Wheatley Benefit From IM CollaborationSeptember 20, 2016
Not all companies who are part of the Innovation Martlesham cluster are headquartered at the Adastral Park site, but that doesn’t mean they don’t benefit from being in the cluster. Wheatley is a good example of this, joining Innovation Martlesham approximately 18 months ago, as an already established software SME based in Bacton, Stowmarket.
Wheatley design and develop software for the UK utilities sector, with a particular focus on metering solutions. Wheatley was formed to take advantage of the changing needs of the industry at the point when the electricity market was opened up to competition in 1991. A well-known presence in its chosen sector Wheatley has grown over the last 25 years, introducing new solutions to solve specific utilities issues and to take advantage of further changing market requirements. Wheatley now offer a full suite of metering solutions, including asset management and workforce management to electricity and gas industry customers and will soon also deliver similar solutions into the UK water market as competition is introduced here too.
So how exactly does an established company with an existing reputation for deep domain knowledge get benefit from Innovation Martlesham participation? Well, operating in a complex and ever-evolving industry undergoing large scale regulatory and operational change through the UK-wide introduction of smart meters and government plans to give businesses and consumers a choice of water supplier means that Wheatley have to evolve at a fast pace too. Wheatley have experienced unprecedented levels of growth in the past two years to keep up with changing industry needs and new market entrants and this looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. More business mean that Wheatley need more people and with five current vacancies and three just filled Wheatley need to use networks such as Innovation Martlesham to find the right people with the right specialist skills.
Not only is Wheatley growing in size, it is continually evolving to be compliant with industry requirements and to ensure customers can continue to trust the service delivered. In turn, Wheatley need to be able to trust the suppliers they use to understand the complex nature of the utilities industry and keep up with Wheatley’s pace of change. That is why Wheatley were pleased to work with another Innovation Martlesham member Applied Risk Management Ltd to assist in gaining ISO27001 Information Security certification through building and implementing an appropriate and sustainable Information Security Management System in just 6 months at the beginning of this year. In fact, the assistance delivered by Andy Mills from Applied Risk Management Ltd worked so well for Wheatley they are already working with him to gain a further ISO certification for Business Continuity and upgrade their existing ISO9001 Quality standard from the 2008 version to the new 2015 edition!
More recently, Wheatley have also engaged Milner Strategic Marketing to understand the size of the market for our scheduling and route optimisation software – Assign. The market analysis work will help Wheatley focus sales activities on the most attractive market segments.
Jane Bromley, Marketing Manager and the Wheatley management team member responsible for ISO27001 Information Security certification said:
“It is great news that Innovation Martlesham have been part of our recent successes. There are lots of places we could go to find support for the new appointments, process changes and the market intelligence we need as we grow, but there is a strong sense of maintaining a reputation for excellence in the Innovation Martlesham cluster, that members seem to work very hard to uphold. This has meant that we have benefited from honest and constructive support from experts in their field, who have helped us take our aspirations and turn them into goals, together with supporting us in developing and carrying out realistic plans to achieve them.
Support hasn’t just been through the professional services we can access either – Innovation Martlesham is an invaluable network of contacts, who have been extremely supportive as we have sought to explore new avenues for future growth; from enthusiastically working with us to explore our new ideas at the fragile, early stages, through to spreading the news to help gather feedback on our proof of concept products like Glide.
As Wheatley look at other ways to innovate and develop potential new products, we are sure Innovation Martlesham will continue to be a valuable and dependable community to us”.