We’re delighted to announce that ECI has won Private Equity International’s award for Operational Excellence 2022. The award recognises private equity firms across the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa that have delivered exceptional operational value to portfolio companies in the past year.
ECI won in the Small Cap category for its partnership with CPOMS, the leading provider of SaaS solutions to UK and international schools.
Product expansion was one of the key ways in which ECI supported CPOMS. We helped the management team with a customer engagement project through which CPOMS assessed demand for products that complemented its core child safeguarding and wellbeing software. This led to the launch of two additional products: CPOMS StaffSafe, which aims to strengthen governance relating to members of staff, and the CPOMS Engage module, which aids alignment and communication between schools and local authorities.
Not only did the business expand its product range during our investment, it also grew its geographical footprint. ECI’s commercial team worked closely with CPOMS’ management team to increase its presence in international markets, with a particular focus on the US and Canada. To help position it in North America, extensive market research was conducted to evaluate opportunities. CPOMS was acquired by Raptor, the leading US provider of school safety software, to further drive forward the strategy we helped the team to develop. Internationalisation efforts also extended beyond North America. The Yorkshire-headquartered company went from serving clients in four countries outside of the UK in 2018 to selling its products in 34 countries three years later.
The growth strategy was further strengthened by a focus on people, pricing and data analytics. We helped to introduce a finance director, chairman, as well as a finance and tech focussed non-executive director to help support the management team as it scaled. The firm also developed an advanced predictive analytics model that enabled the company to identify and convert sales opportunities.
As it grew, the company also sought to act in line with its mission of improving safeguarding for children. With the shift to online at the start of the pandemic, which placed an increased emphasis on the digitisation of safeguarding processes, CPOMS offered its student safeguarding tools for free to schools without digital systems in place to assist them in meeting their legal obligations.
In October 2021, CPOMS was successfully realised to private equity-backed US school safety software provider Raptor Technologies in October 2021.