In the first of a number of blogs working with tenants from within The Base, we spoke to Adam Wilkinson, Managing Director of Meritec.

As technology advances and digitalisation becomes a larger focus and broader church, there will always be an eagerness to be up-to-date with the latest digital services and resources. That’s where Meritec come in, so we spoke to Adam to gain insight into how his business can help.

What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Adam Wilkinson and I am Managing Director at Meritec.

Can you tell the reader a little about Meritec for those who may not be familiar?

Meritec is a renowned digital services and flexible resourcing company with a strong technology background.  Our primary business sector is UK Local Government, though we have worked in the past with some blue-chip private sector organisations such as ITV and the JCT600 motor group.  We pride ourselves on being an innovative and technology-focused organisation, and our core values are to exceed customer expectations and grow our business through strong client relationships – something we think The Base really helps us to do. We work with each of our customers to deliver cost-effective solutions that deliver channel shift, innovation and unique resourcing methodologies.

One thing that our services allow is for our clients – take UK Local Authority, for example – to negate the costs associated with setting up full-time internal digital resources whilst still getting the benefit of smart, knowledgeable digital experts when they are needed. That’s where we offer value to evolving businesses.

How have you seen digital services change across the years?

Meritec began trading in 1996. Since then there has been a huge transformation with computing and internet, right down to Industry 4.0 – which I’m sure we’ll discuss later – and it is our job to stay in the know and not far behind services that are going to be important – and thrive – for years to come.

From the inception of the internet and subsequent move to mobile devices, digital services have continued to grow and evolve, changing and enhancing the way most things in our everyday lives are now achieved. The most obvious change in the past few years is the shift from the “physical” aspect to automated services as much as possible. This is being driven not only by huge advancements in technology, through the likes of mobile apps and devices, but also connectivity to provide customers with a 24/7 service, 365 days a year.  The emergence of key technologies such as AI and Blockchain are sure to continue pushing digital service delivery into new and exciting areas. Embracing these technologies in a planned and diligent way will continue to allow organisations to reap the efficiency and customer satisfaction benefits associated with the whole spectrum of digital services.

With that in mind, how does Meritec keep ahead of the curve?

We know we need to keep our finger on the pulse of emerging trends in the market and are constantly looking for ways to improve our products. We do this by not only being agile and dynamic in our approach to technology, but most importantly by listening to our customer’s wants and needs.  Regularly engaging with customers and technology users is the key to delivering successful transformational change programmes.

We also have a great workforce that has a balance between age groups. This ranges from younger people who have grown up with digital services in their lives from the get-go, and more experienced heads that know how particular new products and developments can disrupt and improve the digital sector. We also acknowledge that as a small-to-medium sized company we have the be shrewd when making judgement calls towards certain emerging services. We don’t have the budget that other large companies do. Will this service still be powerful in the future? It’s our aim to be flexible but astute.

What benefits do you see to being situated in The Base?

As well as being ideally located in the North West, being in a technology hub surrounded by like-minded organisations has allowed Meritec to share and grow ideas and digital strategies with companies who have similar targets and ways of working.  In the past large technology companies have dominated most market sectors, but there is now an increasing focus on the benefits that can be realised by working with SMEs. Smaller organisations tend to be much more agile and open to change, and a growing number of customers that are looking for innovative solutions are turning to Meritec and other similar sized partners located at The Base.

Although we’re a medium-sized business now, we know what it’s like to be the size of some of the other great, but smaller companies at The Base. And just the same as we can possibly help them as they grow, they may be able to teach us as our operation grows. That’s the joy of collaboration, and the environment at The Base encourages that.

What role do you see collaboration having within the digital sector and business in general?

Meritec started life as a systems integration company. Integrating and collaborating our systems and processes has always been one of our core values. Whether to save costs, improve efficiency or to meet industry regulations, it’s important that businesses cooperate, collaborate and share the benefits of digital trends and technologies, through employing best practices in order to remain competitive and providing customer satisfaction. We have several partner organisations that we work closely with on a day-to-day basis, and we are always looking to work with like-minded organisations that can enhance and deliver clear benefits to our offerings.  We don’t believe in “reinventing the wheel”, so if a technology or service delivery solution can enhance our products and services we are always more than happy to collaborate for the greater benefit of not only both organisations but also our joint customers. In the digital age, companies can no longer afford to be seen as “silos” and organisations that embrace collaboration will succeed in the digital sector and business in general going forwards. What we like at our home in The Base is that there are areas – meeting rooms, collaboration space – that encourage companies to work together, collaborate on ideas or even just share a drink. But the conversation over that drink could lead to a partnership across the months and years. That’s what we really like.

Have you noticed a change in approach from businesses you encounter with Industry 4.0 becoming an important growth sector?

Yes, systems are becoming increasingly automated to enhance self-monitoring and analysis of productivity and workflow through improved processes, to help businesses identify customer requirements and demands. Industry, like nearly all other sectors, are readily embracing the benefits that digital solutions can deliver and being a supplier of leading Digital solutions, Meritec is right at the heart of this.  Automation, systems integration, data exchange, the cloud, IoT (Internet of Things) and many more, are all key digital components that companies in the sector are adopting to continually evolve their delivery practices.

In terms of changes in approach, I think security has also become one of the biggest factors for consumers and companies and has forced small and large companies to change their practices accordingly. At Meritec, we have our own cloud and data storage facilities, which I think shows not only how seriously we take our own services, but also the custom of external businesses. As information and data becomes less physical, we understand full well the extent of keeping private information private.

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