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We’ve conducted scores of audits in our time and the results are always very well received (even if they do cause a stir).


An audit is an important process which will provide you with truly independent analysis about the systems that may be restricting current advances across the business as a whole.

The systems you run, the data you create, receive and store and the way you use that information for marketing and innovation are the most significant drivers for creating clear levels of differentiation against the competition. Yet all too often these areas are not given the levels of importance that they should be, especially in SME’s. However, before you can extract valuable information from data, you first need to store it and custom systems have the edge over ‘off the shelf’ solutions, because they are designed to improve strategic competitive advantage through five important benefits.

But systems are of no value on their own, so our audit includes a review of all the data you currently have access to, as well as the data you don’t. If gaps exist, we’ll find them, increasing the volume and variety of data, the speed you receive it and the veracity you seek to obtain from it. By increasing the depth of the data you currently possess we’ll help you remove bias, and by increasing the velocity you receive it, we’ll improve the timeliness of what you can deliver. More data, less bias equals greater accuracy.

We’ve conducted scores of audits in our time and the results are always very well received, even if they do cause a stir amongst business owners. Then, once concluded, if you agree with our recommendations and like the way we work, we’ll invite you to sign-off on the project and take appropriate steps to begin the process of delivering improvements in your systems that will considerably expand your ability to take advantage of any new opportunities that arise.

Five Features of a Custom System - Strategic Competitive Advantage

Although off-the-shelf (OtS) platforms may appear to be a lower cost at face value, there are significant and sometimes hidden risks associated with using them.

  1. The first is that an ‘OtS’ system has been developed from an understanding gained from your competitors, so any suggestions you may have to improve it for your own benefit, will in time, become a benefit to them, making it harder for you to find clear differentiation in order to compete.
  2. The second is that with your willingness to share your intellectual property, you are also fuelling the very software business you initially sought out, to help you.
    (Example: Mercedes Benz had for years been providing feedback to a supplier on faulty product components that were being fitted both on Mercedes vehicles and across other competing prestige car brands. Once they realised this information was helping their competitors and supplier, they began manufacturing these components in-house for a commercial advantage)
  3. It’s highly likely that you’ll pay more for the ‘OtS’ solution in the long run because you’ll lose sight of the total expenditure you’ve committed to over time.
    Fact: We’ve seen some of our bespoke solutions breaking even within months of acceptance testing, putting you in a far stronger position than the competition.
  4. With a bespoke system, it’s yours. You and you alone benefit from unique insights into your business processes, operations, sales inventory, customer acquisition and churn, reporting and automation of key tasks and analytics. Besides, you can make inexpensive or zero cost updates as part of a low-cost annual support agreement that will save thousands (£’s).
  5. You can currently benefit from rebates generated against the R&D Tax Credit programme, something you’re not able to do with an ‘OtS’ platform.

If you do make the decision to purchase an ‘Off the Shelf’ solution and you’ve not established that it will do precisely as you expect, or you’ve considered just the price of the software in its most basic form rather than what that price represents, you should consider this comment from 19th century educator John Ruskin… 

There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much money, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
John Ruskin

Our Trident service has been developed to help firms make strategic gains in Operations, Technology and Human Capital.

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