Keystone Software Development

Building A Foundation For Sustainable Growth For UK Business Software Developer

Sustainable growth programme enables Keystone Software Development to close more deals, increase turnover and improve the bottom line

Keystone Software Development Limited develop business software, including resource planning and ERP software, focusing on software for mail order and e-commerce websites, including multi-brand, multi-channel and multi-offering companies. The software is core to ‘pick, pack and dispatch’ processes, including stock control, order processing, reporting, accounts functions and CRM.

Mike Cockfield, founder and Managing Director of Keystone Software Development says that they want to grow the business as quickly and positively as possible. They are keen to take the business to the next level into the mid-sized enterprise market, to “where the turnover is over £5 million a year, the product is growing, and the customer base continues to grow. Where we are supporting our customers and continuing to grow with them.”

Steve Potts of Transmentum has been meeting with the management and sales teams at Keystone Software Development once a month, for close on a year, to help the company achieve its sustainable growth objectives.

Aim to grow sustainably

Growing sustainably has been one of their biggest business challenges, particularly ensuring that they maintain the quality of the software and continue to deliver a high level of customer service. “We experienced rapid growth in the past. We coped with it, but we didn’t manage that transition well.”

Close more deals

Since Transmentum has come on board they’ve experienced an uptake in sales, because they are now more focused on qualifying and targeting the right prospects. “We’ve always had a healthy pipeline,” says Mike Cockfield. “Steve has helped us with the sales side of things, no doubt. I can’t put a figure on how much, but he has definitely helped with our closing process. We close more deals.”

Focus on process and efficiency

The new sales may have happened anyway they say. However, they feel they may not have done as well had they not gone through the management process changes that Steve helped them to identify and put in place. Mike Cockfield says Transmentum “has helped with the process side of things. We have become more efficient, so there are savings there as well. It has definitely made an impression commercially and is helping to take the business forward.”

Focused management team

Mike Cockfield says the biggest benefit was bringing the management team together and making them feel more valued and able to contribute to the business. Transmentum …”help bring your management team together, focus them and give them the power to grow the business for you.
They are a catalyst in a way. They help your management team to be more productive.”

Consultancy process

The management consultancy process has been particularly valuable to the business, “Each session we’ve run has been as valuable as the last. They are making a real impact in terms of how the management team operates and how the company continues to progress and grow.” The process has helped to highlight where Keystone Software can improve, and has given the team the knowledge and the tools to get on with it.

Live the core values

Keystone Software now have a much stronger understanding of their core values they say. Though the management team had a very good understanding of the values before, they weren’t expressing them clearly. “It has given us the structure and confidence for each team to work more proactively on their own, and put in place short and long term plans.”

Focused monthly sessions

Andy Richley, First Line Support Team Manager at Keystone Software says, “We are getting more out of the process as the months go on, not because the offering has changed, but because we better understand what we can achieve. The monthly sessions are more focused on stuff that we can get our teeth into, work on and help to improve the business.”

Challenges team to improve

Working with Transmentum isn’t about superfluous box ticking says Andy Richley, “You aren’t sat there all doing silly tasks, going off paintballing at weekends. It is focused on what we want to achieve as a business, what our targets and aims are, what our weaknesses and strengths are. It constantly challenges us as a team to develop and improve.”

Bottom line benefits

Andy Richley adds that the process changes they have made – how they deliver quotations and qualify prospects upfront – has made a real impact on their hit rate and the business they bring in. “The greatest value has been on the bottom line, in terms of closing sales and getting deals in. Also in terms of keeping our existing customer base happy and continuing to spend with us. Putting us in a position where we are able to grow rapidly and securely.”

“Because of the groundwork we have put in place with Transmentum, and because we continue to revisit our processes, procedures and what we are doing as a management team, we have achieved really good growth. We are in a position to sustain that and to continue to grow rapidly as a business.”

Doubled workforce

Their headcount too has almost doubled in the last year, growing from sixteen people to a workforce of thirty. “From a pure growth perspective – in terms of manpower – we have grown rapidly,” says Andy Richley. “Growth isn’t a safe process. With the tools, strategy and procedures in place, and with Transmentum’s support, we’ve grown in a robust and sustainable way.”

A valued working relationship

Mike Cockfield says Transmentum are “specialists in business with a lot of experience. Enthusiastic people who can really help, or know people who can really help. They have a large network who can help in different areas, and speakers at peer group meetings that teach you things you didn’t know before.” About the consultancy process he says, “It has been very valuable and will continue to be. It’s just useful having people who have been there and done it, so you don’t go through the same mistakes.”

Valuable peer network

The quarterly peer group meetings Transmentum run are just as valuable because they offer the Keystone management team the opportunity to learn interesting new things from the group and from the speakers “Judging from the peer group meetings and from the resources available, there’s a wide range of expertise and skills sets appropriate to the IT environment.”