Express Appliances is a family-run appliance rental business that has been running since 2015. Alistair Gorbutt, Operations Director explains: “essentially what we do is buy large domestic appliances, like washing machines, fridge freezers, etc. We refurbish, repair and deep clean them and then rent them out to customers across London, Essex, Kent, Suffolk and other areas.”
The business has grown substantially over the past couple of years. “We started out with just a five man team, we now have roughly 18 members of staff, one of which is part-time but the rest are on full-time.
“The business has been growing steadily over the past three years, but it has ballooned over the past six months. To put it all into perspective, when we first started we were getting 30-40 new contracts, and now we are getting an average of 320 a month.”
Alistair had previously relied on Acas and other online resources for HR support, but with the company growing, both he and his father-in-law saw an opportunity to manage HR more effectively. “I was out on the road when the Croner representative came down but I spoke to my father-in-law afterwards and he liked what he heard and signed us up there and then. As far as I’m aware it was something that was in the pipeline as we grew. Once we’d been contacted by Croner we were pretty much won over and wanted to sign up as quickly as possible”
Prior to Croner, HR was dealt with mostly by Alistair, and there wasn’t a strict system in place for managing documentation. “It was mostly me who handled HR. Most of our employee documents were simple word docs that were stored in a folder, employee timesheets were kept on an excel spreadsheet. Everything else was put into folder.”
How We’ve Helped
“With the Croner Simplify system everything is so much easier. You can just upload documents, policies and contracts it on to the website, store it there, put it into a particular account and update the document when you need to.”
For Alistair, the various document templates are invaluable, “The templates offered by the Simplify system are by far the most useful resource we’ve utilised, before Croner if we wanted a template it would be a case of jumping on to Google to find what we needed. With Croner Simplify it is just a case of download it, enter our details, stick our logo on it and then we are done, so much easier.”
Express Appliances also has access to the 24/7 expert advice lines, “The types of queries we mostly go to the advice line with are related to absence. Using the advice line has had a noticeable impact on absence issues. I’ve been able to speak to an expert who has been able to walk me through it all, give me the advice I need, and to a certain degree resolve the issue at hand. What’s more, nine times out of ten we get put in contact with the Croner expert we were dealing with before, provided they’re available.
“I’d recommend Croner to anyone if I’m being entirely honest, because of how helpful the both the advisers and the Simplify system is. It does, as the name suggests, really simplify things.”
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