IT took only ten weeks for rapidly expanding e-commerce firm Management Services 2000 Ltd of York (MS2M) to attain the Investors in People standard.

The speed was an expression of a philosophy that has always existed at MS2M - that if you support and develop staff you reap rewards.

And because those rewards are growing, MS2M is among the hopefuls in two categories of our competition - Growth Business of the Year and the Progress Through People awards.

MS2M, which recently moved from Howsham, near Malton, to Tower House, Fishergate, York, has been having huge success just lately with its Internet-based TrackRecord software system to aid financial companies for point of sale, sales management, learning and development and knowledge testing.

Steered by David Alderson, managing director, he has a particular understanding with his sales director, Julie, whom he married last year. Among the big results this year was a £200,000 contract with the London office of U.S.-based JP Morgan. It has also installed an integrated sales system for one of the largest friendly societies in the country.

Mr Alderson said: "Sales consultants with laptop computers gather information about their clients and transmit this to head office using secure Internet transfer for checking and to provide sales information.

"All this is linked to an online sales diary and customer management system. The potential market for this is huge."