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Founder’s Story: Andy Nellis

Championing a people-focussed approach

As a freelance human capital management solution consultant, Andy Nellis would hear the same story from clients time and time again: they’d integrated a new piece of technology, but they weren’t happy with it. “My job was to look at how we could make it right,” he says. “More often than not, users of the technology could not make it work for them, causing them to turn on it. Being able to change their attitudes to the technology and make their lives a bit easier, day in, day out, was a big motivation for me.” The obvious source of blame was the technology. Invariably, though, it was the implementation of the technology, rather than the technology itself, that was at fault. “The organisation – or the systems integrator – had just thrown the technology into the business and just expected everybody to get on with it,” Andy explains. “Myself and my business partner were convinced that there was a better way of doing it, whereby the focus was on making tech work for the business, rather than trying to make a business work for the tech.”

Putting people first

e-Resolve was set up in November 2013. The ethos of the business was centred around putting people first. Whether implementing, upgrading or enhancing technology, the aim is to ensure that each customer is left with solutions that can actually work for them.  “By putting people and our clients first – understanding their needs and objectives – we are able to roll out ERP solutions which make life easier for everybody in the business,” says Andy. “There needs to be an understanding of how the technology is going to improve the organisation, and this understanding, or buy-in, needs to be apparent at all levels of the company.” It’s common sense in many ways. It’s much easier to get people on board with the technology at the start of a project, than it is to try to change negative attitudes later on down the line. “Cynicism about technology, embedded throughout all levels of the business, can take months to turn into something more positive,” Andy points out.

Early wins

e-Resolve quickly won various projects, aided by the reputation of its people. A number of existing clients followed Andy and his team to e-Resolve, having experienced the benefits of his people-focused approach to technology. “The aim has always been to build relationships for the long term,” Andy explains. “I believe that you build trust through expertise, not just simply by being a yes-man. We will give you what you need, not necessarily what you think you need.” Since day one, e-Resolve has been honest with its clients – even turning down the opportunity to deliver a piece of technology, if it believes that a better outcome can be achieved by doing things another way. “In the short term that might sound like a foolish strategy,” Andy acknowledges, “but in the long term it pays dividends, as it helps build a trusted relationship with clients. They see that we bring a different type of offering to the table, one which considers the outcomes rather than just a solution.”

Lessons learned

Initially, e-Resolve was solely working with clients with whom it had an existing relationship. In order to grow, it knew it needed to find a way of taking its offering to a larger audience. “As part of that journey, I went on some brand workshops,” Andy explains. “Those workshops were designed to look at your own DNA – what is it that’s important to you; understanding who you are and aligning those values to the business. “The teaching was that you can’t separate the business from its owner. Thanks to those sessions, I now feel like the direction of this business is aligned to where I want it to be, and that’s very satisfying.”

Future plans

Over the coming months, e-Resolve is turning its attention to the blue light sector and the many opportunities it provides. “In sectors where there is a shared service, often there is room for improvement. We’ve just done a project with the police where we helped them to streamline and align their processes, enabling them to work with greater collaboration.” As the company grows, so will its people. The company is buoyed by a “rich pool of talent” that is available to it in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where the business is based. Meanwhile, with 20 years’ experience in the ERP field, Andy has also built up an extensive network of skilled resources who share his ethos. “There is no other way to achieve success than to work alongside like-minded individuals, whether they be customers, employees, partners or associates,” he says. “If we’re not working together to achieve our goals, we’re not realising the full potential of our relationship.” e-Resolve is committed to helping its clients realise their potential. Technology is crucial to making that happen, it says – but only if businesses put their people first.