Liquid Voice wants a bigger say in region

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AS SOFTWARE development business Liquid Voice Systems looks to build its customer base in the Yorkshire region, it is launching a new product which keeps tabs on the productivity levels of a company’s workforce.

Chris Illingworth, a director at Leeds-based Liquid Voice, said the software, named Activity Monitoring, will help companies become more efficient in the face of the difficult economic climate.

The company, whose core product is call recording, has grown significantly since its inception in 2009. It achieved a £1m turnover in the year to the end of January 2012, with pre-tax profits of £72,000, compared to £429,000 the previous year, with pre-tax profits of £35,000. Its head count in the UK is 15, with four or five staff members in New Zealand.

Liquid Voice was one of the winners of the Yorkshire Post’s Local Business Accelerators competition, backed by the CBI and the Bank of England. It won a substantial amount of free advertising with the newspaper, and mentoring from Kevin Hollinrake, the managing director of Hunters Property Group, the York-based estate agents. Mr Illingworth said gaining “an external perspective on our business proposition” would be very useful and he added that advertising in the Yorkshire Post offers “a superb platform to increase our exposure and awareness in our local area”.

One of Liquid Voice’s aims for this year is to do more business in Yorkshire, said Mr Illingworth. He said the business is keen to identify customers in the region to increase its local presence and keep costs down.

“As a business, there are huge benefits both to us and our potential customers in generating more local activity.

“We want Yorkshire businesses to be aware that they can gain access to specialist expertise without dealing with remote operations, often based overseas, who may not be able to respond to their needs with the same speed or enthusiasm,” said Mr Illingworth.

Earlier this year, the Yorkshire Post launched Buy Yorkshire, a new campaign to help boost the region’s economy. It aims to encourage Yorkshire businesses to “think local” whenever they need to buy goods and services, to help small and medium-sized enterprises win new contracts in the short term and strengthen the region’s supply chains in the long term.

At Liquid Voice, recruitment, expansion and new product launches are all on the agenda.

This month, Liquid Voice is launching its Activity Monitoring software, which can monitor and report on each employee’s workstation activity – minute by minute. Mr Illingworth said: “Rather than just looking at calls, you now get the full story and desktop interactions. It means you can do productivity analysis of staff. It looks at emails, internet usage, every application on the desktop.

“Everybody is looking to make efficiency gains and increase productivity because of the difficult times we are in. With the product we’ve got you’re able to instantly benchmark users on productivity, not just via telephony but also desktop interaction.”

He added: “Other companies do little bits of what we do but very few companies will do the whole productivity solution.”

The company also looks set to expand its current 1,500 sq ft office space by 60 per cent in spring. The firm is increasing capacity to allow for future recruitment. Mr Illingworth said: “We are recruiting more marketing staff and more trainers to help people improve their business. We will be taking on at least another five or six people.”

Liquid Voice’s customers encompass the financial, legal, mortgage and insurance broker, motor trade, housing and local government sectors. The NHS, DLA Piper and the Towergate Group are among its clients.

Ninety per cent of the company’s customers are based in the UK, but it does have international clients too. Mr Illingworth said: “We are looking to start operating in more European countries.”

Directors Mr Illingworth, Chris Berry and Andrew Barrett own the company.

suzan.uzel@ypn.co.uk