Country Director for Advanced Ireland, John McManus, has overseen a huge period of transformation and acceleration for the business over the past 12 months. We recently sat down with John to chat about what 2022 has meant for Advanced in Ireland and what the future may hold.
Thank you for joining us John. It’s safe to say that there have been a number of exciting changes within Advanced in Ireland throughout 2022. What would you say have been the most significant?
John: One of the biggest projects has been the completion of the rebrand of our Irish people management suite of software (Advance Systems) to Advanced. This was a challenging task and the culmination of many months of hard work by people across the business but also one I’m happy to say has brought us closer to our colleagues throughout the world of Advanced.
However, the rebrand itself was only part of a larger commitment to transforming and accelerating our presence in Ireland. Ireland is a key strategic market for Advanced and we have expanded the people management suite we can offer to our Irish customers. We now offer time & attendance management, HR and performance management software to organisations across Ireland of all sizes, in both public and private sectors. We also offer payroll software in Northern Ireland, and we will continue to invest and innovate.
Another significant milestone was the acquisition by Advanced of Decision Time in April 2022, a leading provider of governance, risk management and compliance software solutions based in Antrim. This was strategic for us as it really has broadened our reach in terms of tackling the core challenges faced by the wider market in Ireland and opened up more opportunities for our customers.
And how important was it for you that this year was a success for Advanced Ireland?
John: Extremely important; and I am pleased to say that all the Advanced team in Ireland have absolutely hit the ground running and have enjoyed many successes in driving growth.
Fortunately, this year has seen a welcome return to in-person events. Our spring seminar afforded us the perfect opportunity to introduce the Advanced brand to our customers in-person, as well as connecting with people in the wider market in a way which had been denied to us all for the past couple of years.
We also really focused on enhancing the customer experience. This meant new and increased touch points with our clients to make them fully aware of the wide range of solutions Advanced could offer to them, to share our vision and to increase personal engagement. Initiatives included the new customer webinar series as well as several regional seminars in Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Galway where we were able to engage with clients face-to-face. These were designed as opportunities for true Engagement with all departments in our business including Senior Leadership as well as industry experts in the field of Human Capital Management.
Would you say that the changes over the past year have also influenced the way the Advanced Ireland team works?
John: We wanted to make sure the customer experience sat at the heart of our strategy this year and to help us achieve this, we have introduced regular newsletters, dedicated Account Managers as well as creating the new role of Customer Experience Executive focused on our Irish clients. New members of our professional services teams have joined and we have also boosted our support teams who help clients not just in Ireland but throughout the UK, Australia and North America.I’m very proud to see this support to overseas offices and it’s a ringing endorsement of the Ireland team.
Importantly, we’re also investing a great deal into the development of our internal resources, allowing us greater opportunity to streamline processes, eliminate headaches and ultimately, focus on that customer experience.
So after all this change, is there time to put your feet up?
John: If only! An ambitious redevelopment of our Dublin office has kicked off and phase 1 of the project is due for completion December 2022. This new open plan office will enable us to bring our people together and foster greater levels of collaboration. Phase 2 will begin in January 2023 and we will see the redevelopment of our ground floor around a theme of customer interaction and engagement.
What else is on the horizon for Advanced in Ireland?
John: Moving forward, the focus will be on building upon that obsessive customer experience foundation which is synonymous with the Advanced name.
Part of that focus is, of course, being achieved through constant innovation and development of our offerings. We’ve recently launched auto rostering as a new module available as part of our time & attendance software, an important milestone which has allowed us to tackle common challenges amongst certain sectors such as hospitality, retail or manufacturing. We’re also excited for the upcoming release of our new facial recognition terminal, something which has been eagerly awaited here.
We want to carry on placing a huge amount of emphasis on implementation and support. A big part of this drive has been to put in place initiatives to enhance communication and touchpoints for our customers.
We recently showcased two new video case studies featuring two of our loyal customers: Dnata and Stewarts Care. We have always been proud of our long standing customers such as Aer Lingus and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, not to mention newer members of the Advanced family such as Decathlon Ireland and Donegal Airport. To be able to showcase some of our customers in a new way was incredibly exciting; so I hope to share more success stories like these with our customers in the new year.
So the focus in 2023 will be on building upon that foundation of growth and to also drive forward more software innovations for the Irish market.
If you’d like to discover more about the changes at Advanced Ireland and how our range of solutions can help transform the way you work, get in touch with us today.