Resource type: Case study

Cornish aggregates and concrete products firm Maen Karne

Maen KarneA growing, multi-faceted Cornish aggregates and concrete products firm is hoping to transform its business by harnessing the use of digital technology with support from Superfast Business Cornwall.

Maen Karne began working with the service last year and has since completely changed the way it thinks about digital technology.

Founded in 2005, Maen Karne produces and delivers loose and bagged aggregates, ready mix concrete, concrete blocks and waste management solutions from four sites across Cornwall. Renowned for its distinctive black trucks and the strapline “We’ll move the earth for you”, it has grown into a £20 million turnover business with 140 staff.

As part of the company’s strategic growth plan, Managing Director Ross Facey and his team were keen to ensure all aspects of the business were performing to the highest level, so a digital action plan was developed to run alongside a broader IT strategy.

Ross said: “Working with Superfast Business Cornwall has totally changed the way we think about using digital technology and opened us up to a whole new world of opportunities.

“Having someone come in, look at and understand what we do and the culture of the business, as well as give us the reassurance that we were going in the right direction was brilliant. It was like having an extra Maen Karne team member to help and support us.”

After discussing the business direction with Superfast Business Cornwall’s digital business enabler Steve Edwards, Ross understood what digital developments needed to be put in place and realised Maen Karne’s accounting system needed a major overhaul.

“Our accounting system, the brain of our business, is dated and we struggle to extract the type of information we need to work efficiently and facilitate growth.” he said. “But thanks to the support of Superfast Business Cornwall, we know what we need to do to address the issue and are keen to adopt and capitalise on the latest digital technology to achieve it.

“Steve came to the office and worked with a number of colleagues to look at all aspects of the business to breakdown what we were doing and identify how we could improve.

“It is important for us to get the planning correct in all aspects of the business, and IT and digitisation underpins everything. From our marketing to our invoicing and logistics to customer records, it is all on an IT system. There are opportunities for cost savings so planning for a joined up approach will save money and time, as well as give us a strategy fit for the company’s growth plans.”

He added that Maen Karne not only worked through the IT strategy with Steve but also took part in workshops, a digital masterclass and attended the Tech for Growth digital event held in Cornwall last December.

And thanks to the change in mind-set, a unique digital delivery system could well be on the cards for the firm as it embraces the use of new technology to make its business more efficient.

It is hoped that in the future, the company will be able to use Cloud-based software to monitor haulage and delivery to clients with instant invoicing, saving time and money.

Ross said: “We want to be innovative because that is what capitalising on the use of digital technology is all about. We want to look at giving enabling, but user-friendly technology to our drivers so we can cut down on paperwork with deliveries being signed for and admin reduced.”

Superfast Business Cornwall digital business enabler Steve Edwards, said: “Having worked with Ross and the team at Maen Karne, it is great to see a business tackling IT head on, providing the building blocks to enable the business plan to facilitate their growth.

“They clearly engage with all members of their team, looking at the projects we have discussed and taking advantage of technology to assist them.

“I am sure they will continue to more than move the earth for their customers.”

To find out more about Maen Karne visit: Maen Karne.



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