Circyl deliver enhanced collaboration for leading pneumatics specialist

With more than four decades of trading expertise in the UK market, SMC is a global manufacturer of pneumatic and automation technology with a reputation for innovation and client support. With a 14-acre, purpose-built production facility and office complex in Milton Keynes, the premises is strategically located near major road and rail connections, including the M1 motorway.

SMC’s client-centric approach and steadfast commitment to supporting UK customers combined with its consistently swift delivery times has allowed them to grow rapidly in recent years, now boasting a nationwide sales team of around 90 consultants in addition to the 300 employees based in Milton Keynes.


Having recently experienced significant growth, SMC’s information sharing had grown organically to meet the demands of a geographically diverse workforce. They undertook a strategic review of how information was managed internally as part of a drive to deliver business processes that were fit for purpose long-term. The review highlighted that modern technology such as Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online could facilitate enhanced information sharing and document management for all authorised users.

SMC decided they needed a modern SharePoint Online based intranet, featuring an innovative SharePoint interface design. The solution needed to adhere to best development practices to ensure it would be easily maintained and further developed as needs changed in the future.

Given the diverse roles of the potential userbase, the solution also had to offer user-adoption techniques that would foster knowledge-sharing and user engagement without complex training needs by promoting user self-service.

“Our main goal is to ensure our teams have the right information whenever they need it. Circyl quickly got to grips with our various requirements and identified our need for a core solution that would be easy to use whilst demonstrating the scope for wider adoption. The new Intranet is really helping us in our day-to-day operations, and we are already looking to bring other departments on-board in the near future.”


Objectives and approach

The initial phase of the engagement focused on showcasing the transformative potential of a robust Intranet system – one that could serve as a singular, reliable repository for all business data and thereby driving improved collaboration and communication across the entire organisation. Given that SMC had an extensive array of shared folders throughout the company, it was decided that this would provide an ideal foundation from which to embark on the Intranet development journey.
The focus of the development strategy was to deliver enhanced information management for critical departments such as IT, HR and Outside Sales. By consolidating and streamlining data access, the aim was to empower these teams with an efficient and unified platform for data retrieval and distribution.

In a bid to facilitate user adoption, we suggested creating a dedicated ‘Learning’ site, complete with direct links to Microsoft Learning Pathways. This educational component was strategically integrated to equip users with the necessary resources and knowledge to harness the Intranet’s full potential, ensuring the transition to the new system was smooth for all stakeholders.

Outcomes and principles

Following an initial phase of discovery and analysis, Circyl produced a comprehensive high-level requirements catalogue outlining the approach to establishing a unified organisational landing page. Employing Circyl’s Agile methodology for project delivery, we then ensured all initial needs and requirements could be addressed.

The solution was constructed using industry-standard Microsoft webparts aligned with SMC’s branding guidelines. By adhering to established industry development practices, the solution is designed for ease of maintenance and future enhancements, ensuring the SMC team can seamlessly manage and augment it as future needs arise. The solution boasts information and document security features, tailoring access based on individual profiles and roles, thereby ensuring stringent governance and data protection measures.

In order to empower key personnel to support the ongoing utilisation of the solution, Circyl adopted a ‘train the trainer’ approach. This approach allows essential staff members to gain a deeper understanding of the solution’s setup and recommended best practices for Intranet usage and maintenance. The teams now have full autonomy to further evolve solutions within their Microsoft 365 platform.

In addition, the aforementioned ‘Learning Portal’ was introduced complete with direct links to Learning Pathways, ensuring users had the knowledge needed to harness the Intranet’s full potential, ensuring the transition to the new solution was made as smooth as possible.

The organisation has successfully implemented an intuitive core Intranet platform, serving as a centralised repository that consolidates information that was previously dispersed across various file shares and systems. It has become the trusted source for essential information for key departments – the next phase of the project will be to onboard additional teams and departments in the coming months.

Technologies utilised

During the project, Circyl leveraged the following technologies:


SharePoint: SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office, enabling organisations to manage and store documents efficiently. It is highly configurable, and solutions can be tailored to meet the unique needs of any organisations

“SMC had a clear plan to drive improvement from their technology platforms. Our tried and trusted engagement plan allowed us to quickly deliver a solution for them. We have a consistent approach and methodology that gives customers comfort that we have delivered something similar many times before. ROI is an overused term but our focus on leveraging Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online ensures we continue to deliver value for money when our customers invest in business solutions.”

Roger Peacock
Business Development Manager, Circyl

Want to know more?

Circyl offer free consultations to allow businesses to discuss their productivity issues and ask us in-depth questions about our services and pricing.

Call 03333 209 969 to speak to a member of our team directly or send a message by filling in the contact form here.