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Build It Better

The home for everything we write about tech, software development and product management.

A single property or 1,000 superstores

Build It BetterDecember 10, 2004

Enable Infomatrix has developed a web enabled property information management suite armed with such vast flexibility that it can be deployed by businesses as big as superstore chains—or those with a single property location.

A year in the making, web-based Property Tracker has been developed to address growth, portfolio management and the growing demands of legislation.

"The key is simplicity—this is software to be operated by the property person or department, not the IT team. The key and crucial element of the development brief was to keep it simple, genuinely intuitive and easy-to-use: user training is minimal—it’s based on common sense and intuition," said Alan Neill, Director of Midlands-based Enable Infomatrix.

3 min read

Entrepreneur of the Future

Build It BetterOctober 25, 2004

Stratford-upon-Avon based Andrew Butt, 21, has been named as a finalist in the prestigious Growing Business Awards.

Andrew, who is Managing Director of Enable, has been short-listed in a new category: Entrepreneur of the Future.

This new award identifies and celebrates entrepreneurs, under the age of 30, who are really going places. The judges are looking for candidates who have already started to build a business—or businesses—and who can show they have the ambition, energy, skill and vision to really scale the heights.

Denys Shortt, a former Entrepreneur of the Year, who discovered Andrew at a helicopter flying school said:

2 min read

Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100

Build It BetterOctober 5, 2004

SUNDAY TIMES MICROSOFT TECH TRACK 100, 2004.

STRATFORD’S ENABLE—IN AT NUMBER 50.

Two million pounds sales a year. Not so much of a benchmark in this day and age—unless your age happens to be 21, you started in business at 14, you were the UK’s youngest qualified helicopter pilot 20 minutes after your 17th birthday—and the clients of your software development company are Sainsbury’s, Goldman Sachs and Collins amongst others in the UK, plus businesses in the USA and Dubai.

1 min read

Enabled—Summer 2004 Newsletter

Build It BetterJuly 29, 2004

To view the news item (PDF Format), please click here.

Since the spring Enable has gained a wide range of exciting and challenging projects for both new and existing clients. New clients include Scope, Sugro, Bestway, GKN, Atkins Global, ESS (Compass Group) and Transnational.

1 min read

Enabled—Spring 2004 Newsletter

Build It BetterApril 20, 2004

To view the news item (PDF Format), please click here.

Enable Software and Infomatrix join forces to form ’Enable Infomatrix’.

Infomatrix specialises in improving business performance through web based performance measurement and risk management solutions. For years Infomatrix has been a large client of Enable. In February Enable and Infomatrix merged and started a new Company together—Enable Infomatrix.

1 min read

Shortt En-livened by work

Build It BetterMarch 3, 2004

To view the news item (PDF Format), please click here.

The clouds are low and a cold gray mist has enveloped the hills around Wellesbourne aerodrome. Damp tendrils work their way around trees as a thin splatter of rain marks the helicopter with tiny baubles. It is, says entrepreneur and sometime helicopter pilot, Denys Shortt, a bad, dangerous, day for flying.

1 min read

Enable CEO in UK Top 10 Entrepreneurs

Build It BetterJanuary 1, 2004

At just 39 years of age, Denys Shortt, founder of Enable and parent group DCS Europe plc, has been ranked 10th in the first ever Top 100 Entrepreneurs list compiled by Britain’s leading business magazine, Management Today. He is the youngest person in the Top 10.

As true heroes of the British economy, Britain’s entrepreneurs create thousands of new jobs and have helped to fund the huge increase in public spending over the past five years.

Stratford based Denys Shortt formed his company DCS Europe in 1994 whilst working for his family’s business Shakespeare Products. He quickly built the company into a leading distributor of health and beauty products. Beyond the distribution business he also developed a range of health and beauty brands called En-liven, En-visage and En-essence, which sell in Makro, Bewise and TM Retail Stores in the UK. DCS exports En brands to more than 65 countries around the world through its export division exportbrands.com.

5 min read

Double CBI award nomination for Enable

Build It BetterOctober 20, 2003

Enable’s parent company, DCS Europe, has been nominated for two awards in the CBI/Real Business Growing Business Awards.

DCS chief executive Denys Shortt has been named as a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year category for his huge efforts and success in building and driving six companies within the DCS Europe Group—DCS Central, Export Brands, En Brands, DCS Packaging Services, DCS Property and Enable Software—while DCS itself has been nominated in the Technology in Business category.

"These nominations are always a surprise, and while it may appear that each time a nomination or an award comes our way it means we have succeeded or reached the conclusion of our efforts, it actually works the other way round: we may have worked hard to succeed—but we’re actually hungry for even greater improvement," said Denys Shortt.

3 min read

Enable at the ECM Show: The Future of UK Business is Written on a Sheet of A4

Build It BetterSeptember 26, 2003

Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Unnecessarily complex software drives directors nuts and slows down business. Enable sets out to re-write the DNA of business software—and succeeds.

With IT solutions getting ever more complicated and sophisticated, Enable believes the way forward is "treeware"—a single sheet of A4 instructions for its software.

Andrew Butt, Managing Director of Enable, believes an average UK company would turn round decisions and deals many times faster if it installed software that the directors actually understood. And the answer could be written on that single sheet of A4.

Hope or belief? Well, fact, actually. Enable is used by Sainsbury’s, Goldman Sachs, HarperCollins and Delphi Automotive amongst others, and one of the world’s greatest IT companies, Sage Software.

3 min read

DCS Europe plc new site 5 times larger than previous!

Build It BetterSeptember 3, 2001

DCS Europe plc the toiletries and household distributor based in Atherstone-on-Stour have purchased the site formerly known as Stratford-upon-Avon Foods. The site covers 10.5 acres in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Industrial District providing warehousing space of over 270,000 sq ft—a massive five times larger than DCS’s current site.

DCS currently employ 50 people and are expecting sales this year of over £60 million. New jobs are being created as they continue to expand their ’DCS Central’ distribution business supplying Cash and Carry’s nationwide with major UK toiletry brands.

"Stratford upon Avon Foods has a long association with the town and we are delighted that we are able to offer a number of jobs to the existing workforce." says Denys Shortt, Chairman of DCS Europe plc.

3 min read

International distribution award for DCS

Build It BetterJuly 24, 2000

Former international hockey player and keen helicopter pilot Denys Shortt, who in just six years has built his Stratford-based distribution business to an annual turnover of 34.6 million pounds has scooped a major award in a competition for entrepreneurs.

Mr. Shortt has been presented with the Business to Business Entrepreneur Award in the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Program.

He set up the company in 1994 and at the end of the first year had already achieved sales of £5 million. DCS Europe plc is now exporting to 63 countries worldwide and as well as the impressive export side to the business, the company also distributes to 57 cash & carrys across the UK.

2 min read

DCS Europe plc in Britain's Top 100

Build It BetterJanuary 2, 1999

The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100, a 32 page report was published Dec 6th with the newspaper, ranks the fastest-growing unquoted companies according to their compound annual sales growth between 1994 and 1997. DCS Europe plc (formerly called DCS Commodities) are ranked No. 36 in the top 100. Furthermore DCS ranks as high as 10th in the "total sales rankings" and is 5th in the list of distributors! This is amongst very strong competition from other large UK companies such as Carphone warehouse and Software warehouse.

After spending 22 years in India and Kenya managing tea plantations, Peter Shortt returned to Warwickshire in 1975 and founded a groceries wholesaler. Formerly known as Shakespeare Products, his DCS Commodities has evolved into a toiletries distributor.

2 min read

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