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Six-figure tech investment marks new direction and £7m revenue target for cloud specialist Vapour

Posted: Tuesday 26 January 2021

Elland-headquartered cloud technology specialist Vapour has announced a trio of powerful new industry collaborations as the company moves into its next era of growth. The news marks a £350k investment in its toolkit, and the creation of at least seven additional jobs, as Vapour eyes £7m turnover by the end of 2021. The Yorkshire-headquartered firm has been appointed as a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (Microsoft CSP), having signed a new deal with global distributor Tech Data. The partnership means customers can source any Microsoft product or service, through Vapour – including Teams licences, Azure, hybrid cloud, backups and support – with one wrap-around support solution and business analytics across their collaboration stack. Elsewhere, Vapour has enhanced its relationship with existing firewall partner Fortinet, to launch a security-first SD-WAN network proposition with zero touch provisioning. This move comes in response to market demand for cost-effective hybrid cloud solutions that deliver greater agility, network performance and real-time control. With SD-WAN overlays available for MPLS networks, as well as ‘plug and play’ SD-WAN boxes to protect corporate traffic in remote working setups, it is anticipated that this new proposition will prove popular among businesses with a cloud-first roadmap – especially those with satellite operations and homeworkers. The third collaboration sees Vapour further cement its long-standing relationship with Veeam, with the launch of a new suite of hybrid backup, data management, servers, storage and disaster recovery solutions, for customers large and small. The partnerships – which have been almost 12 months in the making – coincide with a complete rebrand for the company, as it nears its eighth anniversary. However, the changes signify far more than a new visual identity, explains CEO Tim Mercer. “When we came to market in 2013, we were very vocal about what cloud could do,” he said. “In truth, people weren’t really ready, yet with the support of our investors, a considered recruitment strategy, and a lot of hard graft, we built an ultra-resilient network – not to mention a straight-talking reputation – which transformed the space. “Fast forward to 2020 and I knew we could do more. I knew our network could be a real enabler of digital transformation. So, as part of our work with Barclays and Cambridge Judge Business School, we challenged every part of our organisation. We enjoy innovating. We aren’t afraid to disrupt. And now I think we can shake up the norm in wider segments of the market too – especially with these tech giants by our side.” Industry collaborations have always been key to Vapour’s route-to-market, and that’s not about to change. “We’re saying to companies of all shapes and sizes, you bring the challenge – however complex – and we’ll bring the solution,” continued Tim. “We’ll continue to collaborate with resellers throughout the channel and hope we can further strengthen their proposition by enhancing our toolkit, while satisfying some of the opportunities that are coming in directly to our business too.” Other new additions to Vapour’s toolkit include robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities, UC&C (Unified Communications & Collaboration) analytics, and a more defined consultancy service to bring the tech stack together. “It would have been easy to rein things in when Covid-19 hit,” admitted Tim. “And the economic backdrop has naturally caused vast uncertainty for many. But we had three big projects on our ‘hit list’ for 2020, and we actually accelerated our growth plans as the year unfolded. “We’ve more significant announcements to come throughout 2021, but the rebrand represents the start of something really exciting for our team – that’s why they played such a crucial part in shaping how we’ll look, sound and behave, moving forward.”
Posted by Scriba PR
Shrink and Stretch for Food Store International

Posted: Tuesday 26 January 2021

Yorkshire Packaging Systems are delighted to announce the installation of new shrink and stretch wrapping equipment at Food Store International Ltd, based in Sutton Coldfield. Food Store International are the go-to supplier of many grocery retailers, sourcing, fulfilling and delivering a wide array of food and non-food products and services to them competitively, efficiently and reliably. As a B2B supplier of ambient, frozen and perishable goods, Food Store International’s products are found in major supermarkets, high street stores, wholesalers and distributors both in the UK and overseas, including Costa Coffee, Hilton Hotels, Carrefour and IKEA. Food store International contacted YPS aiming to upgrade their existing wrapping equipment to increase capacity and speed. The semi-automatic inline sleeve sealer they owned was too slow to cope with growing demand for their most popular products, including trayed cans of drinks. Following a site visit, YPS recommended a fully automatic sleeve sealer, which achieves wrapping speeds of up to 15 packs per minute with the flexibility to wrap singles and multipacks. YPS also identified that a stretch wrapping machine would improve efficiency in Food Store International’s despatch department by automating the pallet wrapping process. The portable S6 robot wrapper was an ideal solution to tackle their entire product range, delivering self-propelled wrapping power for pallets of any size and shape, coupled with a compact footprint and a FDS mechanical brake suitable for pre-stretched film. The shrink wrapping machine was delivered only three days after an official order was placed and was installed by YPS’s specialist engineers the following day with comprehensive training delivered simultaneously. The pallet wrapping robot followed shortly later, in spite of expected long delays related to COVID. A two visit service contract was included without charge to ensure ongoing preventative maintenance for both wrapping operations. Since the initial upgrade, Food Store International have also invested in a motorised infeed conveyor from YPS to further automate their shrink wrapping line and are seeing great returns on speed and efficiency targets. Larne Patrick, Sales Manager at Yorkshire Packaging Systems added ‘Food Store International supply some of the largest grocery retailers in the world, so it’s important that their in-house packaging facilities measure up. It was a pleasure to help them achieve their goals with our high-quality shrink and stretch wrapping systems.’
Posted by Yorkshire Packaging Systems Ltd
YPS On The Move!

Posted: Tuesday 26 January 2021

In 2019 Yorkshire Packaging Systems (YPS) announced an upcoming move to a 30,000sq foot premises in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, that was to become the firm’s new offices and national distribution centre following a comprehensive renovation and refit. Excitingly, YPS have revealed that not only is the new site now only mere weeks away from being fully operational, but that the company has grown so much since the initial purchase that they will be also retaining their existing site in Dewsbury for additional storage, against original plans. This development means that the full footprint of YPS occupied territory will now total over 50,000sq feet. YPS report that the newly renovated site in Brighouse incorporates a state-of-the-art showroom and demo centre, bright, modern offices and meeting rooms, an expansive warehouse and a spacious workshop with a fitted floor-to-ceiling storeroom. A sweeping mezzanine floor has been installed overlooking the demo centre to offer customers a 360 view of the impressive wrapping machinery systems on display. Keen to unveil the new space to customers and suppliers alike, the company are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony and opening day as soon as COVID restrictions will allow. The key benefit of becoming a two-site operation is the capacity for greater stock holding, says Glyn Johnson, YPS M.D. ‘Our sales have doubled in the last three years so space for more stock is critical to allow us to fulfil more customer orders without extending our short lead times.’ Not only has recent growth triggered Yorkshire Packaging’s requirement for extra space, it has also carved out several job opportunities within the business. YPS are currently recruiting for a Parts Manager and are looking for new engineers and office staff in early 2021. An additional salesman joined the team only recently to focus on new market sectors and product groups that the business had been unable to accommodate previously. YPS have also commissioned an exciting rebrand project, to align their image with the pace of growth and success they are experiencing. The new look, which will come into use alongside the opening of the new HQ, is a nod to all the core elements of the company. The font alludes to the forward-thinking technological focus, the strapline to the commitment to offer total solutions to all customers and the iconography reflects YPS’s very raison d'etre – to protect and preserve through packaging. The red shade that YPS is known for will remain, now matched with a slate tone to project reliability, longevity and stability. Glyn and his team have a lot to look forward to as 2020 closes and a new chapter begins for YPS. ‘We’ve been at our existing premises for 30 years. They’ve served their purpose but we’re all getting excited now as we see the HQ taking shape’ he says. Hinting at what else 2021 could have in store for the company, Glyn says he has plans to expand product offerings further and develop the recyclability of existing products, particularly for the food market. YPS are certainly moving – onwards and upwards.
Posted by Yorkshire Packaging Systems Ltd
Tech start up, socialsendr relaunches its app to support sole traders and businesses across the UK

Posted: Thursday 21 January 2021

Socialsendr has relaunched with a new brand and enhanced features to support sole traders and entrepreneurs in giving their business a social media heartbeat. Where many businesses were forced to close their doors due to the pandemic, socialsendr took the bold move to close down its operation for three months to deliver a stronger product offering to existing and new customers. The web-based platform, which is the only app on the market to create, schedule and post content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, transforms the way in which sole traders and freelancers deliver their social media presence, eliminating the need to invest in additional staff resource, and saving hours every week. Social media content creation and scheduling is made easy, with users able to customise content to the topics and interests that suit their desired audience, and schedule posts at the click of a button. All topics and key dates have already been uploaded to the platform, enabling customers to pick and choose content to suit their needs. Created by entrepreneur Michelle Cowan, the business offers a unique proposition and is already a hit with sole traders who have embraced its brand building benefits at a cost of £9.99 p/m. For more information, visit www.socialsendr.com
Posted by Justo Software
Boiler company helps heat people experiencing homelessness

Posted: Wednesday 20 January 2021

Yorkshire boiler company Boiler Central is partnering with national homeless charity, Crisis throughout January to raise essential funds. The campaign will see Boiler Central donate two per cent of profits for all sales made throughout January, to the charity. Boiler Central staff and some dedicated customers went heatless for people experiencing homelessness and turned off their heating on the evening of Wednesday 13 January – the coldest day of the year in Britain. The company will also be sending ‘keep warm’ packages to Crisis’s Skylight Centre in South Yorkshire, filled with essential items such as socks and toiletries for both men and women. Crisis helps people directly out of homelessness, and campaigns for the changes needed to solve it altogether. The charity provides aid through education, training and support with housing, employment and health, offering one to one support, advice and courses for people experiencing homelessness in 11 areas across England, Scotland and Wales. Crisis estimates that more than 200,000 families and individuals in England are currently experiencing the worst forms of homelessness. Because of the financial impact of the pandemic, many people have been pushed over the brink into homelessness and have been forced to sleep on our streets, sofa surf or are stuck in unsuitable accommodation. James Elston, co-founder of Boiler Central explains: “After experiencing a successful first year in business, we want to focus on supporting the community and giving something back in 2021. We chose to partner with Crisis because of the amazing work they do nationally to support people without somewhere safe and secure to call home. “Homelessness reached a peak before the pandemic and has only been worsened by the devastating effects of Covid-19. Crisis works tirelessly to support people that find themselves homeless, and with many fundraising events cancelled during 2020 and now 2021, we want to help do our bit to raise funds and awareness.” Richard Lee, Director of Fundraising at Crisis, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Boiler Central for choosing to support Crisis this January. The past year has been incredibly tough for everyone and having somewhere safe and secure to call home has never been more important. “The money raised by Boiler Central will help us to continue our vital work, making sure we can be there for as many people experiencing homelessness as possible. With their help, we can support people as they rebuild their lives and access education, training and advice to leave homelessness behind for good.” Donations can be made via the JustGiving page throughout January: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/heatless-for-homeless
Posted by LIT Communication
Synergos Consultancy appoint apprentice Office Administrator

Posted: Tuesday 19 January 2021

Following a period of growth in 2020, Synergos Consultancy Ltd have appointed an Office Administrator, Abigail Kilburn. Abigail is currently in her second year at a local college, studying business at level 3 and has achieved a merit-merit in business at level 2 in her first year at college. Since she joined the business, she has already played an active role in supporting the Compliance team with their administration tasks. She has also thrown herself into supporting and managing our Charity of the Year, The Children’s air ambulance and has helped to organise and taken part in a fundraising event. Julie Reininger, Business Manager at Synergos Consultancy said of Abigail’s role: “Having Abigail join the company is a breath of fresh air. We are taking advantage of her applying what she is learning in college and bringing fresh eyes to every situation. Abigail is determined to finish everything that she has been given and makes sure that it is of high standard. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and supporting Abigail as she embarks on her career.”  Abigail added: “Following my appointment, I have had the opportunity to get stuck in with daily activities within the business and support all of my colleagues. I have really enjoyed learning on the job and being able to apply knowledge from my college course to a real-life situation. I am hoping to get a job in Human Resources after college and then eventually move down to London.”
Posted by Synergos Consultancy Ltd
Smith Brothers energises 65MW of renewables projects

Posted: Monday 18 January 2021

Electrical engineering firm, Smith Brothers Contracting Ltd, has connected two solar farms to the grid – collectively generating up to 65MW of clean energy for the UK. The first of the two renewables projects – both of which will be connected to the Western Power Distribution (WPD) network, is The Grange, a 40MW solar farm located in Newark. Acting as the independent connection provider (ICP), Yorkshire headquartered Smith Brothers energised the 207-acre site earlier this month. The second project, a 125-acre plot in Strensham, Worcestershire, was connected in November and will generate 25 MW of power via 100,000 solar modules. Dave Ogden, MD at Smith Brothers said; “As the UK strives to meet its clean energy targets, we are proud to be known as the ICP of choice for some of the country’s leading renewable power connections. “Over the course of our 21-year history, we’ve seen some significant changes in the industry – but being a part of shaping the sustainable future of our planet is something Smith Brothers is keen to be synonymous with.” The scope of works at both The Grange and Strensham saw Smith Brothers providing a turnkey solution which included all contestable elements of the 132kV and 66kV WPD connections respectively, as well as the 33kV private-side.
Posted by Scriba PR
Calderdale PR firm celebrates two new account wins for 2021

Posted: Monday 18 January 2021

The win involves a new PR project for tech start up socialsendr (Justo Software Ltd) focusing on generating media coverage within business press. A social media app that supports entrepreneurs and sole traders in maintaining their own social media channels, socialsendr is one of the only app’s on the market to create content and schedule it, all in one place. For full article - https://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/business/calderdale-pr-firm-celebrates-two-new-account-wins-2021-3104099
Posted by Justo Software
Component supplier expands to US following increased innovation from the manufacturing sector during pandemic

Posted: Wednesday 13 January 2021

High precision components supplier, Accu, has increased sales by 60% during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is expected to turnover between £6-7m this financial year, due to soaring demand from the engineering and manufacturing sectors. An initial slump in March – due to the first COVID-19 lockdown – was quickly counteracted by a need from manufacturers to innovate new products quickly. Able to design and manufacture prototypes within a very small timeframe, the company – which was founded in 2012 – has supplied engineering components to F1, Mars Rover and ventilator manufacturers in the last few months. It also supplied components to PIVOT Fitness, a company which manufactures a bed which turns into a home gym. In November, Accu hit three new sales records in one week, culminating in 500 orders – the most taken in a day – its highest daily revenue – £50,000 – and its highest weekly revenue. This rise in demand aided the company’s decision to have a physical presence in the USA, enabling the firm to offer a round-the-clock service to its global manufacturing clients. Co-founder, Martin Ackroyd, noted some interesting findings. He said: “At the start of lockdown, business to consumer sales showed significant growth. We quickly discovered that furloughed engineers were investing their own time and money in early prototypes – and they took advantage of our high precision components, available in small quantities. “Then, as the manufacturing sector realised that they had a huge part to play in the fight against COVID-19, engineers were taken off furlough and were required to innovate solutions for the medical frontline – such as ventilators. Our customers were incredibly agile, and I’m proud that we were able to support them with fast prototyping of components." To deal with such a huge increase in demand, Accu has implemented a double shift pattern at its warehouse and is eyeing up a second location to enable an even quicker response to clients’ needs. Martin finished: “2021 is looking like another record-breaking year. 2020 has not been easy, but we’ve proven that we’re able to support our client base during tough times, and it is these relationships that will mature next year – they’ll come back to us for their larger production needs when the market recovers. “We currently export to 150 countries worldwide, and we intend to set up distribution centres around the world – we are just at the start.”
Posted by Byram, Amy
4 Lessons Learnt from COVID

Posted: Wednesday 13 January 2021

When the 2008 recession hit, I was in the Army and, for me, little changed. While I saw on the news the devastating impact of the crash, I still got my monthly wage in full and on time. From memory, the only change was that I didn’t receive my yearly pay rise for about 5 years. Fast forward to 2020, I am now a civilian (in civvi street) and a business owner. The initial impact of Coronavirus was an eye opener, to put it mildly. Our whole sales pipeline stopped overnight, and I was worried. I am not afraid to admit I had a few sleepless nights. I just didn’t know what I was supposed to do. This recession has given me an insight into what businesses faced in 2008 and in truth, a real appreciation for their resilience. In the Army we had to be resilient for obvious reasons. It’s instilled from day one and we were constantly tested when training. We had to be resilient and keep going for our mates, for our Regiment, and for the Queen. But it’s not so in civvi street. I could have stopped and given in at any time. No one would have died, my Regiment (the Coldstream Guards) would not have suffered a defeated, and, dare I say it, the Queen‘s reputation would not have been affected. I could have got a job and life would have carried on. Simple. And that’s true for every single business, any one of them could have said, “that’s it, I’ve had enough”. And no one could have blamed them. Which makes it the more impressive. As a result, I have a far greater appreciation for businesses and their owners. For what it’s worth, I thought I would write down 4 things I have learnt from the COVID incident that I hope may one day help someone else in my position. Understand the Risk of Having Clients Now I know I’m in the business of risk and you think I’d have this sorted. But you’d be wrong. This incident has taught me so much more. Taking on a new client is as much as risk as investing in a new machine or moving to bigger premises. They have the same potential to destroy your business. So, my advice, treat every new client as a risk and grade them accordingly. Consider the likelihood of them not being able to pay you against the impact should they not pay. Keep it under constant review. Talk to Your Clients More A simple one I know and something I thought I was doing well. But I found out there was plenty of room for improvement. Following the review of my clients (using the above method), I knew who I considered ‘at risk’ and those that I wasn’t overly concerned with. I started talking to those at risk on a regular basis- weekly. Those at less risk at longer intervals. I was genuinely interested in how they were getting on, after all it could affect my business. Turns out it’s good to talk (who knew!). I know my clients so much better than before and I’ve had more business because of it. And I learnt so much from them. Short Term Pain Having started talking to my clients on a more regular basis, it was evident that some were faring far worse than others. Particularly those business that were in the hospitality sector. After a review we made the decision to provide our services free of charge to those that needed it. It was a difficult decision but at the same time an easy decision. Why wouldn’t you help those that needed it? We can absorb some loss for our clients to help them get through this. I hope I’m not speaking to soon, but we will all come out the other end in a better place. Be Efficient A term I’d often heard “does it make the boat go faster?” and yes, I knew what it meant until I was in a position that I needed to look what we did as a business. Inefficiency costs time, resources, and ultimate money. So, be as business efficient as possible, make sure every process works together a seamlessly as possible. Easily said than done, but worth doing right. So, what? I feel in a much better place than before the pandemic hit. Yes, we aren’t through it yet, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And it has led me to think, how can I better support my clients grow their business. So, in the next month or so, we will be running a webinar to help business streamline their security, so it doesn’t restrict or inhibit their business processes. Keep an eye out. Luke
Posted by Equilibrium Risk Ltd
652 results found, page 1 of 66.  
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