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Asbestos specialist eyes growth after digital investment

Welsh headquartered asbestos consultancy Enquin Environmental, has dramatically cut costs and improved customer service thanks to investing in new technology and having access to superfast broadband.

The Company has achieved more than £300,000 of savings, equating to 30% of its running costs, and increased productivity by 50% using digital to transform its processes and culture.

The business was founded in 2002 by Managing Director, Michael Tully, and has since grown steadily to develop a strong UK commercial customer base, employing 30 staff across three UK offices and having a turnover of £1.1m.

But it was six years ago that the company recognised the need for investment in digital solutions for surveying and office management functions. Today, nearly all processes and systems are electronic based – which has significantly speeded up customer turnaround times by 50%, reducing it from four weeks to less than two.

Michael Tully said: “Investing in digital and having access to superfast broadband has completely transformed our business. It has made us more efficient and more agile, streamlining processes and enabling us to become much more responsive to customer needs.

“New software has enabled us to introduce a fully automated package that is used all the way through from initial enquiry to invoicing. Clients can be given access to the portal, allowing them to manage asbestos in their property portfolios 24/7 from anywhere in the world.”

Enquin offers consultancy services delivering impartial, expert advice to many organisations including local authorities, housing associations, property management, commercial, industrial, education, construction, healthcare and religious properties. It surveys buildings for evidence of asbestos, as well as advising on asbestos compliance, management and removal.

Investment in new software has also led to a reduction in time spent inputting data, and data transfer via Superfast Broadband allows easy remote access for staff - both when the data is captured and finished work checked. The amount of travelling by staff is reduced, as records are transferred digitally rather than being brought into the office.

Enquin surveyors are equipped with the latest technology to capture survey data and upload field reports using hand-held digital devices. Flexible working, delivering reports on the job and filing on a central system has enabled the company to become more competitive, be more professional and not be confined by geography.  

“Automation has also significantly reduced our paper usage and postage costs, helping our carbon footprint, with many clients requesting details to comply with their CSR policies,” continued Michael Tully. “Hard copy reports are rarely sent as most are electronic, enabling us to meet client expectations by providing the report in the format they require within clients’ strict timescales.”

To support the development of a full digital marketing strategy, Enquin sought advice from Superfast Business Wales – a free service funded by the Welsh Government to help businesses to maximise the impact of fibre broadband services.

Staff took part in a digital marketing workshop, as well as receiving one-to-one advice on a range of areas, including the development of social media strategies, optimising websites for search engines, running effective email marketing campaigns and maximising PR opportunities.

Enquin launched its new mobile optimised website last year and has since seen a steady upward trend in web visitors. A monthly newsletter is sent to around 1,350 existing and potential clients, directing traffic to the website via news articles, which are also posted on LinkedIn. 

Plans for the next six to twelve months are to implement a targeted digital marketing strategy to drive more traffic to the website, maximise leads and generate more business – with the aim of helping Enquin achieve its growth targets of increasing turnover to £1.3 million and employing three more staff.

Michael Tully concluded: “As a relatively small business with limited resources, it is essential that we maximise our return on any investment in marketing. Superfast Business Wales has helped by providing practical information, timesaving tips and advice on ways to get the best out of digital technology.”

Enquin using technology

Investing in digital... has completely transformed our business. It has made us more efficient and more agile, streamlining processes and enabling us to become much more responsive to customer needs.