Can bespoke software help tackle the UK productivity puzzle?

British SMEs could add £57 billion to the UK economy each year if they were as productive as their German counterparts, but the problem is only increasing. Can Bespoke Tech help tackle the productivity puzzle?

2 min read

Written by
Kieran Abbott

Head of Creative & Sales

Kieran Profile
How bespoke software can help tackle the UK productivity deficit illustration

A large percentage of our clients are small to medium enterprises, many of whom have challenged us with solving issues in their business through building apps, software, and bots to boost productivity. Yet, 63% of Welsh SME’s don’t prioritise technology as an issue and will continue to use old or unfit for purpose methods to run the logistics of their business.

So, why should we care about productivity in Welsh SME’s?

On a national level, British SMEs could add £57 billion to the UK economy each year if they were as productive as their German counterparts. Statistics in Wales aren’t much better, either. Wales could add up to £1.36bn a year to the UK economy if the right measures were put in place by welsh SME’s. Only 37% of businesses in Wales prioritise investing in technology, which is surprising given it’s one of the top measures most likely to have the greatest impact on improving productivity in their business.

A recurring problem we’re contracted to solve within SME’s is the overload of unnecessary or repetitive tasks. Work overload decreases productivity by 68% in employees who feel they don’t have enough hours in the day to complete their tasks, yet under a third have appropriate tech in place. All of our projects in the SME sector have resulted in a high return on investment for our clients, with some reaching as much as 700% ROI. This makes automating tasks or building tech a no-brainer, right?

We believe one of the main reasons people stick with outdated and inappropriate tech is that they deem bespoke tech to be out of their reach. There seems to be this assumption that if you’re a small business the only option is pre-made off the shelf software and that anything bespoke is unobtainable and expensive. As little as 10 years ago this was probably true, designing and building traditional software (the kind that lived on a disk and your desktop) was very expensive to develop.

Due to advancements in tech, this really isn’t the case any longer. Now a majority of software is ‘cloud based’ because it offers the following benefits:

  • Easily accessible
  • Easier collaboration
  • Rapid development
  • Consistency across platforms
  • Enhanced security
  • Lower risk
  • Substantially less cost association

We often jokingly say that our biggest competitor is Excel, but in reality, that statement is quite true. Excel was never intended to be used by a whole office to manage customers, stock or be bent to fit processes it doesn’t handle. Nerd fact: we once saw a 500mb spreadsheet that basically controlled the processes of an entire 40 person team. Definitely not it’s intended purpose!

It’s not just Excel, either, other off the shelf tools can sometimes be the wrong fit; CRMs, booking systems and general business softwares tend to be quite naff at dealing with the finer details of individual business’ needs and challenges. That’s not to say there’s some amazing off the shelf software out there, it’s just not being used for its intended purpose. We use a whole suite for our processes! Trello, Slack, Dropbox, Float, Spark, Insightly, Google Drive, Wunderlist, Evernote, ITTT, Zapier... the list goes on.

We just want our clients to have the least friction possible in their tech and business processes.

What we tell our clients is this:

if software isn’t working for you, or you loathe doing a task, automate it. There’s no limitation to what we can build, only time and budget constraints.

Being a company that resides, trades and believes in Wales, we want to be part of the movement that creates change. Tackling lost productivity with the creative use of tech has always been something we’re passionate about, and it’s something we can offer to any SME willing to look at alternatives to their current (perhaps outdated) tech.

Feel free to contact me directly if you want to chat :