Getting to know you: Andy Shettle, MD at Workforce Metrics

What do you currently do?

I am the Managing Director of Workforce Metrics, one of the UK’s fastest growing employee relations software providers. Our software assists medium to large organisations improve compliance with their HR policies and increase visibility of information regarding their employee relations cases. For example, disciplinaries and grievances while ensuring all employees are treated fairly by following the same process. By not closely monitoring ER cases this can lead to organsiations ending up on the wrong side of employment law!

What is your inspiration in business?

To build great products for customers that can make a difference to the efficiency of their day-to-day job. And equally as importantly, however great a product is, always put the customer first and offer great customer service, it’s the overall package that a customer remembers, so if one element is missing or poorly handled this will stick broadly in their minds and they will remember this.

Who do you admire?

In business I admire anyone who has built up a business from scratch, whether that is turning over multi millions or just a lifestyle business, both of them require hard work and vision (and a little bit of well timed luck!). I often hear people say it must be easy being ‘him’ or ‘her’ as they have made lots of money in business, but building a business from scratch meant they had to start from nothing and faced the same challenges that everyone else faced.

Outside of the business world I admire those who make a difference or try to make a difference to those who are less fortunate, be that, where disaster strikes or homelessness. This selflessness is always humbling to see.

Looking back would you have done things differently?

I would have engaged earlier with potential clients to attract them to an ER Tracker and offer to work with them building the system rather than build the system, gain feedback and adjust it. You build a house with a team; an architect, a builder and the customer. I had the architect and builder, which meant we were building something solid and secure but lacked the customer until later on, when they started to want a slightly different finish.

What defines your way of doing business?

Working with clients to really understand their requirements is paramount if we want to deliver solutions that really drive out inefficiencies. We always offer clients the opportunity to spend time considering how they want the system setup so that they are not just replacing how they work now – we are keen for clients to set the system up that improves how they work. We always listen to feedback on what will make our product even better for the client. While we know a lot about HR case management, the clients use it every day and it is this insight that can lead to an even more dynamic product.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Research the market you are looking to enter, research your competitors and research more! It is easy to convince yourself there is a market for a product, or service, you are wishing to pursue and your family and friends may well agree with you (unless they are very honest!), therefore speak with independent professionals to bounce ideas around, or even approach a potential client you are aiming to attract and ask their view – they may even offer to be a pilot! The final piece of advice is be prepared to do what it takes, someone else isn’t going to do it for you and it can be a lonely place when you are first starting out so be prepared for those long lonely nights working away!