Commendium have been contracted to provide specialist digital support to business by Business Gateway Scotland. We have supported over 500 businesses and this continues today. The aim was to provide a bespoke package of support which addresses the individual business' needs, helping them grow. Every business is different, so our advisors had to carry out an extensive investigation into how technology, from digital marketing, to back-end systems, business processes and software, could increase the performance of the business. Rustic Simplicity Anita and James are crafts people manufacturing furniture and uniquely Scottish souvenirs from old whiskey barrels. Being crafts people it it’s not too surprising that they have a solid foundation in ICT skills and have developed a comprehensive, agile and inspiring website for themselves. However, the world of online sales was not working as well as it might. Anita and James requested assistance from Commendium via the Business Gateway DigitalBoost project, to help them to develop their online sales service. Commedium advised them to completely rebuild the site using more a modern Avada Theme in WordPress, giving the client the ability to add specialised embedded 3D content of their products. This feature is not well known but has become a talking point about their new website, enriching and engaging a large part of their website visitors. Here is an example of the embeded 3d content of one of their crafted products: Rustic Simplicity – Cupboard by roowalters on Sketchfab The Yoast plugin was also added, with advice given on how to effectively manage their website Search Engine Optimisation This ensured that Anita and James can update their keywords in the future and hit key search terms as their business develops . Our advisors also guided them to add a Google Analytic plug in and gave held a session on how to use it to measure performance and improve the site further. This gave Anita and James the ability to track and manage visitors to the website, allowing for greater insight into their websites’ demographic. We also taught Anita and James the importance of keyword analysis and planning, along with how to correctly and efficiently manage their entire digital marketing presence. This has helped them boost the number of customers visiting their workshop and their website, along with increasing turnover.
The DigitalBoost 1-to-1 program, delivered by Commendium, was able to work with Gavin to explore many ideas for how to establish his website and the relationship it needs between business customers and individuals. It took many iterations before we established the best plan. The project was able to show Gavin that the model has applications much wider that his principle idea for customised Scottish heraldic products, and have expanded his ideas to support jewellery, customised stationary and linked him with other Digital Boost subscribers who could benefit from his software. The plan devised, worked with Gavin’s strengths – allowing him to concentrate on his staggering IT skills, whilst allowing business customers to exploit his software to supply their own customisable 3D merchandise and allow individuals to purchase his own Scottish Heraldic memorabilia. At the core of Celtic 3D is a stunning piece of software developed by Gavin that allows viewers to visualise in 3D an item they are considering purchasing. The viewer can move and turn the object to see it from all angles without any special software themselves, just a browser on a PC or mobile device. However, the clever part is that the viewer can make changes to the object, such as change the text, add or remove elements and then review the customised item, all in 3D. Celtic3D.com – The system allows the user to choose the medium in which the model is built and then place an order. The model is then built, 3D printed and dispatched directly to the viewer. Gavin’s strength is clearly computer programming and ICT, but another strength is recognising he needed help in developing digital strategy how to place this in the market. Future expansion Through the 1-to-1 programme, Gavin has a clear Digital Strategy, has been introduced to several business customers and has refined his product to reduce the long-term administrative burden on himself, allowing him to concentrate on his development skills.
Commendium’s five year business support and broadband stimulation project delivery in Northern Ireland, called logon-ni, has successfully completed. The ten strong team of advisors and call centre staff surpassed all set targets and objectives. The Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster thanked the team for their ‘very successful and remarkable outcomes’. We are over the moon. logon-ni was a great project, we met many hard working businesses who were keen to learn and embrace new technologies. Together with the mentoring team, and the ‘hard work and perseverance’of our clients, we delivered a great project. We are very proud of our Northern Ireland team, who undertook the role “to assist SMEs in Northern Ireland to grow by using technology to boost their businesses’, they not only achieved this, but surpassed all set targets. An independent report showed that the project lead to an increase in Gross Value Add (GVA) of £11.3m in the province. In addition, the delivery of SME digital mentoring by the team, generated the following improvements to the economy: Increased and safeguarded sales of £36.8m, created 307 jobs and safeguarded a further 818 jobs. [Source:2011 – Independent DETI midterm review: Source: DETI/ Ekosgen] The letter from The Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster congratulating the team: Letter to Commendium from Arlene Foster, congratulating the team.
Another successful project by Commendium’s team of business advisers – BIG Cumbria. Our team were tasked to increase Cumbria’s GVA by £8.5m as part of an EU funded project. However, we surpassed that target reaching £15.1m. On average, businesses who used the service to boost sales realised a £19k uplift in GVA. Commendium’s team assisted businesses across all sectors to improve their IT processes, streamline their work flow and take their online marketing and sales to another level. With only limited time and ERDF restrictions on eligibility, the team worked tirelessly to ensure businesses reaped the benefits of Superfast Broadband and business IT tools. From internal systems to sales and marketing, local businesses could either ask for a visit to their business, or attend one of the multitude of workshops located across the county. Topics covered with Cumbrian businesses included: Digital marketing Search engine optimisation Email marketing Online cloud storage Cloud accounting Document / data sharing Networking Customer relations management Social media Time management and logging Analytics and website statistics Lead tracking The project was a success with a great number of businesses benefiting from the advice and support.