Simplicity, the specialist provider of recruitment finance and outsourced administration solutions, is driving both growth and efficiencies through greater investment in staff development, developing a cultural direction for the workforce and introducing business improvement techniques that have helped position the business as the UK market leader over the last 12 months.
Despite having successfully processed over 2 million pay slips since 2004, Simplicity is currently in the throes of a five-year plan that is aimed at further extending the company’s share of the market.
Critical to this being achieved is what managing director David Thornhill describes as “zero wastage and zero errors across the entire business.”
He said: “Every business wants to grow and improve how they work, the challenge of course is how to move from one state of affairs to another – something that I believe we have managed to achieve through the initiatives we implemented.”
Six months ago the company recognised that to achieve its long-term ambitions, enhancements to the way in which they work were not only desirable but also essential.
“The first thing we did was invest in training 12 Total Quality Management (TQM) Facilitators who would assume responsibility for improving the organisation’s processes by taking the Kaizen approach*.
“If you can imagine – we work with over 400 partners at any one time operating across every industry sector. Each of those partners has their own needs and challenges and we have a set of capabilities and understanding that may seem alien to most businesses that generally operate within a narrow field.
“Having a multi-sector approach means that we have a wealth of knowledge that when shared with someone working in Healthcare recruitment or the Creative Industries, for example, have resulted in greater joined up thinking across the business and result in better, more profitable business outcomes and happy customers who receive the best service possible.”
A shift in the company’s internal culture was also a critical factor in enabling Simplicity to achieve its growth and efficiencies targets.
David Thornhill said: “One of the biggest challenges facing many fast growing companies is getting your people to understand what you do as a business, how you do it and more important - what role they could play in growing the business. That’s why we have focused much more on staff development and optimising the relationship our employees have with the organisation and their impact upon it through Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).”
In 2015 each member of staff attended a four-day NLP Diploma course that has not only helped everyone in their role at work, it has also in many cases had a positive impact on their private lives too.
“We are already reaping the rewards of small and major changes to the business to reach our goal of zero wastage and zero errors,” said David.
“The return on investment has been almost immediate, with our staff reporting higher levels of satisfaction and engagement than they did before these initiatives were implemented.
“This by default has resulted is Simplicity becoming a more efficient and effective business that is perfectly positioned to grow at a pace which suits us best. Our growth plans over the next few years mean we need to build and develop our staff and processes.”
*Kaizen is the Japanese term for improving the workplace, which was popularised after World War Two and helped position Japan as the world’s biggest car manufacturer in the post-war era.