The Business Micros group, which includes Business Micros and BM Aluminium, has recorded yet another record year, with turnover, customer numbers and employees all up on the year before.
For Managing Directors Graeme Bailey and Dean Hodges, it’s a case of the group working hard to keep pace with the industry it serves, and being prepared to constantly reinvest.
Graeme Bailey said: “Our % growth this year was not as dramatic as previous years (5% on PVC-U) simply because our turnover is higher now, but we have nonetheless hit record total turnover and have grown to 52 staff – our highest ever number.”
He added: “In PVC-U, our biggest growth area continues to be customers who want us to work with them to create bespoke solutions using our EvoNET business management software. Very few of the fabricators we supply have their own in-house IT resource and they rely on Business Micros to take care of every aspect of their software. That makes serious demands on our resources of course, because we can have teams of staff working regularly with the same customer for weeks or even months.
“We’ve expanded the team in response so that we can give all our customers the service they need, and we’ve changed some of our processes to become more efficient. For instance, at machine installs we are now sending in a Business Micros team to work individually on CNC links, Evolution and EvoNET at the same time, so that customers get a faster install compared with just one of our experts coming in to do the whole job for them.”
Using the Insight Data figures, Business Micros estimates that more than 74% of UK fabricators now use at least one of its products, so the company has a fairly unique insight into the performance of the industry as a whole.
Graeme said: “We see far fewer customers changing profile suppliers than previously – in PVC-U in particular, the only real shift is in companies giving up fabrication and switching to buying in.
“Software is still seen as a crucial element in the support package which systems companies offer to their customers though, and part of our growth has also come from the sustained investments being made with us by all of the major UK systems suppliers.”
When it comes to the aluminium sector, BM Aluminium’s LogiKal system is undoubtedly the number one software choice and that part of the group has seen a 13% increase in turnover this year.
Dean Hodges commented: “LogiKal is ideal for companies fabricating in more than one profile system because it allows you to switch effortlessly between profiles; and it’s got the backing of all the leading UK suppliers, as well as having the reassurance of the Business Micros name behind it.
“Our success reflects not only that, but also the increasingly widespread recognition of the value of software in the aluminium sector. Fabricators can use LogiKal to link their estimating, drawing office and production functions and easily quantify and analyse the payback it delivers in real time savings.
“Machinery investments in particular have driven much of our growth as fabricators investing in CNC machines have required software links in LogiKal. We’ve increased our staff numbers by 20% this year in response to the continuing demand, and we’ve moved into new, larger offices with dedicated training and demonstration areas.”
BM Aluminium is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2007, but the Business Micros group will be 40 years old next year. It is an ongoing success story, largely down to the quality and reliability of the software it provides, but also because the company has been prepared to invest in the resources needed to guarantee a good service to customers.
Graeme Bailey added: “We know that we have a dominant position in the marketplace but we are not complacent about that. We are committed to continually improving the service we deliver and we are constantly strengthening our team with new skills.”