Absolute Works, an award-winning outsourced HR consultancy’s partnership with Flying Tiger (Midlands) UK retail stores situated throughout the Midlands in the UK was integral in their successful expansion from 2 stores to 30 stores in 18 months.  Tiger (Midlands) UK continue to buck the trend on the high street with growth in sales year on year. 

Flying Tiger Copenhagen have over 925 stores worldwide, Tiger (Midlands) UK currently operate 30 stores across the Midlands and South West from Plymouth to Nottingham, Norwich in the East and Shrewsbury in the West with the flag ship store in Birmingham Grand Central shopping complex. Tiger (Midlands) UK are one of the most successful partnerships within the group.   The stores introduce around 300 innovative own-design products every month.  They want to be a catalyst for peoples’ dreams and ideas, and they love to put a smile on people’s faces while giving them the things they need, the things they dream of and the things they didn’t even know existed. All at affordable prices.

The challenge:

In May 2014 Tiger (Midlands) Ltd, had 2 stores in the UK and an ambitious plan to open around 28 more stores over the following 2 years.  Absolute Works was recommended to them as a partner that could help them to achieve this.

At that time there were only 2 Directors managing the operation and they realised they required a partner to help them to achieve their ambitious growth plans as they had no internal resource, experience or processes in place to manage the opening of the new stores or the general day to day operations for HR, Payroll, Health and Safety, Recruitment and Training.   Without this support their plans were in jeopardy, there would be no way they could achieve their goals within the timescales they set themselves.  They did not want to take on the costs of their own head office or a full-time team, furthermore, they knew they would not have the time to manage a team. They needed a partner to manage it for them, one who had the skill and knowledge but were flexible to support their requirements as and when they needed them without the inhibitive costs of taking on their own head office premises and team.

As well as the skill and knowledge, their partner needed to be hands on, proactive, customer focused, an excellent communicator, flexible in their approach and manage their function with a high level of integrity, someone they could trust and would ‘make it happen’.  Their partner needed to align the HR agenda with their strategy and vision, maintaining their unique culture.  They also wanted a partner that could deliver the whole package so that both they and their team had only one point of contact, this was extremely important to them.  Absolute Works was the perfect fit to do this and were their ideal partner.  

The success story: 

The success of the partnership delivered astronomical growth for Tiger (Midlands) UK, increasing sales and profitability, raising the profile of the brand and implementing robust processes and procedures across HR, recruitment, training, health and safety and payroll, whilst maintaining the unique culture.  The effective recruitment processes carried out by Absolute Works which included Absolute Works own bespoke integrated HR Portal and automated recruitment process reduced the costs of recruitment for Tiger (Midlands) UK whilst still appointing high calibre employees.  Absolute Works bespoke HR portal designed by them was also instrumental in the success of this project. The self-service recruitment and onboarding process for all applicants enabled them to process multiple applications within a short time period, achieving administration and cost efficiencies for both Absolute Works and Tiger (Midlands) UK.

The team at Absolute Works enabled Tiger (Midlands) UK to open 26 temporary and permanent stores during the Christmas period in 2015 and 2016 with just two weeks’ notice in 2015 successfully opening 14 new stores within a 16 weeks period and again in 2016 another 12 temporary stores in a 4-week period.  Additional store openings in 2017 and 2018 reaching their initial target.

Instrumental in the success of the project was also the skill, knowledge and flexibility of the Absolute Works team, this project would otherwise not have been achievable.  Team members from Absolute Works, travelled across the region to carry out recruitment events at very short notice whilst ensuring all processes were in place, including the induction process and training, including health and safety.

This resulted in an extremely successful and profitable result for Tiger (Midlands) UK.   During this period, they were the fastest growing, most successful partnership globally for this Worldwide Retailer who currently operate circa 925 stores worldwide.

Absolute Works are fully integrated into the Tiger (Midlands) UK business, they are their HR, health and safety, recruitment, training and payroll department. 

In 2017 Absolute Works became an approved provider for apprentices and launched a ‘Tiger Training Academy‘ (for Tiger Midlands).  As a Levy paying Company, they wanted to ensure that they used their funds so that any training delivered would result in the best impact for both the learners and the company. Absolute Works guided them through this process, recruited new employees and upskilled existing employees onto retail level 2, team leader level 3 and operational management level 5 with the added incentive of a formal recognised qualification included.

The apprenticeship programme has been extremely successful.  Improving the skills and knowledge of their employees, resulting in 100% of level 2 employees passing their apprenticeship and qualification and promotion for over 70% of those same employees, with additional promotions for managers currently completing level 3.  At this time level 3 and 5 apprentices have not completed their programme.  Apprentices and the Directors are delighted with the success of the programme and the additional skills, knowledge of the learners and the positive impact this is having on the business.

Recommendation / Testimonial

Absolute Works can help you to grow your business effectively and efficiently, safe in the knowledge that your company complies with legislation. They can help you to reduce costs for your business whilst at the same time supporting you to grow your business quickly. They will provide you with the skill, expertise and knowledge that may otherwise be too costly, and you can receive all these services by making one phone call or email. You will have your own dedicated account manager (or team, depending upon the size of the project) and you will not have any worries about covering holidays or sickness. You do not need to keep any paperwork in your office, Absolute Works take care of all of that, however, it is available for you to access through the HR portal at any time.  You don’t need to worry about managing employees in a HR department, you don’t have the recruitment costs, you don’t have the costs of office space and equipment and you have the flexibility of service as and when you require it. Absolute Works is a one stop shop for any small business needs across all sectors delivering a first-class service at a fraction of the cost of your own inhouse HR.

Summary of the services used:

•              HR advice and administration

•              Training

•              Payroll

•              Recruitment

•              Apprenticeships

•              Health and Safety

Feedback for Simon Hall Director Tiger (Midland) UK

“I like the approach-ability, and I like their ‘can do’ approach. Absolute Works will always advise, and they’ll always support our final decision regardless of the advice given. There will be times that we will potentially go against their advice for various reasons and they’ll always support us anyway. Most of the time, in fairness, they were right, and we were wrong. We really benefit from their in-depth knowledge of retail, their understanding of personnel within retail, and their in-depth knowledge within each store. They highlight issues way before they are identified to me. I’ve had a lot of dealings with internal HR departments and they stand out, are more effective than any internal HR department I’ve ever worked with. They’ve taken on a massive part of our business. They deal with all our compliance, everything to do with HR and personnel, and they have been true experts in their field.

We are delighted to have Absolute Works as our partners. They have helped us grow our business, exceeding all our expectations.  We cannot recommend them highly enough. They can help you grow your business!

Name:                    Joy May 

Sector:                   HR Consultancy/ Apprenticeships

Company:              Absolute Works

Town:                     Kenilworth, Warwickshire 

Date:                      28/01/19

Website:               www.absoluteworks.co.uk

Star Rating:           4.9 out of 5

Services Provided:

•              HR advice and administration

•              Training

•              Payroll

•              Recruitment

•              Apprenticeships

•              Health & Safety