Simple yet transformational learnings from the global shutdown

April 1, 2021

2020 saw two years’ worth of digital transformation in the space of two months. While this sounds impressive, it must be noted that many of these digital solutions were designed and implemented to be an interim, quick-fix solution. In an economy that is contracting, it is important for businesses to become more efficient and retain market share. Jonathan Anderson, managing director – business software at razorblue, challenges business leaders to readdress those quick-fix solutions and plan for not only a sustainable, but a resilient future.


Business leaders should now be asking themselves ‘do we have a true understanding of our suppliers, operations, people, customers and marketplace?’

Such understanding derives from data.

As a starting point, the data you should focus on is that which can be generated and analysed in your day-to-day business operations. This
is existing information about your customers, operations, people, suppliers and supply chain.

To use this data effectively, it must offer a single version of the truth through an undisputed source of performance data. Critically, this data should be presented in a way that not only supports informed decision making, but also provides immediate feedback and analysis opportunities.

Take your finance department as an example; one of the main challenges they face are the inefficiencies around collating and analysing large datasets.

The amount of resource and time needed to transform this data into deep insights and reports is colossal and often unnecessary.

Many companies have data stored in numerous, disparate systems, creating challenges to deliver accurate, on-demand management information. This is where business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Power BI, come in.

Compiling and automating relevant information into a tailored interface enables users to efficiently extract information and make data-driven predictions based on real-time statistics.

These scalable business intelligence tools help you gain a deeper understanding of your data, as well as ensuring you get the most out of any big data investments. Insights can be shared and promoted across your organisation, while maintaining accuracy, consistency and security.


Many businesses responded to the economic uncertainties and huge drop in demand by reducing their workforce. Whether your business made redundancies or not, one question remains: can your business thrive with reduced resource?

Crucially, businesses now need to assess whether workloads can be more efficiently managed, and which of their processes can be streamlined through automation. This, in turn, will not only reduce overheads, but increase business resilience.

Frustrations around manual data entry, tracking down data inconsistencies and manually compiling reports from several different datasets, are far from uncommon.

While well-indended, workarounds such as Excel spreadsheets demand far too much of our precious time and resource.

Employees can quickly become absorbed in high-touch manual steps to data entry that, despite best efforts, often result in incomplete data and ultimately impair productivity.

Automating such processes produces results immediately and eliminates any risk of human error.

Importantly, this replaces mundane and time- consuming tasks, keeping overheads down and freeing up resource to focus on the all-important relationship-building or creative tasks that humans are designed for.


Consolidating disjointed processes and systems can be achieved easily through products such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Through its modular approach, Dynamics 365 allows businesses to take only the applications that are most appropriate and suitable to them and their existing systems. This is an industry-leading product suitable for all business types, regardless of size or sector.

When implemented correctly, Dynamics guarantees improved efficiencies and according to multiple recent reports, for every £1 spent, you will see a minimum return of £7.

However, implementing these off-the-shelf products without a true understanding of your processes and future objectives runs the risk of wasted investment and the solutions not serving their intended purpose.

If not applied correctly, businesses will become overwhelmed with the number of features and functions available.


For some businesses, bespoke solutions are better suited. This offers the opportunity for a solution to be custom-built to the precise needs of your business, in alignment with your internal systems and processes.

The specificity and capabilities available are limitless and solutions can be created to grow with your business, at a pace that suits you. Additionally, ownership of the intellectual property and maintaining full control offers a competitive advantage.


Whether through off-the-shelf products, bespoke solutions or a mixture of the two, such digitalisation will provide sustainable solutions and crucially improve efficiencies.

It is fair to assume that the marketplace is only going to get more competitive, and it is organisations which embrace change and build resilience into their operations that will not only survive but thrive.



razorblue recently created a bespoke software solution for North-East headquartered firm Acculabs Diagnostics.

This customised solution enabled the delivery of COVID-19 testing for the NHS, the Government and businesses across the nation.

Following implementation of this bespoke software, Acculabs Diagnostics has upped capacity to thousands of swabs a day and taken on new staff to provide round-the-clock testing.

Chris Gordon, chief executive of Acculabs Diagnostics, says: “razorblue has been a crucial partner in our journey to successfully provide COVID-19 testing at a nationwide level.

“Having worked closely with the team for a number of years, we were confident their skills and expertise meant we could scale up efficiently while providing reliable results and minimising human input.

“It is thanks to these systems that we are able to step up capacity and provide testing for workforces in the industrial, retail and commercial sectors as a means of safeguarding staff and their business.”

The new software has eliminated paperwork and manual administration, resulting in repeatable, reliable testing at a crucial time.

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