Tharstern makes top northern tech list

By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 06 December 2017

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MIS developer Tharstern has been named in the inaugural Prolific North Tech 100, the only company in the graphic arts industry to make the final cut.

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McMurtie: Northern England is "becoming a hub"

The 30-year-old business was ranked 77 on the list, which was published last week and compiled by Prolific North in association with Manchester Tech Trust and RSM, who confirmed that Tharstern was the only company to make it from print and the wider graphic arts sector.

Tharstern managing director Keith McMurtrie put the achievement down to three factors: the 2014 MBO allowing for further investment, a 2015 rebrand and a move into the US later that year.

“Having made the list is great for the business, both internally and externally,” said McMurtrie. 

“It’s a huge motivational boost for staff, as it shows their hard work is being recognised. And it also gives confidence to our customers, that we are doing well and we are able to invest our profits into continuous development – resulting in a better product offering for our customers. 

“This being the first Tech 100 from Prolific North shows that tech companies are growing and the north of the country is becoming a hub.” 

McMurtrie, who led the 2014 MBO along with technical director Anthony Lord and sales director Lee Ward, also expressed his surprise at Tharstern being the sole print industry representative to make the list. 

He added: “There are a lot of amazing technologies available in the industry at the moment. We’re working with some fantastic partners on technological integrations and so we know what’s out there.” 

Looking forward to 2018, the Lancashire-based 62-staff firm will be renewing its three-year growth plan, which was launched at the time of the MBO, looking to build on its £4.9m sales, and it will be looking to make further inroads into the US market. Earlier this year, it revealed its latest workflow integration in partnership with Infigo Software. 

Compiled by analysing northern-headquartered technology companies’ most recent published accounts, Newcastle-based The Sage Group took the top spot, followed by Crewe-based Radius Payment Solutions and Lancashire-based Daisy Group. 

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