Resource type: Case study

Sapience HR

Cornish HR Company #ScaleUpWithTech

Operating for over a decade, Sapience HR Ltd are expert advisers, providing outsourced human resource and personnel consultancy services to businesses in Cornwall and the South West.  

“It all went so smoothly thanks to Superfast Business Cornwall!”

Managing Director, Sue Hook, describes her business mission as wanting to redefine HR. “We provide a proactive, honest and straightforward strategic approach to brilliant human resources; an approach that continually delivers, on multiple levels.”

The Opportunity

With a flexible remote working team, Sapience HR already used cloud-based systems such as VOIP and Xero in place. However, the team used spreadsheets and manual recording systems for client activity and invoicing information.   

With a growing portfolio of clients, Sue understood that her client management and administrative systems needed streamlining in order to continue to deliver a responsive service, even at peak times. To this end, Sue began exploring appropriate CRM systems which also met current UK data protection law requirements.

The Solution – CRM and cloud-based system

When Sue contacted Superfast Business Cornwall in 2017, she received advice and guidance from an experienced Online Business Adviser about the benefits of cloud-based CRM packages.   

As part of the 12-hour programme of support, she attended a ‘Technology for Growth’ workshop which gives an overview of digital technologies for small businesses and the opportunity to think about a digital strategy within the business. 

Steve Edwards, a Digital Business Enabler, worked with Sue and the team to choose the most appropriate tools for their business needs. Accelo CRM was chosen as the best cloud-based system for the business as the fully automated, all-in-one web-based platform manages sales, projects, customer service, retainers and more, in the cloud. Additionally, Xero, an intuitive, cloud-based accounting package, was integrated with Accelo CRM to easily manage both the financial and project management aspect of day-to-day activities, critical for small businesses that are looking to scale up. 

As this digital project was able to help the business grow new business outside of the region and create new jobs, they were able to apply for grant funding. Steve worked with Sue to guide her through the funding application and was on hand to provide 1-to-1 support helping to map the project and develop an effective ICT strategy, prior to her application for funding.  

A private-sector ICT specialist, funded by Superfast Business Cornwall, was appointed to guide Sue and the team through the implementation of Accelo and Xero across Sapience HR’s IT set-up. 

The Impact for Sapience HR

Sapience HR now has a further opportunity to continue delivering a responsive, competitive service to clients both in Cornwall and out of area, on a national scale.  

On the support Sapience HR received, Sue said:   

“This system will ultimately improve services to our clients and prospective clients. This will no doubt accelerate our business whilst maintaining a cash flow that enables the business to grow in staff numbers and profitability. This process was vital to enable and transform our business and prospect opportunities.   

It all went so smoothly thanks to Superfast Business Cornwall!”  

Reflecting on the project, Steve Edwards added:   

“This new system allows Sapience HR to easily produce accurate reports on case management, billable hours and provide better overall reporting. The system will improve project management with the ultimate benefits of increasing output, streamlining administrative tasks and saving costs.   

Through this digital advance, Sapience HR can enjoy steady growth.”    

With CRM and project management infrastructure in place that rivals that of larger HR consultancies in the South West, Sapience HR is now competitively placed to work with clients of all sizes and target new sectors. The business has created new roles, hiring an HR Adviser, a part-time Marketing and Sales Coordinator and are recruiting for two further roles in 2019. 

Interested in growing your business using CRM and cloud-based accounting technology?

What is CRM and how can it benefit my business?

Today’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can trace their heritage back to the days of paper-based filing and the famous Rolodex system. In essence your CRM system is a database that contains detailed information about each of your business’s customers. A CRM could help your business better manage all the interactions and relationships it has with established and potential customers. CRM enables your business to potentially bring all the threads that make up your business into one platform that everyone can access. 

What is cloud-based accounting software and how can it benefit my business?

Cloud computing is essentially pay-as-you-go IT, online and on demand. It involves accessing IT resources (such as applications and storage) over the internet rather than having them on your own PC or network. 

Online bookkeeping and accounting services use broadband and high speed internet connections to provide businesses and individuals with anywhere anytime access to software for managing administrative and financial records and tasks. The online approach to bookkeeping and accounting can simplify and speed up all sorts of related processes, such as bank reconciliation, the management of cash flow and expenses, and the completion and submission of Value Added Tax (VAT) returns. 

Further resources : Informative, free-to-access, online guides and more

To learn more about the impact that these systems could have on your business, below are some of the many resources available on our Knowledge Bank: 

Harness digital technology for business growth

visit :

Created for small to medium sized businesses based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, this practical bank of information contains free to access in-depth guides, top tips, case studies, videos, blogs and more. The content is impartial and written in plain English.

The benefits of adopting digital technology


Funded by ERDF, Superfast Business Cornwall provides a fully funded programme of support to help businesses understand, adopt and exploit digital technology for growth. Delivered by a small team of experienced Digital Business Advisers, the service offers 1-2-1 impartial advice, website reviews, workshops for small groups and advice on connectivity to Superfast Broadband. Grant funding may also be available for new digital projects which help businesses grow and create jobs.

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