Improving business efficiency vital as companies look to boost the bottom line

Businesses fighting to maintain and boost turnover and profit levels are increasingly working to rationalise internal procedures to ensure their competitive edge is not compromised by operational and administrative inefficiency.

Independent consultancy Absoft supports blue chip companies in multiple international locations as they work to rationalise systems in SAP, the world's leading business software suite, and has seen a major upturn in work since recession hit the global economy in 2008.

The firm has boosted its own profits by more than 168% in the last financial year, as it pushes a major growth strategy, on the back of a turnover uplift of more than a third. The software specialist recorded turnover of £8.35million in the year-ended May 2012, up 36% on the £6.1million it secured in 2010-11.

Ian Mechie, founder and managing director of the Aberdeen-headquartered business, says: "Market conditions have brought a significant focus on efficiency and cost reduction, leading companies to make moves to update aged internal systems which could otherwise leave them with an unacceptable level of risk.

"This often falls from the use of disparate systems across key business areas, such as finance, supply chain, maintenance and human resources and payroll – rather than a single system which allows processes to be joined together.

"By using one integrated management system all the information vital to successful operations is brought together in one consistent source which can be accessed across the company. This means the business can focus on achieving its core objectives– and can be confident that its back-office functions are supported by systems which are fit for purpose.

"Moving to a single package also reduces reliance on spreadsheets and work being carried out off system, minimising the likelihood of human error or duplication of effort."

In the energy marketplace, where Absoft supplies SAP software, consultancy and support services to clients and has expanded its client base in Norway, South America and continental Europe, there is a vital need for co-ordination in business processes.

"As companies continue to expand globally and operate in ever more remote locations the challenges of managing the increasingly complex operations associated with this growth become ever more onerous," adds Mechie.

"Companies must cope with the complexities of operating in both local and regional hubs, managing multiple languages and currencies, with different legislative and taxation requirements and often very different operating environments."

“At the same time the demands persist for greater efficiency, higher productivity and lower costs across the energy sector.”

"Businesses employing SAP are able to maximise returns by ensuring the right people or piece of equipment are in the right place at the right time, first time whenever and wherever they are needed, through standardised processes in an efficient integrated system," says Mechie.

"Our own business plan has always focussed on ensuring we build on a solid foundation –carrying out continuous improvement across our own operations to ensure we have the expertise and capacity to respond in any location, when clients have a requirement."

Absoft is forecasting further staff growth as it responds to demand, with 10 new graduate trainees having joined the business this month, ahead of an overall 80% increase in its existing 110 staff planned over the next three years to support delivery of services in the UK, Norway and South America.