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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.

EnergyAce case study

Gary Vizard, Managing Director of EnergyAce.

“The Rapid Innovation Sprint Programme
was a complete revelation for EnergyAce!
As a direct result of the programme, we
have recruited eight new staff and are
looking to recruit more to support the
growth of the organisation. I would
encourage all SMEs looking to grow to

Gary Vizard
Managing Director – EnergyAce Ltd

Benefits and impact:

Technology adopted

  • New Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system successfully implemented

Job creation

  • Eight new full time jobs created to date.


  • 30% increase in market share in a new niche market.

Business profile: EnergyAce

Product/serviceLeading manufacturer of Energy Saving Systems for industrial, commercial, and residential clients worldwide.
Size (by headcount)25
EnergyAce's office.

The challenges

Gary Vizard, Managing Director, entered the Rapid Innovation Sprint Programme to formulate a market development strategy for growth. Prior to the programme, Gary had invested in growing the business through refined processes but wanted to optimise business performance, improve profitability, and increase customer demand. EnergyAce’s stock increased by 300% due to supply chain issues triggered by the pandemic, therefore new systems were needed to efficiently manage this increase. Creating an evidence-based scale-up strategy would also allow the development of new products and services for EnergyAce to take to market.

The opportunity

Facilitated by Edge Hill’s SME Growth Experts, Gary recognised that developing a precise and differentiated offer in the marketplace would pinpoint EnergyAce’s desired customer profile and support them in entering new markets through the implementation of new business developments to drive profitable sales activity.

The key changes

Several changes were identified in the business model to achieve scalability. Firstly, adopting and implementing a new ERP system would allow EnergyAce to improve their efficiency and manage stock. The sales team also needed to be assigned increased accountability to warrant the scale of the business, this was addressed early in the workshops through a refined organisational chart and automated sales processes. Gary also mapped out a new customer service design blueprint that identified the need for project management resource.

The plan and outcomes

EnergyAce used the latter stages of the workshop to devise their Growth Action Plan for embedding the business model changes. As a direct result of the programme, EnergyAce has created eight new jobs with the vision to recruit more and increased their turnover by 74%. The successful implementation of the new ERP system has also allowed them to enter a new niche market and increase their market share by 30% in that specific market. As a result of their exponential growth, EnergyAce was awarded the Electrical Contractor of the Year Award (2021), hosted by the Electrical Contractors Association. The programme has given EnergyAce the plan and the infrastructure to achieve real scale, allowing them to enter new markets underpinned by digital business technologies and create new jobs.

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