Brexit proofing your team. Are you ready?

Posted by Lynne on October 14, 2019  /   Posted in People, Strategy

The UK Government announced that following Brexit the Freedom of Movement for EU Nationals will end 31 October 2019. Previously, Theresa May’s Government had said that there would be a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which EU Nationals would be able to come to the UK without a visa for three months at a time.

This announcement has caused some confusion in respect of EU nationals already living and working in the UK. It is, however, important to note that this recent announcement does not materially change the position, just created ambiguity about the deadline.

It has been clarified that even if there is no deal, the intention is that existing EU employees in the UK would still have until December 2020 to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. However, in order to ensure absolute certainty and prevent any issues occurring when travelling post-Brexit, EU employees are to be encouraged to make their application as soon as possible.

Helping you through the process

Further to the recent announcements on Brexit, we want to give support to multi-site businesses, in particular in London where there is a high density of EU nationals, on obtaining Settled and Pre-Settled status. This will include, but is not be limited to:

  • Going on-site and meeting EU workers and ‘holding their hand’ through the application process for Settled and Pre-Settled status (telephone support may also be needed in particular cases). This may include some evening/night work as we will need to work around shifts
  • Going on-site to complete workshops/education sessions. We would need to work together to develop any materials to educate managers and team members on the process and what is expected of them
  • To track completion and the issuing of Settled and Pre-Settled status applications, where we would do this on a team member basis, with the client providing an overview of all those that need this. The HRBPs would then complete the process with each individual and follow up to ensure that the relevant status has been received

Recent success

Starting on 2 September and after recruiting four HRBPs and a Mobius Project Manager from our associate pool, 1,600 EU Nationals working for a national, multi-site, B2C client were helped through their ‘EU Settlement Scheme Application’. In just five weeks, 87% of those effected colleagues were successful in their application – and the number grows everyday.

A third off courier costs for a PE-backed distribution company. £0.5 million off cleaning costs for a fashion retailer. 1.5% off labour costs for a privately-owned hotel group. What can we achieve for you? 

Posted by Lynne on May 03, 2017  /   Posted in People, Process, Procurement, Strategy, Systems

These are just a few examples of the work Mobius business performance consultants have delivered for clients, which has enhanced the value of the businesses to improve the sale value of the business or provide greater funds for future investment.

In all these examples the ingredients have been similar; we’ve provided a business leader with relevant experience and the strength to seek out the opportunities, and not be put off by the inevitable internal and external pressures.

These are people who have had operational responsibility as well as consultancy experience. They can carry out a rigorous analysis of how things are working now for your business and establish the actual data to validate an objective assessment. They have the knowledge to root out the gems, and the ability and resilience to land these as tangible and sustainable benefits. We know it sounds simple but we also know that it isn’t and that it needs the calibre of person and the processes that Mobius bring to make it happen.

Our experienced team of commercial winners have the skills and expertise to identify and deliver these very tangible benefits for your business, whatever the sector. If we can’t find a benefit we will tell you quickly but we haven’t been in this position yet!

Contact us now to start a discussion about how we can help you make the next step to improving your cost base and the profitability of your enterprise.

Mobius’ Chris is taking part in ‘Brave the Shave’ for Macmillan Cancer Support. Follow his story and please show your support too…

Posted by Lynne on September 15, 2016  /   Posted in People

Chris Benham, Mobius ServicesMost of us have had personal experience of Cancer, whether by it attacking our own bodies or those of our family, friends or colleagues. You’re certainly lucky if you can say it has not affected your life in some way.

Mobius Director, Chris Benham shares his story, as he takes part in Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘Brave the Shave’ appeal. Between now and 27 November, when he will literally have his locks skilfully removed, he is refusing to visit the barber. So if you see him around with an unusually long mop of curls, it’s because he wants to be able to donate as much hair as possible to the cause.

Click here to read Chris’ personal story, involving his late mother Jenny and father Russ who both were taken by this vicious disease whilst he was a young man, and to sponsor him in his quest. Thank you.

badge_joinme-1Today I recognise how these events changed my life. My mantra of joie de vivre, carpe diem, never say, “if” but “when”. It is with this attitude developed from what happened with my parents, Jenny and Russ, and more recent family experience of Cancer, that now is my time to seize the day, put something back, that helps current and future generations of Cancer sufferers.

Is it all systems go for you? Companies often invest heavily in systems, but how often do they deliver everything you need?

Posted by Lynne on April 07, 2016  /   Posted in People, Process, Systems

chris benham surprisedSystems can take ages to produce, even longer to implement and then instead of “Eureka”, it’s a case of “How on earth do you do …”, or “This is just too complicated, why can’t we go back to the way we did things before?” Or “We’ll do this if we have to, but I will carry on with the old way of doing it as well.”

You might be surprised to learn that this is a really common problem. We’re often meeting companies of all shapes and sizes who tell us they are only getting half the expected benefits from their ‘complicated’ software or, worse still, are not using it at all. “What a waste of money that was…” they say.

Our research has shown that the most common cause for the lack of return is actually because employees are not being trained fully in how to use it. Moreover, they are not passing on the knowledge they have gained to all the users. Instead the temptation is simply to blame the software. After all, we all like something or someone to blame, don’t we?

But for any program or system to work, all staff that use it will need straight-forward and effective training. Not just a quick ‘sheep dip’ session or training for one person who left the business ages ago, but relevant and engaging sessions, train the trainer sessions and something for new starters. So if your system is not giving you what you expected, maybe it isn’t the software’s fault after all.

That’s not to say there aren’t bad systems out there. Of course, there are, that’s a given. There are also some that are better than others. All we are saying is that sometimes we have to look closer to home to see whether we are realising the full operational and financial benefits from our initial investment.

For example, whilst working recently with three national, consumer-facing businesses (serving millions of customers across the UK), we discovered two were under-utilising tools for effective rostering of the workforce, and a third a stock management system. In each case we speedily gained an understanding of what the client had bought and its full functionality – and also what they initially wanted to achieve. In all cases, it turned out that the right things were bought; they just weren’t being used properly.

We developed new processes for the businesses so they could reap the benefits of their investments, and then developed training and coaching sessions for their teams, which our experienced trainers ran. By highlighting simple steps for the users, we brought the systems to life – and quickly realised cash benefits many times greater than the investment in the training.

So if you are currently feeling hacked off about your software purchase, give Mobius a call. You never know, you might have bought a better system than you think.

Former Watson Wyatt Worldwide consultant, Jackie Haffenden comes to us with substantial experience in commercial management, human resources, business transformation and change

Posted by Lynne on November 27, 2015  /   Posted in People

Jackie-Haffenden-600Say ‘hello’ to Jackie Haffenden, who recently joined the Mobius team and is already working with Travelodge managing a programme for their Central Operations team, scoping a number of projects for 2016.

This former Watson Wyatt Worldwide consultant, whose background is in retail, pharmaceutical and financial services, is an accomplished Human Resources Director and Business Transformation and Change Manager. Having worked across the UK, Ireland, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, Jackie is no stranger to the importance of correctly observing different cultures and customs.

She has substantial board level experience, managing HR and business teams through critical business changes, such as organisation re-design, new business start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures/separations, business relocation and restructuring. Most recently in the pharmaceutical industry, managing a number of team restructures as a result of changes in the NHS.

With a strong commercial background and broad range of business skills, Jackie excels in strategic, operational and consultancy roles. You’ll find she leads and develops teams to achieve stretch business targets through innovation, energy, challenge, resilience and pragmatism.

She’s come a long way since starting in the commercial management team at Marks & Spencer – and we’re glad she’s decided to join our ranks. She puts her success down to her holistic approach, ensuring commercial planning and people management are aligned as the business grows.

Past clients agree, describing her as “Pragmatic, down to earth, results orientated, extremely skilled and objective.”

We say Jackie truly is one in a million!

Opening doors to the bigger stores

Posted by Lynne on August 13, 2015  /   Posted in People, Process, Procurement

When you possess the knowledge bank of how blue chip retail businesses operate and, more importantly, what they look from their suppliers, it can really open doors.

In fact, some of our consultants, with their in-depth, high level retail experience, can guide you through the whole process from product concept to checkout. During which you will gain an insight as to how a buyer in a large retailer thinks and acts when building a range architecture.

As part of the process, they will teach you:

  • How to build a critical path (everything from product set up to product launch and all key stages in-between);
  • Which series of buttons to press to get the buyer’s attention;
  • How to open a dialogue and build a rapport with the right category partners;
  • How to pitch your product;
  • Which mediums to use;
  • How to get the timing just right;
  • How to avoid potential pitfalls; and ultimately
  • How to get the sale.

Acquiring this knowledge and these invaluable skills from experienced consultants, like John Green, Anita Pearse or Jonathan Clark, who have all successfully brought directs and indirects to the shelves of Tesco, Sainsbury, the Co-operative et al, will pay dividends. For help in bringing your products to market, make sure you get to the front of the queue!

Our top tips for dealing with a troublesome outsourced provider

Posted by Lynne on July 07, 2015  /   Posted in People, Process, Procurement

1. Is the issue you are facing covered in the contract terms? If not, and it is material, you could renegotiate the terms.

2. How effectively are you engaging with your supplier? Have you asked them why there is sub optimal service rather than just tell them? This approach may well open up avenues that create a positive way out of the issue.

3. Is this a personality issue, or more fundamental in terms of the actual goods or services not being delivered. You may be able to mediate or even change the personalities involved in managing or delivering the service.

4. Was the issue identified in the tender when you sourced the provider, or in other potential suppliers responses? Are there any solutions to be found here?

5. If you have a multi-supplier arrangement, can you share the issue with the other provider(s) to help find a solution?

Celebrating our tenth anniversary on the Solent

Posted by Lynne on July 01, 2015  /   Posted in People

This year is the 10th anniversary of Mobius Services and to celebrate Chris and John had the brilliant idea of arranging a high octane team building sail on the Solent on 13 June 2015 hosted by Blue Box Sailing. One of those on board was keen sailor James Head, who shares his thoughts on the day with us…

The crews were predominantly members of the team, which Mobius deploys to work with its clients.

Thousands of people go sailing on the Solent every weekend. Much fewer yachtsmen and women get to sail on either a Clipper 60 or a Whitbread 60.

The Clipper 60 is a robust vessel designed for amateurs to race to windward travelling around the world from east to west.

View photographs taken from the Clipper 60

The Whitbread 60 was designed to fly around the world, crewed by professionals, with the wind predominantly behind her in the 1993/94 Whitbread round the world race. This boat was named Intrum Justitia and was the 2nd W60 to finish. Intrum Justitia also gained the record for the most nautical miles travelled in 24 hours by logging 428.7 miles.

Blue Box Sailing provided wet weather gear, lifejackets and a thorough briefing on the history and working of the boat.

Imagine working this hard, 24/7 for 9 months, as you sail around the world? It puts what those guys achieve into some perspective.

The weather was challenging. 25-30 knots over the deck out of the SW. In order to sail and not simply spend all day ‘over on our ear’, we had the mainsail set with three reefs in it and we were down to # 3 headsails. We had very little sail showing on the rig, but trust me, we had power to spare.

We had a good beat to windward into the western Solent with everyone perched on the ‘high side’ or amid ship on what the skipper called the ‘sun deck’.

More photographs taken this time from the Whitbread 60

In these conditions everyone had to quickly get to know each other and under the guidance of our skippers work together as a team. The sails weigh a ton. It requires about five people to rig and hoist the headsail. It takes three or four teams of two people on the grinders to even hoist the main. Everyone took turns with helming the boat, letting off and hauling in the headsail on the tack, easing and grinding in the mainsail and generally keeping our eyes open in order to stay safe.

Imagine working this hard, 24/7 for 9 months, as you sail around the world? It puts what those guys achieve into some perspective.

Despite the hard work, there was plenty of banter and happy smiling faces. What more could you ask for.

Full marks to the Blue Box Sailing team for keeping everyone focused and safe. The boats were very well found, we had a short lunch break on the downwind leg and a good look around the Solent.

Team work is what Mobius is all about. Our teams fitting seamlessly into your teams. So if you want to enjoy some plain sailing through troubled waters, just get in touch!


A name that delivers change and transformation using a 7-step project management process

Posted by Lynne on June 23, 2015  /   Posted in People, Process, Strategy, Systems

What’s in a name? Well it isn’t by sheer coincidence that we chose to name ourselves after the Mobius Strip. More so that it is enshrined in our company values by our demand to work seamlessly in partnership with our clients.

Referencing this to our ‘Change and transformation’ offer, this translates into:

  1. An engaging approach where right ‘upfront’ our aim is to understand your business, your people and your aims such that together we deliver outcomes that are meaningful, supported and measurable;
  2. Ruthless analyses to get to the ‘nub’ of the matter; deep diving through the layers and complexities of your business to unearth both the opportunities and the ‘sacred cows’ to create and agree realistic actions; and
  3. Getting our hands dirty in your business for ‘honest and to the point’ opinion, based on our actual observation of your business, its market, the economic and political forces it faces. This allows us to build knowledge for publication of a project charter, giving clarity of objectives that binds the organisation to its delivery.

The result: effective change via a tried and tested 7-step project management process

Change, assessed, created and deployed using a simple but effective 7-step project management process that starts with observation, ends with measurement, yet importantly contains a healthy chunk of analyses and consultation in-between:

  1. Observe
  2. Collect data
  3. Analyse
  4. Determine actions
  5. Consult
  6. Take action
  7. Measure results

Change deployed by an appropriately skilled team – selected against a project specific ‘skills and capability’ matrix – to maximise adoption of the ‘new’ and minimise disruption through a thorough and uncompromising approach methodology and multi-type team structure.

If your company is in need of change, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll demonstrate first hand how the Mobius strip works!

Signed, sealed, delivered!

Posted by Lynne on November 11, 2014  /   Posted in People, Process

We love getting great feedback at Mobius! We couldn’t say it any better ourselves, so we’ll let the client tell you the result of our recent customer care training programme:

Well what a brilliant couple of weeks! After 31 [yes, you did read right, 31] Customer Care district events and three support centre events, I think everyone deserves a great weekend. The feedback we have received from district managers, hotel managers, directors and support centre managers, about the events has been absolutely fantastic – and the buzz you helped us to create is overwhelming. I speak on behalf of [the client], and the L&D team in particular, when I say we could not have got this far without you. It is clear that with the enthusiasm, skill and knowledge you have provided our teams with, they certainly have the desire to go out there and train their teams in the same way.

So if that was the post-event feedback, exactly what did we do to receive such praise?

Well in a nutshell, we provided experienced trainers for 39 two-day training events across the UK. We supplied seven of our team of associate trainers, who worked with the client to refine the structure of the days, and tweak the content of a ‘Train the trainer’ workshop ahead of the start. All workshops were completed over a three-week timeline. Because that’s where we excel!

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