Here’s what we’ve been up to

My first month

It’s hard to believe a month has passed since I joined the Entec Si family. It’s been a busy month but a fantastic introduction to the IT world of change and transformation. I am already loving working with our client in Oxfordshire (CDC & SNC), and even got to attend a programme board on day one!

Team spirit

They say it’s the little things that count. So I was genuinely overwhelmed by how welcome I was made to feel in my first week by everyone I met. I also love the way we’re all with clients over a wide geographical spread, but you wouldn’t think so by the way we use social media to share our good news, great client successes, and our fun side!

Team away day

I’ve also experienced my first away day which was a great day, fantastically organised by Tammy and Dev. It was a lot of fun, but also really inspiring to see the team come together to share and shape ideas. These ideas are built on our vision and aims for the future.

If that was all in one month, they really should have got Entec on board the Brexit bus. Who knows what we could’ve achieved!

Five things to remember during a tender process

Avoiding disruptions to daily business processes when putting IT or other third-party services out to tender can be difficult. It’s vital that the right provider is chosen and that changes are communicated as early as possible. But how can this be done effectively?

Here are the five things that will make your tender process as seamless as possible.


Clarity is key when putting services out to tender. Businesses should start by clearly defining the scope of their requirements. This will ensure that the third-party provider understands what is expected of them. Once this is achieved, it’s easier to gain an understanding of cost expectations and which suppliers the business should be targeting.

Find the perfect match

It’s important to assess potential service providers by their:

  • Culture
  • Capacity
  • Capability
  • Track record

Discovering whether they have experience in the relevant field and if there is a good culture fit is often a good place to start.

Compare cost and quality

Scoring potential providers against their responses to the tender requirements can help establish value for money. At this point, it’s also worth checking whether there’s scope for contract flexibility. In the long run this can save precious time and money as business requirements develop.


The smooth onboarding of a new provider requires excellent communication. Developing a comprehensive internal communications plan keeps the current workforce up to date. However, it’s also important to ensure that third parties are making use of similar technologies. Subsequently doing this can have a huge impact on communications between the organisation and the provider as the project progresses.

Acknowledge it will not be an isolated change

Although external providers may be introduced for one specific reason, there will always be wider changes to be made. Consequently this often creates a snowball effect, with one change triggering the need for others. Being prepared for any extra alterations is an important in keeping the tender process seamless.

For more information or to discuss change management solutions further, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi or Peter Marsden.

Smoothing the transition: A modern approach to HR solutions

Employee self-service (ESS) is dramatically changing the world of HR. But for those organisations that are still using entirely manual processes, a digital transformation can seem like a daunting prospect. So why should businesses make the change and what are the benefits?

What is ESS?

ESS is software that enables employees to carry out their own HR processes via an online portal or app. These processes can include:

  • Checking and updating personal information
  • Booking leave
  • Reporting absence
  • Claiming overtime and expenses
  • Coordinating appraisals

Why is it so beneficial for employees?

A self-service model can dramatically speed up processes and optimise efficiencies. For instance, leave can be requested and approved online, meaning staff can work remotely and don’t have to be in the office.  By including payroll information, employees can access key documents and the business doesn’t have to print and send paper copies.

And for the business?

By giving managers greater visibility of data, self-service can promote stronger ownership of data, and more proactive management, while also creating an audit trail. This could prove crucial when it comes to compliance with equal opportunities and gender pay laws.

A transformation to self-service could also provide business leaders with the opportunity and motivation to update and streamline policies and data. For example, employee contracts may have different terms and conditions depending on the date they joined the organisation. Taking the chance to review inconsistencies such as these could help to highlight and eliminate these discrepancies.

How to prepare for ESS implementation

Any change can be met with resistance from some individuals, especially where this can involve more visibility and accountability of sensitive HR and payroll information. It is crucial for any businesses undertaking a transformation to factor time into the project to allow for planning, communication and both employee and manager training.

Final Thoughts

Switching from manual processes to an ESS model may seem like an intimidating task. However, it is increasingly important for businesses to embrace digital innovations, to remain ahead of the curve and stay competitive. In turn they may also unlocking a host of internal benefits, from more efficient and proactive processes to buoyed employee morale.

For more information, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi, Tamara Pleasant or another member of the team.

Airports get to the front of queue management

Long queues at UK airports have recently made headlines, with a Which? report finding that around 1.3 million passengers suffered delays of at least 3 hours in the 12 months to June 2018.

With the increase in low-cost flights having led to more passengers at terminals, this trend is only expected to escalate. Operational and systematic changes will need to be put in place before more long-term problems are caused. But how can this be achieved?

Undertake accurate forecasting

Capacity forecasts can inform which changes should be at the top of the agenda and whether planned investments still make commercial sense. For instance, if passenger numbers are projected to drop, delaying more capital-intensive work may be a shrewd move. A capacity planning team should be implemented to oversee this, as well as to monitor performance and drive change.

Implement a PMO

Establishing a project management office (PMO) can add real value. It provides board members and decision makers with overarching visibility across the project pipeline, guaranteeing that work is being undertaken in the optimal order. In helping to establish where the passenger journey can be improved, a PMO can inform budgets and ongoing strategic decisions.

Consider external transport

A passenger’s journey actually begins at connecting transport interchanges, such as rail, bus or car. Wider transport issues are often caused by seasonal changes and national holidays. They can have serious knock-on impacts on passenger numbers and delays. Therefore it’s important to be aware of these and communicate expected issues ahead of time.

Balance the queues

Airport managers should aim to make wait times as balanced as possible. Simply pushing queues from one place to another should be avoided. A 10-minute queue at check-in and another 10-minute queue at security is likely to be preferable to one 20-minute wait at security.

Communicate effectively with staff

Airport staff often cite a lack of internal communication as their biggest problem. However, it can also seriously affect passenger experience. Subsequently, airports around the UK have begun to trial a system that communicates real-time information to its staff and contractors. In doing so they are able to keep passengers aware of any issues and reduce frustrations.

For more information or to discuss airport management solutions further, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi, Matthew Garrett or another member of our team.

Our Academy Practice

Career development is the process that forms a person’s work identity. It’s a significant part of personal development and spans the individual’s entire lifetime, beginning when they start their employment journey.

At Entec Si we’re passionate about career development and investing in our own people. This also helps with succession planning and talent management. To help progress this we have developed the Academy Practice which is led by our very own Julie Smith.

Welcome to the Academy Practice

The Academy Practice will support individuals on their journey through continual review and coaching. Alongside these reviews we will use assessment tools to recognise strengths and areas for development.

Using the classic T-Model for development, we believe that individuals will widen their range of proficiencies, adding a specialism to their skillset. These are in either project support/coordination, project/programme management, business/data analysis or consultancy.

Our core values

By developing our core values, key behaviours, soft skills, core/business knowledge and business skills, our colleagues will become more rounded. Similarly this will allow for more flexibility within the company.

We’ve recognised through continual career development that quite often career paths change. As a result this model will provide flexibility, so that individuals get the support they need to make these changes.

Training and development

Training and development also provides benefits in a number of areas:

  • Job satisfaction and morale
  • Employee motivation
  • Efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain
  • Capacity to adopt new technologies and methods
  • Innovation in strategies and products

My role as practice lead

When I was asked to develop the Academy Practice, I didn’t have to think twice. Passionate about people and their development, this was a match made in heaven for me.

I see my role as helping to fundamentally assist in our success. In addition to coaching and developing our people, I’m also helping to establish our needs as a company. When continuous learning is supported employees feel valued, helping boost their engagement and retention.

Moving forward with CSSC

We’ve been working closely with the Civil Sports Council (CSSC) on their Digital Service Programme (DSP), so we’re taking a moment to give you an update. Not only are we thrilled to be working on this, but it has generated a lot of excitement and engagement across the CSSC team.

All the working parts

We’ve had three suppliers onboard to deliver a new online events management solution, a new customer relationship management (CRM) tool and a new website and online shop.

Our online events software development has been completed. The next step is to test and update the system with the Head Office staff and volunteers who organise events. The idea is to do this in a ‘live’ environment.

As for the CRM, the initial development work has also been completed. We’re now working with both the supplier and the web supplier. This is to develop the integrations to allow both systems to talk to each other.

Finally, we’ve adopted an Agile approach for the website with sprints for the different parts of the site. We’re progressing the designs and wireframes in advance of build.

Running full speed ahead

The coming months are all about preparing for launches and end-to-end testing with users, so we’re expecting a full-on time. There’s still work to do on this programme, but we’re truly full speed ahead!

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