31FUSEMETRIX GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Matthew Ballinger is founder
and director of the FuseMetrix
Group
FuseMetrix is used to manage complex multi-activity, multi-site companies. This
photograph from Zip World demonstrates how FuseMetrix accommodates even the
most unusual enterprises and the extremely broad range of processes within them
FuseMetrix is a fully integrated, cloud-based business system
for companies that are in the process of upscaling. It means
that with a single piece of software, organisations can replace
separate individual systems for accounts, project management,
manufacturing, stock management, logistics, CRM, emails,
diaries, ebooking systems, till software and much more.
Beginnings
I started my career in the late 1980s, working for the finance director of a
large food manufacturer. My role was to go through the business from end to
end, analysing various systems and processes, while finding and implementing
efficiencies wherever possible. Over two years, I worked my way through every
process in the business, looking at everything from sales and production planning
to procurement and manufacturing to stock control and logistics. There were some
minor efficiencies in the production areas, but I was stunned by the inefficiencies in
the business’s administration.
The company had plenty of technology, and every key process had some form of
computerisation. The real issue was that systems couldn’t talk to each other. Orders
would arrive by phone, fax or telex and were typed into a central customer order
system. At the end of each day, the system would generate a printed sales report,
which was given to the production planning department, where it was manually
typed into their system. They planned the work to fulfil the orders, printed a report
listing the raw materials needed and gave it to the procurement department. They
then administered it into their system through to the logistics department. At the
time, such convoluted processes were standard in businesses and were in dire need
of reform – from a technological and business standpoint.
FACTS ABOUT
FUSEMETRIX GROUP
»Founder and director:
Matthew Ballinger
»Established in 2002 under an
earlier company name
»Based in Milton Keynes,
Buckinghamshire
»Services: Supply and
development of single
software platform to run
entire businesses
»No. of employees: 17
»Helps SMEs to scale up while
increasing efficiency
»www.fusemetrix.com
FuseMetrix Group
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | FUSEMETRIX GROUP
I had an interest in computer
programming and, with the company’s
blessing, I set about writing some
electronic “glue” to stick these
programs together so data could
flow through the business. My work
increased the company’s efficiency
by saving hours of admin each day,
while improving information visibility
throughout the business.
Inception of FuseMetrix: from
strength to strength
I’m sharing this story because it is what
drove me to come up with the idea of
FuseMetrix.
After moving on from the food
company, I became a computer
programming contractor in London’s
finance sector. In 2002, I decided
to develop a computer system for
SMEs to make them more efficient
and to help them gain some of the
competitive advantage that larger
companies had achieved.
This advantage was predominantly due
to efficiencies achieved by automation
through all-encompassing computer
systems. At the time, these systems
cost millions of pounds and were
therefore unobtainable for SMEs.
Although this was several years before
anyone had mentioned “the cloud”,
what we designed and built was just
that: a cloud-based complete business
management system. At this point,
companies were familiar with online
banking and various web systems.
It seemed that the logical extension
was to combine everything into one
system, then control who could see –
and do – what within the system. With
that, FuseMetrix was born.
The product has continued to evolve
and now runs companies ranging from
start-ups to household names.
In my introduction I highlighted the
administrative inefficiencies of the food
company I worked for. In those days,
it was just the way that companies
operated and was deemed completely
normal. The shocking truth is that,
over 25 years later, we see this sort of
inefficiency in companies almost daily
when we visit new prospects.
This inhibits the UK economy because
we have a predominantly SME business
sector. While many of the products
Manufacturers are using
FuseMetrix to gain new
efficiencies
Our business
sector is
predominantly
made up of
SMEs … they
are still running
disconnected,
inefficient
business
processes,
meaning
increased
overheads and
lowered profits
33FUSEMETRIX GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
and services they offer are excellent,
these businesses are running on
disconnected, inefficient business
processes which add to overheads and
lower profit.
Looking to the future
Incumbent software providers generally
realise the future will be dominated
by integrated data. Today, a growing
number of companies provide APIs
(Application Programming Interfaces)
which show data held in each system
to other systems within the business,
gluing them together so they speak to
each other.
This is a good start in some respects,
but it means that you still have
customer data in your accounts
system, customer data in your CRM,
customer data in your website
database (so customers can log in) and
customer data in your email marketing
system. You might have APIs holding
it all together, but to achieve a global
view of your customer base, you would
have to look in a variety of different
areas of your IT infrastructure.
There will always be specialist tasks
that can only be carried out with
specialist software, but my vision is
to have a single customer record,
which neatly and securely holds all
a customer’s information. When a
specialist application needs to use that
data, it can be given access in order to
do what it needs then feed back the
results. The same applies to all areas
of the business, from supply chain to
products and services through to HR.
Having one record in a central location
makes company insight far easier
because all the information is held in
one place.
Companies need to think about what
data they hold, and where, when they
review their General Data Protection
Regulation (GDPR) compliance. This
year, companies have spent time and
large sums of money trying to get to
grips with the type of data they hold,
where it is stored, why they need it
and whether or not they should still
be holding it. Having one record with
everything linked to it would have
made this task less arduous, much
simpler and costs much less.
Having one
record in a
central location
makes company
insight far easier,
because all the
information you
could possibly
want is in one
place
FuseMetrix is being used
by companies like iFLY
to scale up and expand
overseas
» ADVANTAGES OF
FUSEMETRIX
»All your data is in one place,
allowing an instant real-time
view of the whole company
»You’re always on the latest
version, so no more costly and
disruptive upgrades
»There’s nothing to install
»Simplified GDPR compliance
»No need for costly on-site servers
»Built-in back-up and disaster
recovery
»You only pay for what you use