us that we are seen a trusted service provider by our customers and we have accreditation from ISO (BS EN 15713) and are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and Natural Resources Wales,” added Hardwidge. “As we introduce more internet-enabled technology, we are also upgrading our cyber security protocols and are in the process of obtaining a government-backed Cyber Essentials certificate to demonstrate that we take internet security seriously."