Print in the Channel - issue #7



do organically. “Acquiring that business catapulted what we are doing in the digital space years ahead. The return we are getting is not just on the acquisition itself and generating margin through that but the skill set that we’ve brought in, which is helping us to grow other areas of our business because we understand that as well.” Michael has always invested profits back into the business – he isn’t interested in a flashy lifestyle – to enable it to keep growing and take advantage of any opportunities that arise. “Our working capital for an organisation of our size is very strong,” he says. “That allows us to have conversations with potential vendors where we’re able to move much quicker than some because we are not looking to externally fund. We’ve got a sweet spot of circa £1 million turnover down because

programme of philanthropic work. “I’ve got a really simple view: if you can help, I think you should,” he says. “We started off supporting, through some sponsorship and funding, a charity called Smile Counselling, which supports young people experiencing mental ill health. What they do is just invaluable. The job they do is infinitely more important than the job that we do.” In addition, at the start of lockdown Workflo Solutions ran a week-long gift-giving initiative to help charity and community groups across West Lothian to support families most in need at a time of crisis and make help make their live a bit more tolerable. “Our ethos has always been that philanthropy is not just financial support,” says Michael. “Giving someone the gift of your time; run errands for them, help them with chores, or spend time just really listening when they need it. You really don’t need to break the bank to practice philanthropy. “We are currently supporting West Lothian Food Bank, giving to help people in the area through the cost of living crisis.”

I’ve got a really simple view: if you can help, I think you should. “ ”

when we look at EBITDA numbers and multiples, we can fund that internally.”

Moving into public sector Michael has also looked to expand Workflo Solutions into other markets, such as the public sector. To that end, the company was awarded a place on the Procurement Scotland Framework for Managed Print Services last August. Michael admits it was hard work to get onto it, but it was worth it, as Workflo Solutions offers something different to the OEM manufacturers that have historically been big players in that market, he believes. “We’re still at our infancy in the public sector and it is a very different animal to the commercial sector,” he says. “We learned a huge amount over the bidding period. We have an infrastructure of people which allows us to bid for these contracts and put forward an offering that is attractive for the public sector.” It is something Michael recommends for other independent businesses to get involved in. “If you believe that you’ve got business model which can disrupt the status quo and add value, then I categorically recommend being involved in the public sector,” he says. “I think that there’s potential for us revolutionising our business through a growth market in the public sector space in Scotland.” Giving back But Michael isn’t purely focused on business. He appreciates he is in a privileged position now and is using that to give back through a


Future Michael is excited about the future, for Workflo Solutions and the sector more widely. “Document management systems and workflow automation is probably where we see the biggest growth area in the next three to five years because the market is recognising the benefits of this technology. And with the likes of ChatGPT and the AI systems that are coming through and the automation that’s going to be available to a business in the next three to five years, its going to revolutionise what businesses look like. “Technology is moving at such a rapid rate, what we must do as an organisation is recognise that hindsight is not good enough. We need to be working daily to understand the technology as it evolves so that we can be ahead of the curve on it and offer it to our customers.”


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