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Scots firm ventures to new sectors

The Service Directory, the award-winning Scottish start-up founded on streamlining purchasing for the growing care-home sector, is venturing into nursery and corporate markets in pursuit of an ambitious plan for a five-fold increase in turnover.

The company, which offers clients "more time to care" by remotely handling routine procurement processes such as cleaning materials and stationery, has won the contract to supply Bertram Nursery Group, the sixth biggest UK-wide chain.

Managing director Gary Maitles, 27, a graduate of the Scottish Government-supported Entrepreneurial Spark new business "hatchery", said that the firm was on the verge of agreeing terms with one of Scotland's largest legal practices.

"We are specialists in the care-home sector, which because of the person-to-person nature of what they do, are very demanding. We started with the hardest sector and got it right.

"But it dawned on me in the last few months that a box of paper is a box paper, and cleaning products are the same whatever the business."

As well as competing for contracts, the firm plans to move into other sectors, develop an e-commerce platform and commercialise its rich stock of data to clients, a well as "anonymised" data about sector-wide purchasing patterns. The company claims average savings of 15% for customers.

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