AXLR8 Staffing Systems

Managing tens of thousands of staff across the UK is a simple task when you have the right tools and software. AXLR8 Staffing Solutions has achieved this for its clients with support from Fasthosts.

We've nearly all done temporary agency work at some point in our lives. It might have been a university summer job in a factory or a few retail shifts to pay for a holiday. Agencies also employ huge full-time workforces in the night-time and entertainment sectors among many others, providing a living for an estimated 220,000 people in the UK.

However, ensuring agency staff are managed effectively can be a challenge when they're often dispersed. There's a lot to think about. From managing job seekers' applications and training, to vetting and ensuring they're in the right place at the right time. Not to mention payroll management and correspondence.

This is what AXLR8 Staffing Systems has built its business on – and it's been a huge success. Based in Crowthorne, Berkshire, Rick Marengo founded the firm in 1993. He'd worked in sales for global technology giants including Oracle and HP, selling software throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Having successfully done this for a number of years, he had a vision of creating his own UK-based software business, selling across the country and worldwide.

Working with Fasthosts means our servers are one less thing to worry about. They handle all the hardware and we can focus on what we do best.
- Rick Marengo, founder and owner of AXLR8

He spotted a gap in the market and pounced on it. Temping agencies are a crucial part of the economy, filling vacancies and offering flexible work. It's a great way to get into employment, often in exciting places. This includes football stadia and music festivals where there are plenty of steward roles, he explains.

This market was a perfect niche to get into. We developed customer relationship management software to help agencies generate clients, while also offering all the software they would need to recruit, train, manage, communicate with and pay their teams.

The business now works with more than 200 customers, which collectively employ tens of thousands of people. Our clients receive about 15,000 employment applications every hour and our workforce app has been downloaded countless times, says Rick.

Once people apply for work, they're vetted by providing ID, proof of address and other documentation via AXLR8's system. This is especially important for those working in security roles. E-learning is also vital. If you're working on the door of a night club in Manchester city centre, it's obviously very different to being in a family pub in the Home Counties. Most football stadia and festivals have their specialist safety policies that everyone needs to know. In brand sales jobs, you have to know your product inside out, then learn a new product the next week, Rick adds. We ensure temping agencies are preparing their people.

Following this, staff can be booked into jobs using the software, which matches people to the roles they're best suited for, taking into account location and skills. On arrival for a shift, employees use their phones to register attendance on one of AXLR8's check-in/-out devices. These light-switch sized panels recognise a person via the workforce app and send a message to the temping agency to record arrival. There is also geo-tracking software that proves a worker is in the right place. People can also take a selfie with geo-tracking showing them on-site if needed.

Its clear AXLR8 is having a huge impact on the temporary employment sector – for workers, agencies and businesses looking for staff. In doing so, it needs powerful and reliable technology support. All our software is based in the cloud, allowing our customers and their workforces to access it as needed. We use servers from Fasthosts to achieve this and have been using them for 18 years. This is in spite of the fact that we review our server supply every year on service reliability, quality and price.

Rick says he chose Fasthosts after a close shave with disaster. A previous data centre provider we worked with had been reselling space on behalf of another firm. It went bust and we were in a tough situation where we had to migrate data quickly. Someone recommended Fasthosts. They were cost-effective and provided everything we needed. This included a strong commitment to Windows servers, which we need for the CRM systems we sell to clients.

Working with Fasthosts means our servers are one less thing to worry about. They handle all the hardware and we can focus on what we do best. Having been with them for so long, we use nearly every service on offer, including virtual CloudNX servers and dedicated servers.

AXLR8 also has many different websites with Fasthosts, which it builds for clients. This offers additional value to our customers and allows us to upsell products to them. Once they have a website, we can usually grow with them.

When asked why he stays with Fasthosts, Rick says with a wide smile, We're their biggest fans. Their technology is exactly what we need. As he answers, a colleague in the background shouts, The service is amazing. Mention the service.

We rarely have any issues, but if we do, there is someone at the end of the phone who sort it out immediately.
- Rick Marengo, founder and owner of AXLR8

Rick wholeheartedly agrees. It's brilliant. They're there 24/7 if we need them, which we sometimes do. 363 days of the year, everything does exactly what it needs to. On the rare occasion, something doesn't go to plan, they're on hand to fix it.

This is a vital point for Rick. Having sold software for decades, he knows the key thing to consider is not if it works perfectly 100 per cent of the time, but if it breaks, how quickly is it fixed. This is where Fasthosts stands out. We rarely have any issues, but if we do, there is someone at the end of the phone who sort it out immediately.

And when your software is responsible for managing tens of thousands of people – including their pay – this is the type of service you need.

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