Sigmat is the UK’s largest fully integrated Light Gauge Steel Framing (LGSF) provider, and an important participant in the UK’s growing offsite construction sector. The business has around 115 members of staff and is headquartered in Skipton, with a large offsite manufacturing facility in Leeds and ancillary offices in Evesham and Glasgow. Turnover is currently in excess of £30m (2016/7).
Sigmat is a family-orientated business that has experienced sustained growth since it was founded in 2001. The IT infrastructure and control systems hadn’t kept up with the pace of growth and were no longer able to meet the needs of the business.
How Intuitus helped
In 2016 Intuitus carried out IT due diligence on Sigmat ahead of LDC’s investment in the business. Sigmat subsequently engaged Intuitus to provide project management expertise to implement the actions highlighted in the initial report, and an experienced Project Director to provide programme assurance.
The priority was to update the company’s IT infrastructure. As an example, the business was reliant on 7-8 different servers, with some data backed up in the Cloud and other data retained on site. Intuitus recommended a consolidation exercise plus measures to improve system resilience.
A new IT service provider was also engaged. “Our previous service provider had been supporting the business since its inception in 2001,” says Andrew Fish, Finance Director at Sigmat. “The move to a new service provider had to be carefully managed, but everything went smoothly and we didn’t experience any problems. The new provider has a much larger team and is more aligned to the size of our business. Switching to a new IT provider was a way of managing future risk within the business.”
When Intuitus’ Project Manager was taken ill shortly after the engagement began he was quickly replaced by another suitably-qualified professional. Intuitus provides a managed service that ensures that performance is consistently delivered and reviewed with our client sponsor and that continuity of service can be achieved, regardless of the circumstances. This is reinforced by Andrew Fish: “Intuitus was very quick at getting someone else on board. It didn’t affect the outcome, and having Phil Reynolds in a programme assurance role meant that there was no break in service or other disruption.”
Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans
Over a four-month period the Project Manager replaced the incumbent IT service provider, created an IT strategy for the business, implemented control procedures, trained staff on cyber security best practice and put together a hardware renewal proposal, which is currently being implemented.
Intuitus’ consultant Phil Reynolds, who provided programme assurance during the four-month project, has since been retained by Sigmat as a fractional IT Director on an ongoing basis to ensure that future projects remain on track.
“The key benefit to having Intuitus on board was having the expertise available to carry out the project. The consultant was able to hit the ground running – whereas by hiring a full-time member of staff there is a risk of becoming side tracked and caught up in day-to-day operations,” says Andrew Fish.
Both Intuitus consultants stuck to the plan and never lost sight of the desired outcome and what the needs of the business were.
“IT in smaller businesses can get neglected,” says Andrew Fish. “We don’t want that to happen at Sigmat. As we move to a more corporate structure and advanced way of working, we need the IT foundations to be in place to facilitate growth.”