Electro-mechanical industry software supplier Solutions in IT is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year ” a quarter-century in which it’s become one of the most successful companies in its sector.
Established in 1994, Solutions in IT has been at Harborough Innovation Centre for around five years. The company appreciates the location and services offered by the centre, which has allowed it to concentrate on growing its business. And grow they have done ” when the company moved into HIC, they had just two employers, but now the team numbers five. The company’s leading product is EMIR ” Electro-Mechanical Information Resource. This is a business management software system that enables its users to keep tracks of all aspects of their work.
Steve Ashman, Business Development Manager, says: “Our customers deal with electric motors, pumps, generators, and the like. That’s anybody that manufactures and assembles, sells and distributes things like gearboxes, generators, pumps, motors.
“Our sweet spot is businesses of around five to 50 employees. The market has changed quite a bit over the years. In the early days, there were a lot of one-man bands; every town had a repairer. Now, with cheap imports coming in, it’s often easier to put in a new motor instead of repairing. So businesses have changed to being more site-driven, and they’ve diversified into things like pumps or alternators, which are also part of our market. A big area for us is the service and repair sector, for example, companies can schedule their regular service schedules and keep track of all their upcoming work.”
The basic EMIR system allows for job management and delivery, invoicing, sales and purchase ledgers. On top of that, users can add modules that help with stock management, purchasing, quotes, finance, asset management and more. It’s the complete tool for the electro-mechanical industry.
Steve adds: “There are dashboards for which we prepare reports, plus the finance module can replace software like SAGE in the business, while our CRM module replaces things like SalesForce ” it’s all geared up for that.”
EMIR customers are located all over the world. “The majority are in the UK but we have a lot in places like Dubai, Ireland and North America,” says Steve.
Because the company’s UK customers are spread around the country, HIC’s central location makes it ideal. A team of five is based here: Steve, Managing Director Gary Downes, Latika Parekh-Downes, who handles accounts, and two team members who look after the company’s hosted services. There is also an office in Essex, which is home to six programmers, and a trainer in Newcastle.
“The centre is very well managed and you get everything in the package,” says Steve. “From a business point of view, that’s great, because it means you have fewer bills to worry about.” And being in the heart of a community geared up for innovation is also a help. “You get to know a lot of people and find out what they do, and this can often lead to working with them. For example, Salad Skills sorted out an apprentice for us, and that came from sitting in the cafÃ© talking to Sarah Cripps.”
The meeting rooms are also handy, as the team often holds group meetings of all its employees. The conference room on the ground floor and the catering services offered by the cafe make this a breeze.
Harborough Innovation Centre is owned and supported by Harborough District Council (HDC). As the building owner, HDC also funds the Centre’s business support provision, providing the basis for expert business advice, mentoring and workshops.