Forterro enters UK, buys 123 Insight

Forterro sounds like it could be a brand of 1980s retro ice cream, a sporty but surprisingly spacious new model from Fiat or Masserati, or perhaps a ‘battle royale’ style MMORG shoot-em-up release for Xbox Series S and PlayStation.

In fact, it’s not of these things.

Forterro is a software shop that offers a portfolio of ‘specialised ERP’ [Ed – is there another kind?] products alongside related global infrastructure services. 

Headquartered in London, Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland, the company presumably takes its name from none of the above suggestions, with the ‘fort’ element conveying strength ad the ‘erro’ element conveying some sense of alliterative forward motion.

Midmarket manufacturing marvelousness 

The company claims to work with ‘more than 7,000’ midmarket manufacturing and production companies, so an ongoing development and acquisition programme is a natural goal.

This month sees Forterro announce its acquisition of UK-based 123 Insight Ltd, a provider of MRP/ERP SaaS solutions for manufacturing companies. This marks the firm’s ninth acquisition in Europe since 2011 and first in the UK.

Did someone say ‘important strategic milestone’ for Forterro? Yes, of course the marcoms people did. What is useful is to know that ERP is a driving force in Europe’s top industrial production markets.

CEO of Forterro Dean Forbes issued the normal ‘we are thrilled’ platitude to mark the news here. He backed the normal padding up by saying that Forterro group regonises 123 Insight Ltd’s ‘keen understanding’ of the challenges small and midsize manufacturing companies face when selecting and implementing ERP systems.

“123 Insight Ltd has forward-thinking ideas around how to minimise the complexities that are often associated deploying, maintaining and upgrading an ERP system [and this is part of what has] made [it] the successful business [it is] today,” said Forbes.

Guy Amoroso and Craig Grant, co-founders of 123 Insight explain that they will continue to support the business in the short-term, with the backing of the existing management team.

Progression past pandemic pandemonium 

“123 Insight experienced one of its strongest years to date last year, despite the impact of the pandemic – further evidencing the strength of our business and technology, as well as the loyalty of our customer base. Having built this business over many years, it feels appropriate to hand over the company in such a strong position to a group that can take it to the next level,” said Amoroso.

“Our subscription model has always allowed us to reinvest heavily in software development, delivering a product suitable for all manufacturing types hosted either on-premise or in the cloud” said Grant. “We were looking for a partner who would allow us to continue doing great things for our customers, while providing us with the know-how, infrastructure, and capital we needed to take our new version to market.”

Founded in 2000 as a response to what it calls the ‘fundamental flaws’ inherent in the traditional ERP/MRP selection and implementation process, 123 Insight delivers an out-of-the-box SaaS ERP solution to manufacturing companies of all sizes and types.

The system has rich production features, as well as connectivity and pre-built integrations with a variety of best-of-breed accounting solutions. The system also delivers mobile apps for Apple and Android, plus a variety of add-on modules including CRM and analytics.