A “brilliantly resourceful team” has been highlighted as a major factor in Exeter-based IMP Software’s performance over the past 12 months, which has seen the business double in size despite the ongoing impact of Covid on schools.
IMP, specialists in the provision of budgeting, financial management and reporting software for multi-academy trusts (MATs), is now working with 135 MATs and 1,250 schools, with 200 of these coming on board in December alone.
The company’s customers include Trusts of all sizes overseeing primary, secondary and special schools across England, and its award-winning IMP Planner system helps MATs to co-ordinate their planning and budgeting processes, apply discipline in financial management, and prepare monthly budget monitoring reports.
Crucially IMP provides the budget position for the Trust as well as the position of individual academies, bringing time and cost efficiencies.
“The past year has been a challenging one for many companies working within the education sector, and as MATs are our customer base we always expected some kind of impact, but we are really fortunate to have a brilliantly resourceful team driving our IMP Planner system,” explained IMP Software Co-Founder Will Jordan.
“Not only has this seen us exceed our in-year target of supporting 1,000 schools, but we have increased our team by 150% and launched an industry-first awards and recognition programme, the MAT Finance Awards, which has further cemented our market position. We ended 2021 really well and 2022 is going to be a big year for us, but the future is really bright if we keep doing what we are doing in the right way.”
Whilst its first three years in operation has shown there is huge interest in IMP’s MAT-focused budgeting, forecasting and reporting software, from both small-to-medium sized and large Trusts, the “right way” that Will outlines is continuing its heralded customer-first approach.
“Our success to date has been achieved by sticking to the basics: focusing on the problems that we solve with our innovative product and looking after our customers, making sure they get the most value out of our solution,” Will said. “We will continue this approach and these principles into 2022 and beyond: it is what we are as a company and as a group of people. So first and foremost we want to maintain and increase customer satisfaction. We are targeting another year of 100% customer growth so we must ensure we are meeting our customers’ needs and adapting our services to their feedback.”
Will revealed that IMP’s customers have played a vital role in supporting the company’s growth. “High levels of customer satisfaction and recommendation: people raving about what we do via in-person and online forums is making a real difference,” he said. “We are looking forward to further establishing our position as the strategic financial planning partner to MATs and are having lots of good conversations with Trust finance teams who are excited about our fresh approach to their challenges. Additionally, we plan to launch a second core product alongside our flagship IMP Planner later this year.”
With policy direction indicating further evolution of the MAT sector, IMP Software is also planning to expand its team from 26 to “around 40 people” in the near future. Will said: “It is clear that greater academisation, both through growing MATs and some through an increase in merger approvals, will be a major part of the sector landscape in 2022. Ensuring that we can meet this growth head on, and attracting skilled developers along with top talent in MAT finance, is a major business priority. We are always on the hunt for passionate, bright people.”
Will added that IMP was “proud to have a large team footprint in the South West and be a part of the growth of tech companies in the region that is also operating nationally”. He said: “Our ambition is clear, and whilst all this will be a real challenge it is one we are really excited about and feel that it is in our hands to deliver.”
Meanwhile, to inform the development of a new sector research report, IMP is seeking MAT Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers and Trust business/finance/operations managers to complete its MAT Growth 2022 survey. The deadline for responses is 18th February.
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