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The SME Productivity & Innovation Centre (PIC) at Edge Hill University delivers impact through an intensive fully-funded programme that helps established SMEs, with the vision and potential for growth, build a coherent business model strategy to scale-up.

Autentica case study

Irma Gilbert of Autentica

“The Rapid Innovation Sprint Programme
changed everything for Autentica! The
support has been incredible, resulting in us
securing a £100k innovation fund and the
adoption of a new CRM system. We have
gone from strength to strength, so much so,
we have recruited two new staff members
as a direct result of the growth we have
achieved since completing the programme.”

Irma Gilbert
Founder and CEO – Autentica Industrial Platforms

Benefits and impact:

Technology adopted

  • New Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system successfully implemented.

Job creation

  • Two new full time engineer positions created.

Increased demand

  • 30% increase in customers 12 months after completing the programme.

Business profile: Autentica Industrial Platforms

Product/serviceIndustry leading manufacturer of auto parts and accessories for motor vehicles.
Size (by headcount)5
Autentica staff

The challenges

Irma Gilbert, Founder and CEO, entered the Rapid Innovation Sprint Programme aiming to build a market development strategy for growth by scaling-up their existing portfolio of products and services and increasing their market share globally. Effective market development strategies take an insight-driven approach to define the market opportunity, customer profiles and routes to market, underpinned by a sound revenue model. The strategy was also likely to lead to the creation of new jobs, and the adoption of a new digital technologies which will increase market demand.

The opportunity

Developing several operational processes to optimise business performance and improve profitability was key to unlocking Autentica’s scale-up potential. This would give Autentica the infrastructure to increase their market share globally. A key enabler to unlocking the opportunity was going to be the use of a new CRM system which will form the basis of new business development strategy, active prospecting, client qualification and project initiation.

The key changes

Several changes were identified in the business model to achieve scalability. Firstly, key internal business processes needed to be made more systematic and repeatable. Qualification is critical in ascertaining the core drivers, expectations, and complexities on any given customer project. During the workshops, Autentica
worked on a new qualification process to ensure they correctly categorise projects, manage a balanced portfolio of customers and can assign resources efficiently. Digital business technologies were going to be important in managing the uplift in market demand, Irma worked on a plan to adopt and successfully embed the new CRM system into the business development activities, aligned to the strategic growth plan.

The plan and outcomes

Irma used the latter stages of the programme to devise a Growth Action Plan for embedding the business model changes. As a direct result of the programme, Autentica has created two new full time engineer roles and as the company grows and staffing diversifies, access to engineers has been a key priority to meet the sales demand generated. As a direct result of their new strategy, Autentica has strengthened their resilience in the marketplace and secured £100k in innovation funding to increase
their market share globally. The programme has given Autentica the plan and the infrastructure to achieve real scale, allowing them to drive up their revenue, create new jobs and ensure profitability.

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