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Software solutions company creates new jobs with support of Lancashire Forum

Audrey Odell and the new employees

06 September 2017

The founder of Logma Systems Design Ltd discusses how participating in the Lancashire Forum programme has helped her company.

Chorley-based Logma Systems Design Ltd, home of OneFit software, has created five new permanent jobs and increased its profit margins after participating in the Lancashire Forum, a business growth programme delivered by Lancaster University Management School.

Audrey Odell, who set up the business and still runs it as CEO, says that the focus of the Lancashire Forum has enabled her not only to restructure the company but also to rekindle the youthful vision that has sustained her business for nearly 40 years.

Building on its extensive experience of a wide range of industries, Logma specialises in providing Enterprise Requirement Planning in a modular form that is accessible for SMEs and puts them on a level playing field with larger corporates.

It was targeting this gap in the market that first brought Audrey into contact with the Management School, when she worked with them to engage students on a project examining barriers to ERP solutions in the region’s SME manufacturing market.

Having gained useful feedback from this project, she took up the invitation to join the new Forum. “Because our business had been through significant change, I decided it might be good for me to be made to focus on what I should be doing. So I went on the programme and it did exactly that!”

The six-month programme, part of Boost Business Lancashire, brings together like-minded directors and managers of Lancashire-based SMEs and provides them with activities and tools to stimulate self-development and business growth. As Audrey emphasises, this opportunity to network, across a fascinating cross-section of businesses in different transitional stages, not only enabled her to learn from others and to pass on what she had learned but also made her feel more confident about moving forward and bringing in fresh talent.

“I was holding back on going ahead,” she explains. “But based on the Forum – and the project, too – I’ve made the decision to restructure: minimising impact on our highly experienced core team by creating a collaborative team of new people who can share information and recognise their own training needs. It’s working brilliantly!”

It was going on the Lancashire Forum that put Audrey back in the driving seat, she says. “The tools that we went through supported me in what I needed to do, which were quite radical things. The experience handed me back that belief and that decision-making mindset. It put me on track – for making further changes and growing the business.”

The Lancashire Forum is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is available to ERDF eligible companies.