Graphic printing firm going fully digital with ERP software
September 26, 2022
A digital graphic printing company has ramped up its productivity after Made Smarter helped them receive a grant to install hi-tech software to digitise nearly all of its processes.
Logoshack Digital, based in Stoke-on-Trent, produces self-adhesive signage and graphics of all shapes and sizes across multiple B2B companies, including signs of all types and sizes, livery for a huge range of vehicles, and health and safety signage.
Logoshack has been trading for 30 years, and currently employs 20 staff at its base on the Grove Road Industrial Estate.
Logoshack is on a journey to take the business to the next level by fully embracing digital technology.
With Made Smarter’s help and advice, Logoshack applied for a £20,000 grant to install an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system which would automate much of its processes and create digital connectivity throughout the business.
Operations Manager Lauren Davies said: “Made Smarter was able to identify exactly where we needed to improve, what ERP software was right for us, and the best way to apply for a grant so we could pay for it. We’re now in a brilliant position to take Logoshack even further.
“Now that the money for the ERP software is there, we are really excited about Logoshack’s future.”
After around three decades of trading, Logoshack wanted to increase its productivity and have more access to data to allow it to fulfil its plans for growth. The company realised it needed to enhance visibility with a central system connecting the whole business to become a data driven manufacturer.
Although Logoshack is able to fulfil customer requirements to a high quality, it stored much of its information on different systems. Orders, job progress reports and invoices were recorded by staff on job sheets, spreadsheets and databases.
Logoshack needed to find a way to speed up these processes in order to meet its growth targets. Lauren had heard of ERP systems and thought they might be the solution her business needed, so she contacted the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub.
She said: “We recognised that implementing a central system to enhance visibility, track manufacturing orders in real time and analyse our manufacturing processes is vital in taking us to the next level.
“The amount of data that we would have at our fingertips is invaluable and would allow us to make data driven decisions to better the business as a whole.
“After raising this with the Growth Hub, we were contacted by Made Smarter expert Tim Kirby, who got everything started.”
Tim, Digital Transformation Specialist for Made Smarter in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub area, knew Logoshack could strongly benefit from being involved with Made Smarter.
He contacted one of Made Smarter’s strategic partners, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), to visit Logoshack and audit the business in more detail to see exactly what improvements needed to be made.
Lauren and Logoshack were asked in-depth questions about their internal processes and theirgrowth plans by Nigel Knapp, Business Development Manager at MTC.
As Lauren first thought, MTC felt that an ERP system was the best way for Logoshack to fulfil its growth potential. It demonstrated that installing one across the business could raise productivity by up to 70 per cent.
Nigel and Tim helped produce a ‘digital roadmap’ for Logoshack to follow, showing them a stepby-step process of how to digitalise the business to make it even better.
They then advised Lauren on which ERP system was right for the business, and helped her apply for a £20,000 match-funded grant to pay for the software.
In January 2022, Logoshack found out its grant application was successful, and is now in the process of implementing it throughout the business and transitioning away from its old systems.
Tim said: “There were a few things that we thought Logoshack could enhance while creating the roadmap, but the key one was that its processes were fragmented and not smartly linked together.
“We agreed that an ERP system was the best way for the business to bring all of its processes together and to accelerate its digital connectivity.
“We also guided Lauren through the grant application so the business could purchase the software outright. It’s great to hear the application was successful and we’re looking forward to seeing Logoshack reap the benefits once the ERP system is up and running.”
Lauren added: “Made Smarter’s help with the whole process was fantastic. MTC was able to confirm what we had thought about how long our internal procedures could take, and Tim’s advice on grant applications was incredibly useful.
“We are now installing the ERP across Logoshack and we are excited to be moving towards a much more digital and automated way of working.”
Although the implementation of the ERP is not completely finished, Logoshack has already been shown just how beneficial the software can be for the business.
It will be the first step in Logoshack’s plans to undergo a ‘digital transformation’ over the next 18 months.
Lauren said: “As well as enhancing our internal procedures, the ERP system will help us devote more time to things like upskilling staff, and making it easier to take on more staff within the business.
“It will also mean Logoshack can expand much more easily. The ERP system will allow us to fulfil more orders for more customers, and install more machines that can be monitored by the system instead of having one of our staff do it.
“The prospect of increasing our productivity by 70 per cent is extremely exciting for us. With the many pressures on businesses at the moment, to have secured external funding and advice to make this happen could be crucial for our continued success.”
Rebecca Parker, Head of Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub, added: “It’s incredible to see that Logoshack has been able to gain access to fully funded support through the Made Smarter programme.
“Staffordshire businesses like Logoshack are using digital technology to streamline their processes, boost efficiency, increase productivity and accelerate business growth thanks to Made Smarter.
“We would always encourage Staffordshire businesses to contact the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub directly to ensure they are receiving up to date information on the fully funded programmes, funding and finance opportunities, and support that is available to local SMEs.”
Once the ERP system is fully installed, Lauren will continue to follow the roadmap produced by MTC to fully digitalise the business.
She then aims to hire more staff and get more machines in to facilitate Logoshack’s expansion.
Lauren added: “The support we’ve received from Made Smarter has been fantastic all the way through this process.
“They were able to give us informed advice about exactly what ERP system was right for us, and guided us through the application process. Although we thought an ERP system was the solution, to have that expert knowledge and reassurance from Made Smarter was incredibly useful.
“I’d absolutely encourage any SME looking to grow or expand in the West Midlands to get in touch with Made Smarter. They make the process much easier than it might be going it alone.
“Thanks to their help, we’re now ready to take that next big step and move Logoshack up to a level where it has never been before.”