Exemplas: 'Why innovation matters to our business'

January 17, 2024
min read
Exemplas director Martin Coats

LIF24 sponsor Exemplas enables companies to grow, scale, and excel by providing business support with exemplary expertise, advice, and networks. 

Staffed by a team of highly experienced advisors and specialists, they are able to help with every stage of business support.

 Established in 1993, it currently has 110 employees and is growing. Based in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, the firm encourages hybrid working for its entire workforce.

 Martin Coats, Operations & Commercial Development Director, told Innovative Leicestershire why the firm is sponsoring Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024. 

Why is innovation important to your organisation?

Within our field, we strive to be the best. Competition is always present and to be the best you need to continually evolve, improve, and look at doing things in new ways – which is innovation. 

Innovation is important to us because adopting innovative practices helps us to not only stay ahead of industry trends but also proactively shape them and we are lucky to be able to do this for our own organisation and within the SMEs that we support.

How does your organisation encourage innovation?

Our core business is economic development, through tailoring and delivering business support programmes for SMEs across the UK. 

Innovation runs through every programme we deliver and internally by leading an innovative culture and practices through strong leadership.

Our leadership team serves as catalyst for innovation, encouraging creative thinking, and shaping a culture where new ideas are actively sought. 

From our core, and through leading by example, we encourage and inspire the SMEs that we engage with to do the same.

The festival theme is ‘Small Change, Big Impact’ - when has Exemplas seen this?

In alignment with the theme ‘Small Change, Big Impact’, our organisation underwent quite a transformative journey in recent years that showcased the power or strategic focus.

Facing external challenges, we experienced significant downsizing, losing 60-70% of our employees.

Under the leadership of our CEO, we looked inwards to what we do as an organisation and the areas within which we excel.

We shifted our focus to becoming the ‘partner of choice’, adopted clearer messaging, brought in three highly impactful new employees who played a pivotal role in implementation and have seen major growth in our position in the marketplace.

The ripple effect of this seemingly small change translated into £6 million of new revenue for our organisation.

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