Interview with Jacqueline Bullen of Smart IT

Jacqueline, can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally and professionally.

If you had said to me earlier in my career that I would have become a specialist in Odoo and ERP project management, I might not have believed it, but a lot of the skills I’ve picked up along the way continue to serve me well today.

With a family fanatical about their skiing, it’s probably no surprise that I initially attained qualifications suited for snow resort management and worked in a number of ski resorts in both Europe and Canada.  This was followed by a move into sports events management and a hospitality role with The Savoy in London before getting involved in London 2012 as a project manager.

IT skills development and using technology to make processes run more efficiently always featured in these roles, so maybe it was inevitable that I should end up at Smart IT.  It has also led me to study an MSc in Agile Software Development as industry technology continues to evolve at pace.

Imagine that you met someone in an elevator and was asked to explain Smart Information Technologies in 30 seconds or less…

As a leading Odoo partner in the UK and an ERP specialist, Smart IT’s application software team can deliver business solutions which provide you with demonstrable benefits, greater efficiency and a high return on investment.

Odoo’s technology allows us to offer mid-market SMEs in many different sectors genuinely affordable software solutions, with integrated systems implemented quickly to transform their business processes and productivity.

The end-to-end management systems we design provide flexibility and scalability, from procurement to delivery.  You can also start with one application for a specific process and add other modules as you build a system around your own particular business needs.

How did you get started in this business?

My first major project management role with Smart IT was within the energy brokerage industry as we designed an Open ERP system to help Inspired Energy plc devise, build and implement a new telesales system to improve management information, streamline workflow and help their telesales agents perform better.  The new system has helped increase telesales conversion rates by 30{bfa08a400c7550404055ff04715e84c9172815d33c25eb3b84e230636ecdc007}.

Can you describe your customers / what type of customers does Smart Information Technologies have?

Our wide industry experience covers areas such as energy brokerage, media and advertising, advanced manufacturing, engineering, food and drink production, legal and financial services, and warehousing and distribution.

For example, we worked with The Wild Beer Co to implement an end-to-end brewing and manufacturing system to optimise processes and stock and warehousing capabilities to meet increasing demand for its produce.

We’ve also helped Ashvin Metals Ltd to facilitate calculating and verifying the stock levels, value and integrity of metal ingots.  Our Odoo software development team devised a system which tracks batches of metal throughout the entire transactional process, from receipt and metallurgical analysis through to warehousing and stock management.

What are some of your ‘keys to success’ in building your customer base?

Put simply, do a good job – it naturally creates referrals and results in new business.  At Smart IT, our mission is to ensure you get a positive return on your IT investment.

Our implementation methodology for Odoo software projects is based on the ethos that every business has its own specific needs.  Our clients appreciate both that and our collaborative approach to doing business.  We have worked with some for over a decade and others continue to introduce new clients to us.

Is there anything about your business that you feel makes it special?

We aim to take a dedicated approach to improving your business.  We want to make a real difference to your business productivity and bottom line.  That means immersing ourselves completely in the client’s business so that we fully understand their processes.  Our view is that we need to learn about how that particular business operates and invest time in this at the outset to get you the results they want.

What kind of technology advances do you see that will likely affect this sector over the coming few years?

Odoo’s ERP software technology has the potential to transform the way people do business, with hundreds of interlinking applications available.  We will see more and more businesses using Odoo or similar integrated end-to-end process systems which will manage their entire operations instead of separate elements within them.

That of course means there will be more competition for the bigger blue chip IT providers as more fleet of foot mid-market SMEs and companies like Smart IT offer clients greater flexibility, systems capability and more in the way of streamlined functionality.

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? In the next ten years?

We aim to build upon our success with Odoo and consolidate our market position over the next 12-18 months, gradually increasing our size and delivery capabilities whilst maintaining high quality service levels.

Beyond that, we see a chance to capitalise on our vertical market expertise, particularly in the energy industry, in advanced manufacturing and in niche areas such as brewing too.  If we can continue to grow and increase revenue as we have been over the coming years, it’s within our scope to be looking at establishing development teams in the US and India to extend our international reach.


Jacqueline Bullen
Odoo consultant and ERP project manager
Smart IT Ltd

T: +44 844 8118270
F: +44 844 8118271