Charity trustee & managing director, Workflo Solutions
What does the company do?
Managed service provider.
Where is it based?
Livingston (HO), Manchester, Aberdeen.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business right now?
One of the biggest challenges is the increasing competition in the industry, which is making it difficult for businesses to differentiate themselves and maintain profitability.
Another is the need to keep up with rapidly evolving technology and the associated costs of doing so.
Additionally, managed service businesses must navigate the complexities of compliance and regulatory requirements, which can be both time-consuming and expensive.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges related to remote work and cybersecurity, which require innovative solutions and heightened awareness.
Do you support plans for a workplace parking levy?
We understand the need to balance economic growth with sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. While we do not currently have a formal stance on workplace parking levies, we support initiatives that encourage sustainable transportation and reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles.
We believe that businesses can play a role in reducing the number of cars on the road by offering alternative transportation options such as bike storage, carpooling programs, and public transportation subsidies. Ultimately, we are committed to finding solutions that help reduce our environmental impact while still supporting the needs of our clients and employees.
What action would you like to see from your local authority?
We would like to see our local authority take action by implementing a workplace parking levy. This would help to alleviate traffic congestion and the revenue generated from the levy could be used to fund sustainable transportation initiatives, such as improving cycling infrastructure and expanding public transit options which seems to be relatively underdeveloped in Livingston currently. By taking these steps, our local authority can contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future for our community.
Do you use public transport?
I do not use public transport due to the nature of my job. As a managing director, I often have to attend meetings and visit clients at different locations, which can be difficult to do using public transport. Additionally, the need for flexibility and convenience in my work schedule requires me to have my own means of transportation, such as a car. While public transport may be a viable option for some, it is not always the most practical choice.
Do you favour a four-day working week?
I do not favour a four-day working week for my business at this time. While it may seem like an attractive proposition for employees, it could potentially have negative impacts on the overall service of the company. Majority of our clients still expect us to be available for work on a five-day basis, which could make it difficult to meet their needs if we are operating on a different schedule.
However, I would remain open to exploring new and innovative ways to improve work-life balance for our employees while also ensuring that our clients are receiving the highest level of service possible. Ultimately, any changes to our working schedule would need to be carefully considered and evaluated before implementation.
Do you think this is the right time to call an independence referendum?
I would say that the timing of a Scottish independence referendum should be carefully considered by the governing bodies and the citizens. Factors such as the current political climate, public sentiment, and potential economic implications should all be taken into account before making a decision. As a business leader, my focus would be on ensuring that our company is well-prepared to navigate any changes that may result from a potential independence referendum.
This would include identifying any potential risks or opportunities that could arise from a change in the political and economic landscape and taking steps to mitigate those risks or capitalise on those opportunities. Ultimately, our success as a business will depend on our ability to remain agile and responsive in the face of shifting circumstances, regardless of the outcome of a potential independence referendum.
Should alcohol advertising be banned?
I believe that alcohol advertising should not be banned altogether, but it should be subject to appropriate regulations and guidelines. While advertising can be a valuable tool for businesses to promote their products and services, it is important to ensure that the advertising is not misleading or harmful, particularly when it comes to products that can have a negative impact on public health.
By implementing regulations around alcohol advertising, we can help to ensure that consumers are receiving accurate information about the products they are consuming and are not being unduly influenced by advertising. This could include restrictions on the placement and timing of alcohol advertising, as well as requirements for disclaimers or warnings on certain types of advertising. Ultimately, it is important to strike a balance between allowing businesses to advertise their products while also protecting the public from potentially harmful advertising practices.
Has Brexit impacted your business?
Compliance and regulatory changes: Brexit has led to changes in regulations related to data protection, privacy, and cross-border data transfer.
Changes in customer demand: The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has caused some businesses to put their investment plans on hold, leading to a slowdown in demand for managed services for a short period.
Currency fluctuations: The UK’s decision to leave the EU has had an impact on currency fluctuations, which had affected the cost of managed services for both MSPs and their customers.
Overall, the impact of Brexit on the managed services industry has been mixed, with some businesses experiencing challenges and others finding new opportunities.
Fortunately, Workflo experienced minimal implications of this and found opportunities to expand our portfolio of services.
What is your company doing to support the green agenda? Have you increased or decreased your commitment?
We can help create a sustainable print and document environment by deploying energy-efficient equipment and effective print practices that minimise paper and consumable waste.
We’ve recently partnered with a platform that converts a company’s paper footprint into actual trees. As our clients print, we’ll actively replant trees.
Are you a purpose-led company? If so, how?
Our purpose is to build trust and solve problems for our customers, employees, and society. We believe, our role is beyond just generating profit, it is to contribute to society.
The outcomes of this are seen in our work with our clients, how we run our core operations and philanthropic work for our local community.
We have built a culture of inclusion which is fundamental to empowering our people. We have encouraged fairness and equality for gender, ethnicity, and social mobility. We nurture talent from all backgrounds and foster a culture that brings out the best in all.
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