Portsmouth-based Skore Labs helps businesses to understand their processes better, so they can scale up fearlessly. Co-founder and CEO Craig Willis says the company has never been busier.
Spotting a gap in the market, three colleagues took the plunge and started their own company to address it. The opportunity identified by Craig Willis, along with co-founders Chris Green and Colin Claverie, was to develop process improvement software that was intuitive and easy to be used by everyone in a company.
“We all worked as advisers to large global enterprises on ways to improve efficiency, profitability, meet growth targets and take advantage of new opportunities – all the usual goals,” said Willis. “The software tools available for managing processes were very technical and expensive, so only larger businesses could afford them. We felt we could make them simpler, so they were easier to use and affordable to smaller businesses.”
He added: “10 years ago, most SMEs had relatively simple processes. Now, especially with the cloud revolution, they have access to the same software products as larger businesses, which makes SMEs far more complex to run.”
The team worked on the idea for a number of years before officially launching Skore Labs in 2017. “We all quit our jobs and became freelance consultants for a few years to build up enough cash to pay for developing the software,” said Willis.
The resulting Skore ‘business architecture’ software tool was one of the Technology Award finalists in the 2020 South Coast Tech Awards.
“We help companies make sure they have the right people doing the right things with the right tools at the right time. If everything is aligned you can scale your business. Otherwise, you’re always fighting problems,” Willis pointed out.
Processes that are done poorly take longer to complete, erode employee trust and compromise the customer experience. The Skore tool provides all-round mapping of processes. “Customers find it very enlightening to see where their problems and bottlenecks lie, to articulate their processes more clearly, and to learn how they could be working better in the future,” said Willis.
The starting point with Skore is using the software to map out your business on a page, where companies describe each major activity and identify who is responsible for it. “Often, we find business owners end up putting their name against all the areas. Our tool helps them understand how to run their companies more effectively,” said Willis.
Business advisers and consultants can use Skore to support their own clients, for example, when connecting cloud-based accounting, CRM systems and inventory management software, or for introducing new technology or automating processes.
Skore Labs’ customers range from one-man bands to companies with thousands of employees. Around 70% of its customers are in the UK, with others in the US, South Africa and Australia.
The Covid-19 lockdown has made Skore more relevant, noted Willis. “We always designed it to be used remotely, which is now more important than ever.”
The company plans to look for external funding next year. “Our product team has done amazing things and overcome massive technical challenges along the way,” said Willis. “We have a sales funnel generating predictable growth, so we feel we are in a strong position to look for seed or venture capital investment to take us to the next level.”
As more and more SMEs enjoy the advantages of Skore, Willis and his co-founders are looking forward to the future. “We are working in a sector that has typically stuck to traditional, manual ways of doing things. Businesses are realising that there are quicker and easier tools available and Skore is perfectly placed to enable organisations to take advantage of this.”