Saturday 9 April 2016

Breaking Eggs To Make Omelettes

After a particularly hectic week at Puddlecote Inc, it's worth my posting a notice to warn that you might be reading very much less on these pages in the near future (stop cheering at the back!). It replaces the usual Saturday links because I simply haven't had much time on the net to gather them this week.

To explain, I'll roll you back to 2008 when this tabloid junk (© Ben Goldacre fanboys) first appeared and the output was prolific. Back then the business was a fairly small operation, from memory only employing around 30/40 people. Our March 2016 payroll was a little more involved with 118 staff members being paid and our turnover having roughly tripled in the intervening time too.

On top of this, I'm waiting on news of the outcome of a significant tender exercise which took around a month to compile; if you've wondered why content here has been pretty sparse of late, well that would be it.

The tender we submitted is in the region of £650k pa for a contractual seven years and would entail significant staff recruitment to cover, as well as vehicles to source in a hurry. It's not something you approach lightly so in advance of this we have undertaken a major business reorganisation. This involved taking on three key professional managerial staff for our office (one more will be necessary if our bid is accepted), renegotiating around 40 staff contracts, and commissioning building work to extend the premises to cope with the added workspace that will be required should we be successful. It has been a process which has been many months in the planning, has been quite costly (and continues to be), unfortunately involved unavoidable redundancies, but gained me three free coffee cups and a load of post-it pads from a grateful Reed Employment.

The purpose of all this - whether we gain the additional business we've just tendered for or not - is to sweep away some of our inefficient practices and better position ourselves for the future. We do, after all, operate in a very competitive sector and I must admit that our competitors are starting to appear rather more of a threat of late, so we had to react to that. With the changes we've made, the likelihood of retaining current contacts at renewal - because we have to compete and not just rely on 40 years of uncontested state handouts like some  - and capacity to expand has been enhanced so the investment will have been worth it whatever happens.

This particular contract award is imminent and there is still lots to be done in preparation so articles will continue to be sporadic at best for a while. Of course, if we do win it then the contingency plans for that go into effect and all hell will break loose! At which point you won't see hide nor hare of me during certain periods I expect.

Cue, I suppose, months of impending hideous 'public health' nonsense which will require comment. Wouldn't that be just typical?

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