Eight digital tech businesses across north east Scotland have launched new products, secured new international contracts and accelerated their growth ambitions as part of Opportunity North East’s first Digital Business Growth Programme for the sector.
The programme, sponsored by partners Inoapps and Sword ITS, was launched earlier this year to accelerate growth among established digital tech businesses, with a focus on developing and implementing a growth strategy including new markets, new product development and building the team to deliver.
Jen Scott, Opportunity North East Digital Development Manager, said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see eight north east companies build on their experience, create new products and have success in new markets as part of ONE’s Business Growth Programme.
“This marks fantastic progress for the initiative which provides leaders with tailored support to capitalise on the opportunities ahead and scale their business.”
Pinnacle, one of eight businesses to take part, recently launched a new software product to improve operational efficiency in the construction industry. HomeCareApp helps homebuilders digitally snag, tag, and track issues across developments to speed up property handover and deliver a digital-first customer support experience that outperforms less efficient, traditional ways of working.
Kenny Steele, Managing Director, Pinnacle said: “The concept for the product came about a couple of years ago in discussions with a national homebuilder about bottlenecks in their operations. The rate of digital acceleration due to COVID was the key enabler to push HomeCareApp forward and ONE’s Business Growth Programme came at the right time to give us the focus and support to see it through to launch.
“The programme was valuable in validating our approach and our product. A key learning was the need to create a distinction between the overall leadership of the company and day-to-day operations to drive our team forward in the short-term while continuing to support our long-term ambition. As a result, we changed the operational structure of the business splitting the MD and Operations Director roles to ensure equal focus on running the business as well as product development strategy.
“We launched HomeCareApp in May with Bancon Homes who were keen early adopters. As a forward-thinking partner, they saw its benefits and were eager to roll it out across their operations.”
Allan Clow, Managing Director at Bancon Homes said; “We’re always looking for ways to drive innovation through our business and improve operational efficiency. Since partnering with HomeCareApp we’ve not only been able to transform the way we ensure every detail in our homes is finished to the highest standard, but we’ve also streamlined the way we communicate with customers. With HomeCareApp we are able to keep our customers up-to-date in real time throughout the entire handover and maintenance process as well as deliver a very responsive customer support experience.”
Lynsey Steele, Operations Director, HomeCareApp said: "In my new role, I’m blending best practices from eight years in a fast-moving startup environment with my previous corporate project management responsibilities. I understand that to drive the operations of Pinnacle and HomeCareApp forward, we have to remain fluid, but with a clear strategy underpinning our short-and-long-term decisions."
“Digitisation, sustainability and supply chain pressure are all impacting construction companies who are looking for new ways of working to meet the expectations of digitally competent customers. True innovation will come from connecting construction stakeholders to collaborate and as the product scales we expect to gather industry wide insights to enable companies to work smarter and thrive in a quickly evolving digital environment. With $1 in every $10 being spent on construction globally, the potential to scale and grow HomeCareApp is huge, and we are already seeing interest from prospective customers in the US.”
ONE's Digital Business Growth Programme
In addition to focusing on the creation of a high growth strategy, each business undertakes bespoke sessions to support development in key areas ensured the journey was right for each business. Sessions included leadership, building a high performance culture, finance strategies for scaling, brand strategy and international growth. Each company also completed pitching and storytelling workshops and they continue with peer to peer learning in community sessions.
Other businesses from the first cohort seeing success include STC Insiso who have introduced new software products for different sectors, Solab IT who have secured significant, multi-year contract wins and Core 29 who have increased their team to support new and existing clients in the UK and overseas. Recruitment is underway for the second cohort of businesses for the programme, due to start in 4Q this year.
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