Founder, Matthew Jones, reflects on a successful decade – whilst looking towards the future and what construction firms must do to ensure stability

This month sees leading e-Trading solution provider, Open ECX enter its tenth year of business. Celebrating a decade of great success – with a host of major partnerships launched, the business has built a global community within the construction sector, working with some of the biggest names in the industry and was recently awarded Tech Company of the Year at the National Technology Awards 2022.

The National Technology Awards are the most comprehensive celebration of technology in the year, organised by National Technology News. Open ECX took home the award against stiff competition, including leading businesses such as UltraLeap and T-Tech. The award is a true testament to the team’s hard work and dedication to providing innovative solutions and technology to the construction industry, alongside various other sectors such as manufacturing.

Helping construction firms discover easier and more efficient ways of working, Open ECX’s products provide technology that allows the instant digitisation of processes – something founder, Matthew Jones, thinks is vital in the current climate. 

With over 20 years’ experience working in construction, Matthew founded Open ECX in 2012 with the aim of creating a new, innovative eTrading community for the industry. Starting his career in 2001 working for now competitor, COINS, Matthew spent 10 years with the company working his way up to Sales Director. In his previous and current role, Matthew has worked with some of the top construction firms and suppliers, including Vinci, Encon Group and Hilti.

Open ECX has now built an eTrading community with over 5,000 business connections created across 22 different countries. Boasting various ground-breaking platforms, each has been developed to make financial processes simpler and more effective for businesses of all sizes within the construction industry.

A key player in the construction industry, Open ECX create digital solutions to issues that have plagued the sector for years, revolutionising invoicing and ordering through their eHub product offering. Established partners of the firm include Wolseley, Grundfos and NMBS.

Following over 20 years in the industry as a whole, Matthew understands the value certain solutions can bring to construction businesses, commenting: “Over the last decade, Open ECX has excelled and built a fantastic business model, but we’ve learnt a lot about the sector and spent a lot of time understanding what it really needs. Many firms are stuck in traditional ways of working, due to the nature of the field, but to ensure a construction business works as streamlined and cost effective as possible, digitisation is vital.

“We’ve seen a number of businesses introduce our solutions and instantly experience the benefits – from less team time spent on admin, less paper waste, and less money spent on manual processing, to hours of time saved across the business due to the smoother, cloud-based processes. We take all of this feedback on board to make our products even better – enhancing them where possible, and creating and developing new ones to make our customers lives easier.”

Now processing business transactions in over 16 countries around the world, to a value of £3bn+, Open ECX has plans to increase this even further in the next 12 months. To support this, a number of internal senior promotions have been made to strengthen the commercial team, Amy Dickinson and Stuart Costello have been promoted to Marketing Director and Sales Director and there has been an increase of 40% in headcount across both commercial and technical teams to elevate growth plans.

Industry wide, construction has recently seen an uplift in activity – however, the industry is still faced with a number of challenges that do not just go away. For businesses to remain stable and in a positive position in the current climate, Matthew adds: “There’s going to be ongoing issues around availability of supply, protecting key strategic relationships and securing prices of goods and services will be key. Many will be focusing on protecting their margins but increasing efficiencies will be the best way to cut unnecessary costs.

“Working towards a more sustainable future for the industry should also be a key priority – cutting physical transport, business carbon footprints and reducing paper waste across companies where possible.”

Sitting at the center of the construction community, Open ECX focuses on exceptional customer support to ensure successful business outcomes for partners. This stance has allowed the business to go from strength to strength since launching in 2012, growing into the global business it is now, with a large community based all around the world.

Open ECX offers innovative cloud-based e-trading solutions for the sector and its associated supply chain. Experts in simple, scalable software, which automates business transactions and connects companies with their supply chain partners, our solutions integrate seamlessly into existing systems and business processes. Boasting several next-generation e-trading platforms; Marketplace, e-Invoicing and e-Ordering each offer huge benefits for businesses within the industry. Allowing businesses to save time and money whilst being more sustainable, Open ECX are leaders in construction technology.

Open ECX is rooted in digital innovation and has always been the vanguard in digital purchase to pay strategy. Whether that is taking out the need for paper with the introduction of e-invoicing, or introducing a full purchase to pay strategy with Marketplace, Open ECX has remained at the forefront of digital developments to ensure its sustainable growth.

Sophie Deo

PHA Group

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