Four years ago, David Arthurs started up a digital creative agency with a former colleague, having worked in the industry for many years. The business specialises in research and insight, prototyping, digital strategy and planning and social media. Over recent years it has experienced a period of sharp growth and is looking to take on more staff. The agency currently has seven full-time employees based on a small rural enterprise park near Bournemouth, with one account manager who works from home. David and his business partner split their working time between home and the office.
The nature of the industry that David’s business is in means the team needs to collaborate effectively, both internally and with clients. The team was using industry specific software products, social media platforms and applications such as DropBox for file sharing, but there was no effective and secure system for collaborative working in place. For David’s business, they had an opportunity to collaborate better, using the superfast broadband which the business had recently accessed, without having to be in the same room or office.
David heard about the Superfast Business programme through one of the service’s local awareness events. With his business having successfully passed the eligibility criteria, David was able to access the fully funded business support service to help him achieve his business goals. Here David picks up the story: “We met with one of the Business Advisers to look at how we worked, with the aim of developing an ICT strategy to support our wider business objectives. He identified that those staff involved in projects did not have complete visibility over the work, meaning that jobs were taking longer and actions were missed. It was decided that by developing a system which would allow staff and clients to collaborate and communicate effectively we would be able to free up resources.
“We first attended one of the Superfast Business events. This introduced us to the resources available on the Superfast Business website which has been hugely beneficial, giving us access to expert advice and enabling us to share experiences with other similar businesses online. “In partnership with our Business Adviser, we then formulated a business diagnostic and support plan, focused on remodelling our collaboration procedure. Myself and some of our employees attended a specialist workshop on collaborative working using cloud technology, which enabled us to create and deliver a project plan, including full budget costings and anticipated benefits for our business.”
“Being part of the Superfast Business programme has made an incredible difference to our business. We now have a thorough collaborative working system in place which uses cloud-based software enabling us to set-up virtual teams and react to new project-starts quickly.
“By evolving the way that we work and utilising superfast broadband to collaborate better we’re much more efficient and our overheads are down. We’re already finding that our email traffic has reduced significantly because we are using file sharing software tools like SharePoint and collaboration software like ProjectPlace. We’re doing more virtual meetings as well so our travel expenses are down.”
This case study is for illustrative purposes only. The characters and scenarios are fictional and used solely to highlight the types of businesses that the Superfast Business service can work with and how it can help them.