West Midlands firms are benefiting from a lowbudget IT boost - helping them to compete and create much-needed jobs, in the wake of the Rover closure.
They are using a simpletouse, award-winning IT system called the Z1 GEM, a powerful £1,200 server designed by a Midland firm to aid small businesses.
One firm which uses it is Pressed Metal Products, an 80 year-old traditional manufacturing business in Smethwick.
Owner manager Robert Henworth said: "Shop floor staff who had never touched a computer are now printing delivery notes and monitoring deliveries. It gives peace of mind.
"By developing our IT systems, including the GEM server, we can compete effectively. The GEM is simple, trouble-free and value for money."
The Z1 GEM was this year awarded five stars by PC Pro magazine for 'breaking the mould for security and data protection services that are easy to install and use.'
Richard Zybert said: "The market is huge - there are three million SMEs, most of them really small.
" Nobody offers the archiving functionality that GEM has - and this happens to be exactly what small businesses need.
"We produce it in West Midlands - so it should contribute to replacing 'old industry' jobs by 'new industry' jobs - rather than replacing good industry jobs by poor service jobs, which is the tendency."
Chris Duckett, of Chris Duckett Accountants, Hereford, who have used Z1 for more than three years, said: "It helped find our missing files. It's a shame that people don't understand how unusual and useful this feature of Z1 really is.
"My Dad was here and he kept asking why the system had lost the files in the first place - I must have deleted them by accident. It doesn't matter as long as you can get them back.
The mini-cube Z1 GEM, designed by Richard and Lucy Zybert, of Zybert Computing, Highfield Road, Edgbaston, is also used by the National Business-to-Business Centre at the University of Warwick.
Open source project leader Martin King-Turner, at the centre, said: "It's the first we've found to offer a one-stop, easy-touse package to allow firms to set up and go."