What town/city are you based in?
Number of generations
Number of employees
Tell us about your family business (What you do, how you started, who’s involved etc)
OrderWise is business management software developed and sold from purpose built premises in Saxilby, Lincoln. The company was founded by Managing Director David Hallam and David’s wife Rachel is also a Director of the company. David’s sister-in-law Louise is the HR/Accounts Manager and his nephew Stephen works as an Implementation Specialist.
The company moved to its current premises in 2010 and in 2016 announced a £1.3 million building expansion, with work on this completed in March 2017.
The company today employs over 165 people, more than 40 of whom were recruited in 2016. Around 1,000 businesses across the UK and Ireland use OrderWise and in total there are over 10,000 users of the software. In the last year, turnover has risen from £5.4 million to around £7.4 million.
What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement as a family business?
A recent newspaper article noted that “Finding the right person for the job is David Hallam’s biggest challenge and proudest achievement.”
Within the article, David was quoted as saying, “We are a people business and we’ve got to get the right people into the business, hence why we want to look after our staff and why we want to pick the right staff. I don’t say we have 100 staff, I say we support 100 families and I’m a family guy, a lot of our staff are family people as well and that mindset makes you think a little bit differently.”
What do you love about being a family business?
Managing Director David Hallam has said:
“When it’s a family business you have something that others don’t – a pure passion. You must never forget the human touch. We don’t and that’s what makes us a great employer. The key is to get the right staff, have a plan but only up to 12 months and listen to staff and customers.”
Remaining an independent, family-run business has been important to David. Back in 2010, the company was offered venture capital funds to grow at a much faster rate but David believed retaining ownership was key to developing the business in the right way and to ensuring that staff felt secure and appreciated.
Referring to this in a newspaper interview David said, “I couldn’t have done things that way – the company is too important to me. I love what we do and we’re very passionate about it. They say you have to love what you do and it’s true: if people here enjoy their roles, then we all gain back.”