The start of a New Year offers the perfect time to reflect on the year just gone. A chance to see how far things have come, achievements that have been made and the successes of the company throughout the year. It also gives time to look forward and see just where we want things to be this time next year.
2017 was a big year for Schools Plus and I’m pretty sure 2018 will be much the same. The second half of the year especially, with the creation and development of the Schools Plus Customer Contact Centre which has already made a huge impact on the company. It has become the hub of communication and will continue to do so throughout the year. As mentioned in a previous blog post we have been bringing schools over onto the Contact Centre in batches and will have all the schools by the end of March 2018.
Simon our Business Development Manager had this to say about the implementation of the Schools Plus Customer Contact Centre;
“It has been an extremely busy and fruitful last two quarters of 2017 for me personally with the creation of the Schools Plus Customer Contact Centre which has not only assisted in creating a more healthy work life balance for Multi-site Venue Managers but a much improved customer experience for our 100’s of existing not to mention new customers.”
Moving into 2018 is a continued exciting time for the company, the Contact Centre will continue to grow and the business as a whole will as well. The members of the Customer Contact Centre are looking to 2018 and excited to see the growth of the Contact Centre with more staff, more schools and more work!
Ernest our Operations Director has also seen the direct effect that this part of the business has already had with this to say:
“The most inventive and exciting challenge from 2017 must be the launching of the Customer Contact Centre. The effect this has already had on colleagues and customers alike is immeasurable. Simon has surrounded himself with committed and hardworking individuals. I look forward to having the entirety of our Schools being serviced by you in 2018.”
For me personally (Alice-sales & marketing) it has been such an exciting time to come on board with a company. I started in July 2017 when the Contact Centre was being “built”, I now sit in the same office as the team. The job role I took had great scope and I’ve been able to make my own. It’s the first time there’s been a focus on the social channels for Schools Plus and direct marketing of our Schools, the facilities we have, what goes on in the schools and a general insight into the company. I’m looking forward to continuing this growth with site specific marketing in 2018 and getting the website to where I can see it in my head alongside IT Web Developer Jerry.
2017 saw the decision to be made to focus on the quality of our operations and schools we have over quantity. We have removed Schools that no longer fit with this way of working and when we bring on new schools within our partnership the criteria is slightly different now.
Area and Venue Managers with the addition of the Contact Centre and the new focus of Schools Plus are able to concentrate on maintaining operational excellence on our sites therefore creating a safe and enjoyable experience for all our customers undertaking their activities. When speaking to some of the Venue Managers about how 2017 went and where they would like to be in 2018 they had these things to say:
Robert – Venue Manager for Ark Globe Academy:
“We had two events on the same night, which was a first for me at the Globe. All our team were on working and although it was a really busy night it was a great success and amazingly was our quickest pack up time after any event. Moving into 2018 I want to get Globe back to one of the top performing sites to ensure we get our contract renewed at the end of the year.”
Sam – Multi-site Venue Manager:
“Being able to come back as a Venue Manager for the company has been a privilege. I’m proud to manage three great sites alongside a supportive team at each site. I’m looking forward to further expansion into 2018.”
Dave – Multi-site Venue Manager:
“As I look back on 2017 it is my staff I’m thankful for, the tremendous effort they have put in and the first class service they have given not only me and Schools Plus but to our partner schools and customers alike. I personally would not be anywhere without Maureen, Karen, Jammela, Alfred, Penny, Dave, Tracey and Lauren. I am very lucky to have these team members and I look forward to working with them in 2018.”
Charlotte – Swanage School Venue Manager/Member of the Customer Contact Team:
“Having large one off events in the main hall of the school has been a great part of 2017. Swanage Folk Festival in September is always a highlight for us each year.”
Liz- Multi-site Venue Manager:
“At our first full year at Moulton we have had two fantastic Netball Groups join us on the newly refurbished Netball Courts; it’s great to see them being used and fantastic for our revenue. We also booked an International Hockey Camp over the summer which was fantastic, we are looking forward to welcoming them again this summer. For 2018 we are looking to build up one-off events and we have our first wedding booking in the pipeline for the summer.
I’m new to managing John Henry Newman and took on the significant customer base, including several FA affiliated football clubs. For 2018 we are looking to establish better utilisation of the facilities during the summer.”
I love seeing all our colleagues with this attitude. Everyone is excited for the future and getting stuck into the new year. Moving forward doesn’t always include everyone and with some staff moving onto pastures new we also said farewell to long serving IT Director Mike Goodman as he retires. He has been a huge part of the company and making Schools Plus what it is today.
Simon, Business Development Director had this to say:
“2017 is also tinged with great sadness as the retirement of a wonderful colleague and friend, Mike Goodman. I don’t think it will ever be possible to quantify Mikes contribution to the success of Schools Plus. MGS is rightly named after the great man, a software package which has grown well beyond the initial specification through his hard work and hours of dedication. I wish Mike and Margaret a long and fruitful retirement.”
Ernest, Operations Director had this to say:
“On a personal and professional note I was sorry to say bye to Mike Goodman. In my working life I have had the good fortune of occasionally working with remarkable individuals who are not only committed to the success of the company but go above and beyond my expectation in good cheer. I am proud and privileged to have worked closely with Mike and we owe him an enormous amount of gratitude. I hope he has a long and happy retirement.”
Thank you to all of those who have booked with us and used our schools and we look forward to continuing our relationship with you into 2018!