Irish companies engaged in manufacturing or internationally traded goods are encouraged to contact their local enterprise office (LEO) to apply for the Digital Start grant.

In recent years, with technology improvements, businesses increasingly see the benefit of moving from traditionally paper-based or manual systems to mobile and web-based systems.

These can improve efficiencies across all elements of the business, from data management to deliver a seamless digital customer experience.

Digital innovation

Lean BPI is a market leader in digital innovation for small businesses and working with LEO clients and Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) since 2015.

It is encouraging businesses to avail of the Digital Start grant, which is currently available for application through LEOs nationwide.

Over 200 Irish businesses across a wide variety of sectors have already revolutionised their internal systems using digital solutions created by the Lean BPI team.

Lean BPI clients report increased efficiencies including 40% saving in time and the ability to track previously unaccountable hours.

Founder and lead consultant at Lean BPI John O’Shanahan is bringing his experience from large companies to the small business arena, working to help SMEs and micro industry clients to develop tailored solutions.

Pilot initiative

The Digital Start programme is a new pilot initiative brought forward by COVID-19, as John indicates that “people are now more ready for it”.

This grant will support companies that want their operations to become digital, improve their workflows and convert to more efficient, simplified digital processes.

He said: “It is a narrow but important niche focused on business operations. Our world is going to be digital, so it is about preparing for that.”

He strongly encourages business leaders in the food sector to engage with their LEO to explore the Digital Start grant option.

“We’ve worked with businesses across all sectors and, certainly, there are particular wins for those involved in the food sector, which is often very process-led in terms of procurement, production, quality control, etc,” he says.

John emphasises the first part is to be open and ask yourself can you use digital to improve your business operations, to ultimately make your business run more efficiently.

“One thing I would say to people is if you are thinking about digital and you’re not sure, don’t talk to people who have the same mindset as you, find the people that will challenge you.”

Open applications

The Digital Start grant is open to Irish businesses working in the manufacturing and internationally traded sectors.

It is not intended to cover costs associated with website development, digital marketing or hardware, but rather areas such as business process optimisation, enhancing your digital customer experience or utilising data better.

For more information on this grant, speak to your LEO or the team at Lean BPI .

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