Skip to main content

A Clear New Standard

From its headquarters in the market town of High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, England, Optima Systems offers innovative, quality design services and products for clients looking for exceptional aesthetic and high-performing workspaces. With manufacturing plants in Bath and Kuala Lumpur, a direct design and install company in Dubai, an expanding trade presence in Asia, and a growing partner network in the U.S., the company is a leader in the development and installation of glass partitioning, systems, and advanced system drywall. Optima Systems is recognised for creating interior partitions for large-scale, stunning buildings in sophisticated cities such as London and Dubai.

Increasingly, sustainability has become as important as beauty and functionality for Optima architects and customers. To meet the moment, Optima is leading the charge to become one of the lowest carbon footprint manufacturers.

Christian Mabey, Managing Director at Optima explained, “Any supplier who can prove that they materially contribute to lowering the project’s carbon footprint will lead the way.”

That proof can be challenging to demonstrate and quantify, so Optima turned to Epicor.

Multifaceted Methodology

Optima’s approach to sustainability is broad, encompassing product, facilities, and operations. One of Optima’s primary materials is aluminum, and the company purchases the lowest embodied carbon aluminum available on the market: Hydro CIRCAL. Christian Mabey revealed, “The European average is 8.6Kg CO2e/Kg aluminum; we are currently purchasing the lowest rate of 1.86Kg CO2e/ Kg aluminium.”

Going even further, Optima is pioneering the reuse of its partitions. “When Mazars considered the design for their new offices they enlisted our support to reuse as much as possible of the existing partitions,” Christian Mabey imparted. “It is impossible to tell that they weren’t made from scratch—in fact we won an award for that project.”

He continued, “With the use of lower carbon materials to start and then reuse rather than recycle, it’s possible to create virtually zero-emissions projects.”

The company has several other sustainability initiatives at work: all Optima buildings use green energy, and all products have an EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) which communicates the environmental impact of any product or material over its lifetime. Significantly, in 2023 Optima was awarded a Gold rating by EcoVadis—a world-leading provider of Corporate and Social Responsibility ratings—putting it among the top 5 percent of the 100,000 companies assessed globally.

Optima initiatives span across the Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) framework—included installing water butts at their UK manufacturing facility to collect and re-use run-off from the factory roof, replacing a forklift truck with a fully electric vehicle, utilising an electric and hybrid transport fleet in the UK, implementing new labour and human rights policies, introducing an employee engagement survey, producing a Financial Control Framework Report, taking steps towards Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, and implementing a Supplier Code of Conduct.

Christian Mabey acknowledged, “Customers want to see proof and we want to be transparent. Epicor is helping us advance our credibility by capturing evidence on exactly how we lower carbon emissions. Being able to include carbon values on all orders and estimates has been a key differentiator for us.”

Building in Efficiencies

“If we want to be sustainable, we’ve got to be efficient,” observed Steve Hare, Business Systems Analyst at Optima. Unfortunately, Optima’s legacy solution was not equal to the task and lacked the flexibility the business needed to support a growing demand for bespoke manufacturing.

“Our throughput and the size of the manufacturing plant has grown hugely over the last six or seven years, and our previous solution simply was not capable of growing with us,” Steve Hare divulged. “Epicor helped to enable us to handle that growth by giving us the flexibility and the ability to be able to grow and streamline the processes.”

Customers want to see proof and we want to be transparent. Epicor is helping us advance our credibility by capturing evidence on exactly how we lower carbon emissions. Being able to include carbon values on all orders and estimates has been a key differentiator for us.

The move to Epicor drove dramatic efficiencies and continues to do so as Optima grows and evolves. As an example, Optima used to publish extremely complex spreadsheets for dealers to capture project parameters; then Optima sales teams would enter the job into Epicor Kinetic and leverage the Epicor Product Configurator. The company is in the process of eliminating the spreadsheets and inviting dealers to input configurations directly using the Epicor Commerce dealer portal—accelerating the ordering process and boosting productivity. Steve Hare pinpointed, “Epicor enables us to manufacture to order, while driving down lead time. Once the dealer portal is fully functional, we’ll drop a day off lead time just by having the orders entered faster. The dealers will be entering the configurations directly rather than via spreadsheets.”

To further their sustainability initiatives, Optima also plans to leverage Epicor ECM to support their re-use project. Steve Hare explained, “We have an Epicor ECM form for the customer to book a material return which our warehouse can then process and collect the material for re-use in future projects.”

Timesaving on Customisation

Epicor planning, scheduling, and powerful reporting capabilities with live dashboards in each facility have empowered the business. Steve Hare cited one example: “Changing powder coating colours was a major challenge because each change required the line to shut down for roughly 10 minutes. Without smart planning, several colour changes a day would have a huge impact on the business. Epicor helps us plan and schedule to manage the changes and optimise productivity.”

Steve Hare also integrated Epicor Kinetic with Optima’s CNC machines which has allowed Optima to adjust the system easily to meet the business needs, and has streamlined the process for operators, who now control operations from a screen on the equipment. Along with allowing the operator to seamlessly start and stop processes, Epicor serves up the part’s program on the CNC screen, saving the operator the time and hassle of locating and loading the program to machine a particular part. It has also enabled Steve Hare to feed CNC data back into Epicor to log job details. “Epicor enabled us to see the machine timing for each operation, allowing us to optimise capacity based on actual time required. That data is being used to drive efficiencies of machines as well as individuals,” he elaborated.

“Epicor is the lifeblood of our business, managing the entire process, from receiving an order to shipping it out the door. Epicor gives us the power to help delivering the right job to the right department, at the right time and with the right data.”

Rules to Match the Business

“The fact that we can create a new business rule to fit the organisation is incredible,” Steve Hare remarked. “For instance, we wanted to calculate the embodied carbon on an individual product basis, which is a tremendously complicated set of calculations to assess carbon not only for the material for but for each department and machine that the product moves through. Epicor enabled us to create user-defined fields to record the carbon overhead values and produce a final carbon value for the job. For example, each machining operation has a duration set and we apply that against the carbon overhead assigned for that department.”

Epicor is the lifeblood of our business, managing the entire process, from receiving an order to shipping it out the door. Epicor gives us the power to deliver the right job to the right department, at the right time and with the right data.

The team has ambitious goals to assign every one of the 9,000 parts it uses an embodied carbon value. Steve Hare described, “It’s pretty powerful when we get a sales order that says, ‘The carbon rating for these products is X.’ That’s all done with Epicor.”

Going even further, Optima has integrated Epicor Kinetic with the Google Maps API to calculate the carbon footprint for deliveries based on the vehicle used and mileage.

Setting a Greener Bar

While Optima recognises the competitive differentiating importance of estimating the carbon value of projects on order, the company also believes the practice will become mandatory across the industry in the future. “Today, when we are competing for a job, companies who can’t provide those figures and don’t have the evidence to back up their claims are losing out,” noted Christian Mabey.

“Epicor is helping us not only save money and boost productivity but also win more business.”

Company Highlights

  • Location: UK, Malaysia, Dubai, U.S.
  • Specialist Industry: Stone, Clay, Glass, Concrete Manufacturing
  • Website:


  • Inflexible, data-poor system
  • Inability to track carbon value of product
  • Inefficient operations management
  • Complicated order configuration process


  • Scalable, agile solution supports fast-growing bespoke manufacturing business
  • Ability to report on the embodied carbon value of products
  • Expanded efficiencies optimise resources and reduce lead times
  • Data-supported business
  • Improved competitive advantage
Get In Touch
We’re here to learn about your needs and help you curate the right solution. Drop us a line with your questions or feedback, and we'll be in touch soon. Need support? EpicCare is just a click away.

Fields with an * are required

Epicor values your privacy. Website terms and conditions.