Firm's brush with success

A 110-year-old Sheffield paint manufacturer is reaping the benefits of a hi-tech IT makeover.

Stokes Paints produces high-performance coatings for the Ministry of Defence, the aerospace sector and other industries, as well as making domestic paints for leading brands and under its own name.

Now, thanks to Blades Enterprise Centre-based Richlyn Systems, the company has the computer technology to match its advanced coatings.

Richlyn has designed a bespoke software package to control Stokes' hi-tech paint manufacturing plant.

The new Integrated Paint Manufacturing System (IPMS) enables paint to be mixed to any specification and in any quantity, as well as printing labels and product information for every batch.

"IPMS has been a significant step forward, making it easier for us to produce paint to the most exacting specifications," says Stokes' director, James Stokes.

Richlyn also created a new website for Stokes, which has pushed the company well up the web rankings.

"We are very much a one-stop shop for anyone requiring paint for virtually any application," says Mr Stokes. "We needed a dynamic, customer-friendly website to help market our products and that's exactly what Richlyn delivered."

The website - - not only includes product catalogues and technical information, but also delivery schedules for its national distribution network and allows Stokes to run targeted mail shots.

Richlyn, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, launched its website development team five years ago, at the request of clients who wanted data-driven websites that could constantly update the information they displayed.

The company's software successes include a Property Integrated Management and Accounting System, called PIMS, that is regarded as one of the best in the sector, an integrated stock control order processing and accounting system, called SCOPAC, and its new paint manufacturing system, IPMS.

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