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Still time to access funded help for technology growth

Posted onPosted on 23rd Jan

Businesses are being urged to take advantage of the support available from the Digital Upscaler project before funding comes to an end.

The project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by East Midlands Chamber, supports businesses looking to invest in new technologies to propel growth or to overcome barriers due to a lack of understanding of new technologies.

It offers businesses the knowledge, investment, and capacity to scale-up by embracing new technologies, and includes intensive one-to-one adviser support from a team of digital experts; funded consultancy to support new technology integration; and an extensive programme of in-person, two-day digital workshops.

One business that has already benefitted from the Digital Upscaler help, which ends in June, is Home Curtains UK Ltd, Sutton. It specialises in the supply of home furnishings, but was lagging behind in modern tech terms.

With support from the project, the business now has a new warehouse system and ERP, a new access and entry system, plus an upgraded website that includes real-time stock information.

Finance director Stacy Clifford (pictured) said: “Our Chamber business adviser Prashant Gandabhai was an absolute godsend. He had a clear understanding of the benefits of financial audits and made an immediate impact. He helped us get all our ‘ducks in a row’ and was the driving force in ensuring we met a particularly challenging project.”

Paul Humphreys, head of scale-up services at East Midlands Chamber, added: “Time and again, we’re told the Chamber’s ‘deep dive’ workshops offer hugely practical advice that can be implemented immediately.

“Beyond our extensive programme of workshops — which are fully-subsidised for staff in businesses across Nottinghamshire — we’re offering one-to-one support from our digital advisers to businesses considered to be high growth.”

Another business to have been helped is Cruise Circle, Bolsover.

When husband and wife team, Jason Daniels and Danielle Nemeth (above), acquired independent specialist travel agent Cruise Circle from its previous owners in 2009, they had a clear vision to evolve it into an online travel provider that was ahead of the curve in the cruise travel sector.

A Digital Upscaler grant and expert digital adviser support have enabled them to completely overhaul their legacy systems, resulting in the integration of data collection and data processing modules and customer relationship management.

Integration of automation functionality across platforms has reduced time spent manually inputting simple bookings, accelerating booking procedures and delivering a more efficient service to customers.

Jason said: “Our Chamber digital adviser demonstrated significant system development experience, which proved invaluable to us. He impressed on us the need to completely rethink and rebuild our digital position, and helped us understand the digital architecture we needed to develop was, in principle, not entirely different to that deployed by other business in other sectors.

“This reassured us that, with the right technical support, our digital functionality goals were within perfect reach.”

Upcoming Digital Upscaler workshops
• Using technology to scale your business: Tuesday 24 January and Tuesday 31 January – Village Hotel, Nottingham
• Social media academy: Wednesday 25 January and Thursday 26 January – Leicester Marriott Hotel; Tuesday 7 and Tuesday 14 February – Village Hotel, Nottingham; Tuesday 28 February and Wednesday 1 March – Holiday Inn Leicester
• Successful search engine optimisation: Wednesday 1 February and Wednesday 8 February – Leicester Marriott Hotel
• Inbound marketing: Thursday 2 February and Thursday 9 February – Leicester Marriott Hotel
• Get to grips with GA4 (Google Analytics) and convert more visitors into sales and leads: Thursday 16 February and Thursday 23 February – Leicester Marriott Hotel

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