K3 Business Technology CEO has seen progress in one year

K3 Business Technology is a business going through a turnaround as it looks to settle its focus and get a position where it can deliver consistent growth.

Last month, K3 Business Technology Group’s results for the 12 months to 30 November 2021 showed a 3% increase in revenues to £ 45.3m, with recurring revenues holding the firm at 75% of turnover, at £ 33.9m. Pre-tax losses from continuing operations were also trimmed from £ 20.8m last year to £ 7.8m this year.

During the year, the firm made a couple of disposals – the Starcom Managed Services unit and Sage business – and welcomed a new CEO, Marco Vergani, who was employed in March 2021.

Vergani is 14 months into the job steering the ship, and in a conversation about his progress since he joined and his thoughts about the future, he struck a positive tone.

“Let me start by saying that when I joined last year, I realized that we had a lot of assets in the company, but they were kind of disjointed. In a way, it wasn’t really clear what an asset or one software on the ground would actually be setting up or differentiating enough from whatever else is out there in the market, “he said.

That led to discussions about a strategy that focused on its key market – retail – and the need to make sure it could serve that customer base. Life is becoming harder for retailers as they try to make sure they stock products that customers want to buy and their brand is recognized for those things.

“The best way for brands to do that is to create a solution that starts from the data of what’s happening on the ground,” said Vergani. “Whenever sales are occurring, whether they are online, in-store or through marketplaces, they are [need to] Use that data to inform what the business needs to prepare for the trends and insights that are coming from consumer data, “he said.

Some of K3’s customers – high street fashion chains – are operating weekly collections that appeal to customers, so the pressure to get effective data is significant.

“The speed and the acceleration or the time to do business is incredible. The amount of data, the fragmentation of systems, the longer lead times and getting materials sourced for items or garments is against the clashing, “he said.

“When reflecting really deep around what we can do, I realized that we have ERP [enterprise resource planning] solutions, and within our ERP solution we are already managing what we call ‘concept to consumer’, meaning we are managing an assortment of creation, sampling and then collecting the refinement, raising the order, the receipt of the receipt. orders into warehouses and from distribution, the pricing policies, and so on, “he added.

In retail, the key is being able to help the omnichannel, covering all the approaches to customers, and Vergani has made sure to make K3 is also acting as a whole when delivering solutions and services.

“The objective or the strategy was to say, ‘Okay, if we want to be true to ourselves and develop a strategy that leverages assets we already have, but also create a very clear and distinctive position in the market, then we really need to [know] What makes a brand successful, its acceleration overall, to be managing processes end to end, “he said.

Having introduced a tighter focus and pushed the integrated approach, the final part of the strategy involves making sure the business can support customer sustainability goals and give them traceability in their supply chains.

Underlying it all is a greater need for customers to use business intelligence and the use of technology to support their businesses in a greater way.

“With all the data you can collect, at a consumer level, a supply level, and so on, there is a lot we can do to instigate the smarter way of interpreting data and suggest ways of operating better,” he said.

As Vergani looks forward, there is an acknowledgment that although a lot of work has been done, the turnaround will continue.

“We are optimistic about the future,” he said. “After the publication of our results, I took the time to sit down with investors and really explain what we stand for, what the needs of the market are, and how we try to address them.”

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