We talked to Martyn Cuthbert of Nutshell Apps about the industry-leading digital transformation company, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Martyn Cuthbert: We’re doing ok! We’re fortunate to be living out in the countryside with access to quiet places to go walking, which has been a godsend during lockdown! The benefits of fresh air and nature can’t be underestimated.
Christmas was very different in 2020 as we usually have 18-20 family members over for dinner. It’s difficult being cut off from family and friends, but we make sure to keep in touch with everyone as much as we can.
We’re also lucky that we can work from home; the industries in which we work rely on technology to get things done, and because of the cloud, these tasks can be done remotely.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Nutshell Apps.
Martyn Cuthbert: Over the past 25 years, I’ve been involved in a wide variety of small, medium, and large privately-owned businesses, mostly as a founder or co-founder, and occasionally as an investor. I started out in engineering and worked within many industries before settling in the technology sector I work within today, from general engineering, construction, nuclear, rail, and oil, and gas, to manufacturing, education, and recruitment.
It was during my time in engineering and construction in particular that sparked my business ideas. I found that the pain points were always the same: inefficient, time-consuming administrative processes get in the way of optimum productivity. I’d been looking for a solution to these problems and found it did and still does lie in digital transformation. I had been working on another business that specifically provided technology for rail but found when it came to app building, the process was taking far too long to complete. This gave me a thought – what if we could create a simple no-code platform to build specialized industry apps in an efficient and cost-effective way? From this, Nutshell Apps was born: the world’s first drag and drop mobile app development platform that required absolutely no coding skills whatsoever.
To put into context how much time our platform can save, our first project was replicating a previous idea I had a few years prior in our new no-code app development environment. What had originally taken six weeks per platform to complete was replicated and deployed to all platforms in two days.
It’s been a thrill to genuinely help our client’s productivity and bottom line in the fastest and least disruptive way possible. As I’ve been there first-hand, I know just how invaluable a gift this is.
How does Nutshell Apps innovate?
Martyn Cuthbert: Nutshell Apps innovates by taking the technologies that ‘disrupt’ the industry sectors we cater for and using them to create products that enhance the productivity, safety, and efficiency of work.
The industries we cater for, including rail, HR, and construction, are notorious for being entrenched in paper-based processes. These are time-consuming and subject to error, which is extremely problematic considering the hefty fines and punishments these companies could be landed with if they fail to record information correctly. We look to drag these industries out of the ways of working they’ve been using for decades and replace it with something innovative that ultimately helps them as a business.
We’re constantly looking to app development trends and ways to improve; for example, our integrations list is constantly growing. We try to ensure our products can integrate into clients working life as seamlessly as possible.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Martyn Cuthbert: We have been lucky to be largely untouched financially by the pandemic. As we deal in technology and the sectors we cater for have continued to function, there has been sustained demand for our products and services. I think this is true of many businesses operating within the technology sector; they have been resilient to the challenges of COVID simply because it is a technology that has kept the business world turning throughout this difficult period. Everyone relies on it now to work, communicate, socialize, and make purchases. We have also had to put less of our finances into running our physical offices, which has been a boost.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Martyn Cuthbert: As our financial stability has remained strong throughout the pandemic, we, fortunately, haven’t had to make any cuts in terms of human resources. Our staff are the beating heart of the company; each one is passionate about technology and what we do. We’re a close-knit bunch, so to make cuts would have been devastating. It is, sadly, something that many struggling businesses have had to do to survive. I’m relieved to have not been pushed to that decision and really sympathize with the business leaders who have. As founders and leaders, we put so much of ourselves into our businesses, and this includes our staff.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Martyn Cuthbert: The main thing we’ve looked to maintain and build upon is a constant open line of communication between ourselves and our customers. This is crucial to maintaining the strong customer relationships we have built over the years. We need to not only reassure them but also keep them informed of changes. We send out regular update emails to our customer base using MailChimp as it makes it easy to write, schedule, and distribute email communication to a large audience. We’ve also been connecting through social media, posting and sharing useful information daily. Our phone lines are open all through the week for any customer support. There is a reason why our customers stay loyal to us; it’s largely down to our exceptional customer service.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Martyn Cuthbert: We haven’t needed to ask for Government grants, thankfully. I would say to any business who is struggling to take full advantage of government funding if it is available to them.
Your final thoughts?
Martyn Cuthbert: The pandemic has brought with it a myriad of social and economic challenges. No one has been left untouched by this crisis – it’s changed our world forever. How we adapt and overcome is what is going to make us stronger as businesses and people. If you’re a business owner, lean on the capabilities of technology to help maintain it.
With the introduction of vaccines, I’m confident that we will make our way out of what has been a dark period of time soon. In the meantime, we all need to continue coming together and looking out for each other and supporting our local businesses.
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