140-year-old jam maker looks to future with digital loan

A 140-year-old Lanarkshire jam manufacturer is aiming to further modernise its methods after being awarded funds to enhance its digital capabilities.

R&W Scott commercial director Stephen Currie said enhancing the firm's digital tech will have 'real and immediate benefits'. Picture: Julie Howden

Carluke-based R&W Scott, which produces jam and chocolate coatings along with sauces, speciality icings and confectionary fillings, has received the maximum award of the digital development loan from the Scottish Government’s new £36 million Digital Growth Fund initiative.

The manufacturer is to invest in improved systems and staff training, which in turn is expected to result in improved efficiency and higher productivity.

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R&W Scott, which started out as a strawberry harvesting business before moving into jam manufacturing in 1880, employs 90 staff and was recently the subject of a management buy-out.

The business was purchased by the current directors from Real Good Food (RGF) in December 2018.

Under the deal, a cash payment of £1.5 million was made to RGF, £500,000 of which is deferred until the end of September 2019.

Commercial director Stephen Currie said: “Bringing enhanced digital technology into the business will have real and immediate benefits.

“In particular, the digital development loan will modernise our order capture system, reduce the number of internal processes and result in faster order fulfilment and improved customer experience.

“In addition, with this investment we will see improvements to our financial reporting, the company’s overall digital security and an increase in staff training.”

Managed by Lanarkshire Enterprise Services (LESL) and supported by DSL Business Finance, the Digital Development Loan is the “first phase” of the Scottish Government’s Digital Growth Fund initiative.

The programme seeks to help Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises to improve processes and enhance productivity through digital application.

Liz McCutcheon, LESL’s digital development loan project manager said: ”R&W Scott’s digital project is a great example of a project which achieves the aims of the Scottish Government’s Digital Development in that it will improve the business’s capacity, capability and also their employee’s digital skills.”

Glasgow software firm VeryConnect last month secured a £50,000 loan through the initiative to enhance its teams’ digital skills.