Digital transformation with military precision

Martin Rogers, Innovation & IT Director at Euramax Solutions, has implemented a wide-reaching digital transformation, drawing on his experience of managing processes in the military. Here, he explains how and why.

Over the past hundred years, technology has totally transformed the manufacturing sector – and in the century ahead, it’s going to transform it again.

Just as previous breakthroughs led to enormous leaps forwards in productivity and innovation – the first uses of steam and hydro power, electricity, the mainstream adoption of computers and so on – we’re now on the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution that will change the way millions of us work.

Technology is advancing at breakneck pace in the fields of automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics and more, to the extent that even in a decade’s time, factories around the world might look very different to the ones we have today.

And as in every sector, that’s going to bring a lot of change in glass and glazing.

Behind the times

There’s no question that, compared to many other industries, we’re starting from a much lower base-line in fenestration.

The sector is arguably the most low-tech of those in the wider construction family, and has traditionally been resistant to change. It’s certainly likely to be a very long time before we start seeing robots make windows.

But at Euramax Solutions, we’re trying to embrace the enormous potential of modern technology, and use it to become quicker, more efficient, and offer our customers a better standard of service than ever before.

One of our key strengths as a business is that we draw on expertise from a wide range of different sectors.

In selecting his senior team, our MD Nick Cowley has sought out talented people with a much broader array of skills than is typical for a company of our kind.

My colleague Andy Boyd, for instance, brings hugely valuable experience from his time working at internationally-recognised businesses like Nestle and Hallmark.

My own background is in the military. I spent eight years managing IT communication systems in the Royal Corps of Signals, including helping set up an officers training academy for the Afghan National Army in Kabul, and redesigning the main HR system for Camp Bastian, a major British army air base in southern Afghanistan.

As Euramax’s Innovation & IT Director, I’ve used those experiences to help significantly streamline our IT infrastructure, and combine a series of leading software packages to tailor a solution to the company’s complex needs.

A bespoke solution

For order management, we now use OmPrompt – an innovative order automation tool that’s made buying from us quicker and simpler than ever.

At Euramax, we deal with several major national businesses who regularly make very large orders with us. Thanks to OmPrompt, that process has been significantly streamlined, which makes their lives much easier.

When it comes to organising data behind the scenes, we’ve adopted Epicor – a respected enterprise resource management system that allows us to automate many of our internal processes, including sales quoting.

In turn, Epicor integrates with customer relationship management system Hubspot – which gives us a single-pane view of client accounts, allowing us to offer them clearer communication, and more streamlined customers service across the board.

For businesses like ours, I think this is going to be one of the key IT challenges going forward – there are a huge range of software systems out there, with more being launched all of the time.

But while many of them are very good, and have a lot to offer, at companies as complex and fast-growing as Euramax Solutions, you’re never going to find one magic programme that does everything you need.

Instead, it’s more a case of drawing on a whole range of software products, and finding a way to combine them that works for you, works for your customers, and allows you to offer an even higher standard of product and service.

In the years to come, I’ve no doubt Euramax will continue to draw on cutting-edge technology and transform itself to an even greater degree. But with the innovations we’ve implemented over the last few years, I’m confident it will have an excellent foundation to build on.

For more information, call Euramax Solutions on 0330 1340290 or email info@euramaxuk.com.