Parity Medical quadruples turnover

Parity Medical quadruples turnover

VAR's moves to diversify into different markets pays off

Parity Medical, the UK's leading provider of ICT products to the medical sector, has more than quadrupled its turnover in the last three years with the help of the NorthWest Development Agency, (NWDA).

The NWDA set up its Knowledge to Innovate (K2i) programme in April of last year to offer tailored mentoring and business advice free to SMEs across the north west. K2i has helped Parity Medical secure external funding and has also helped the company to develop a long-term growth strategy for both the UK and mainland Europe.

Parity Medical was set up in 2003 as a division of the Parity Group, an ICT company founded by brothers Dave and Steve Wood in 1989. After conducting market research in the medical industry, the company created a range of products which support the NHS National Plan for IT, including speech recognition software and high brightness display screens for endoscopy and surgical use.

Steve Wood said: "The business we are in, the traditional IT business, has changed and Parity, like the whole industry, has suffered. We looked at diversifying into a more niche market and K2i helped us realise our ambitions. We looked at finding external funding and they helped us learn how to go about raising it and developing a good market approach for a niche market."

Parity Medical's turnover has risen from £1.2m a year to £5m in the last three years and the company now works with over 300 hospitals in the UK through a number of different NHS trusts. It has also won business from private hospitals and is also an authorised supplier for the healthcare products divisions of Dell, Computacenter and PC World Business. The company now also works with hospitals in Spain and Italy and Steve Wood indicated that it is looking to increase its presence in mainland Europe in the next two years.

Geoff Birkett, leader of the K2i programme, said: "Parity Medical is the market leader supplying ICT products to the UK healthcare sector. However, like any business, it needs to remain competitive and continually assess its business needs in order to remain at the top of its game.

"We have been working closely with Parity Medical, looking at all aspects of the business in order to increase turnover and profitability in the UK through innovations in product development and by maximising production efficiency. The North West needs to remain competitive, and K2i can ensure that businesses realise their potential and do not get left behind."