Webmart boss inspires Barnsley businesses at digital innovation conference

1 October 2014

Founder of international print business Webmart urged Barnsley companies to be ‘distinct or extinct’ at a business conference last week.

Simon Biltcliffe, who founded Webmart in 1996, was speaking at the Connected Business digital event attended by more than 140 delegates at Barnsley Civic.
Yorkshire businessman Simon said the key to success was to invest in people, technology and lean working practices and be clear about your business identity.

Simon said: “In a global market place it is important to build relationships of trust with both your suppliers and your customers; to be clear about what you do and how you do it; and to be true to your own business principles and ambitions. To succeed, you need to be distinct or you’ll be extinct.”

Webmart currently has a turnover of over £37 million and employs 50 staff in three UK offices including one on Claycliffe Business Park in Barnsley. Simon said the company continues to grow through its investment in online tools, digital procurement platforms and data which is all driving forward smarter working.

He was speaking at the third annual Connected Business conference funded and organised by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

The line-up of speakers also included BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones talking about his years of reporting on digital and online innovations; social media expert Linda Cheung talking about LinkedIn for business and creative technologist Adrian McEwen talking about the latest developments in the ‘internet of things’ – products and devices which are directly connected to the internet.

The event was hosted by Greg Williams, deputy editor of Wired Magazine – which focuses on the latest news in technology, ideas, design, culture, business and politics.

Organiser Tracey Johnson, Enterprising Barnsley’s sector specialist for creative and digital industries, said: “The Connected Business conference helped to keep Barnsley businesses bang up to date with all that is happening in the world of online and digital technology.

“More than 140 business people attended the event and explored the many innovative ways they can drive their business forward using the latest digital tools and online resources.

“Every year it becomes more important for businesses to ensure they understand how they can secure future success and growth within the expanding digital economy.

“An ever growing range of technologies and internet resources are playing an important role in business. Connected Business aims to help Barnsley companies in all sectors understand how to use these to improve their own working practices, increase efficiency, raise profiles and boost sales.”

The event is part of a range of business support available via www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows Simon Biltcliffe of Webmart.

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

For information about Enterprising Barnsley go to www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk or contact Tracey Johnson on 01226 772648 or at traceyjohnson@barnsley.gov.uk

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