North East software development firm, Sapere Software, has developed a tool to allow Port of Middlesbrough owner and operator AV Dawson to manage and visualise strategic projects in real time.

Sapere, which is based in Stockton on Tees, competed against other software companies in the region to partner with AV Dawson and provide them with a digital solution using innovative software tools.

The AV Dawson team were looking for a solution to efficiently manage their strategic projects in real-time, which are usually long-term with many variables so tracking progress was difficult.

Sapere stepped up to this challenge by developing a web based digital tool that solves the issue, enabling the management team to provide a real-time visualisation on the progress of ongoing projects. This enables the directors to make strategic business decisions using accurate information.

Neil Warren, Head of IT at AV Dawson, said: “We needed a bespoke solution that would allow the business to be able to manage our strategic KPIs as well as provide the visibility on the performance with the use of interactive dashboards and reports. The solution that Sapere has produced has certainly provided us with that.”

The work was initially funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund through the Tees Valley Business Challenge which is delivered by local innovation and design specialists Edge Innovation on behalf of the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

Edge brought in a number of local software companies and evaluated their approaches in terms of business set-up, technical ability and dealing with complex challenges. To win, the businesses had to present their ideas to a board of experts from different professions and a representative from AV Dawson.

An initial £5,000 grant gave Sapere the opportunity to develop its concept and undertake feasibility studies, followed by £45,000 of funding to make the prototype a reality.

Commercial director of Sapere Paul Drake said: “We were absolutely thrilled to have won the competition to provide a technology solution for the Port of Middlesbrough. It was a great project, and we are delighted to have designed and developed software that addresses their needs.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Sapere is a brilliant local business helping to put our ever-growing digital sector on the map. I’m delighted our funding has been a driving force for this project, taking it from inception to reality. This is another example of firms in our region collaborating for mutual benefit, with this move by AV Dawson showing how you don’t need to look outside Teesside, Darlington or Hartlepool to secure top-quality talent.”

Paul added: “There is a huge opportunity for businesses to use digital technology to create a competitive edge and become more efficient and more profitable. It was great to be a part of a project that demonstrates the capabilities of software for complex, industry-specific challenges.

“Now we’ve created the software, we will work alongside AV Dawson to implement it across the business and develop it further. We are looking forward to this ongoing partnership.”