Founded in 2007 by Mike Callender and Chris Love, REPL Group is a world-leading consultancy and technology group specialising in workforce transformation, supply chain, customer experience and enterprise systems. The idea for REPL came about after the company where the pair were previously working began to consult a US-based software company to help solve the organisation’s need for a workforce management and back office solution. While the software vendor had the right functionality, it didn’t have any services on the ground and therefore was required to train people up to implement the solution for the company. However, it soon became clear that Mike and Chris had picked up the software far quicker than the third parties they had engaged to do so, and as a result, they took charge of implementing the software into the company they had been working at.
This didn’t go unnoticed by the software vendor, RedPrairie, who were setting up in the UK to make the most of the opportunities the UK market presented. With this in mind, Mike and Chris approached RedPrairie with the offer of becoming consultants to support their UK efforts – and so, REPL was born. While the company was originally built on this one relationship, it has built relationships with software vendors around the world in the 12 years that have followed.
From kitchen table to multiple offices
During the first year of REPL, its only employees were Mike, Chris and Jake Dawson, who joined in month four, with the company operating from Mike’s kitchen table. However, as its client base grew so did the number of employees, and within three years, REPL had grown to 30 employees.
During this time, the management team all had multifunctional roles, fulfilling their own core duties as a consultant, but also functioning as the HR manager and chief finance officer, for instance. In time, they came to the realisation that they needed to set up central functions to make sure they could focus their time on customers. Therefore, new employees should be brought on to carry out the central functions that needed to take place behind the scenes in order to keep the organisation ticking along.
While the team of consultants often worked from home or a client-site, the prospect of a growing organisation meant Mike’s kitchen was no longer a viable workspace. This was the genesis for REPL moving into an office location, resulting in a move into a small office above a bridal shop to test whether there was a need for an office.
This low-risk, low-cost exercise coincided with REPL developing a software development capability which saw the team outgrow the office very quickly. Consequently, REPL moved to a nearby office that was three times the size, which it again outgrew within 12 months. This led to REPL moving to its current location in Henley-in-Arden.
However, as the company has continued to grow, this space was no longer sufficient. As such, REPL has since gone on to open three additional office locations in the UK in London, Warwick and Leeds. REPL now boasts several global offices in South Africa, Japan, Singapore and the United States and over 300 employees.
Building strong relationships
REPL has based its culture on partnerships and alliances with software vendors. It operates by training its consultants up on the vendor’s software solutions in order to help the vendor improve the way they sell their solutions and do them in a more economical way and within the right geographies.
In its 12 years, and through these relationships, REPL has become a true systems integrator, delivering more to its customers and now able to help with end-to-end integration, testing services, AI, automation and development services.
Over the years, REPL has also formed close relationships with customers, initially building its customer-base purely through word of mouth recommendations. For instance, one of REPL’s early customers was Asda. When REPL’s contact at the supermarket chain moved to the United States, they engaged REPL’s services for their parent company, Walmart.
Similarly, another contact moved to Microsoft, where they too requested REPL’s services.
REPL has a very entrepreneurial mindset, with the philosophy that “there is always an answer, they just haven’t worked it out yet.”
REPL has a culture of empowerment, which has helped to create a highly engaged workforce. 94.5% of REPL’s workforce would recommend REPL as a good place to work, and innovation within the organisation is driven from all levels.REPL’s offering also makes it stand out from the competition, as the organisation has recognised it provides the most value to its clients through its unique insight-driven expertise. This has helped to cement its position as a trusted advisor within the retail industry.
REPL’s main point of differentiation is its people. When asked what REPL stands for, the team responds with ‘REmarkable PeopLe’. The team at REPL is driven by solving problems for customers and it is often this problem solving that has helped to shape where REPL develops offerings. For instance, opening offices in the US and South Africa were both actions driven by the needs of its customers.
In its 12 years, REPL’s client base has grown significantly thanks to the team’s drive to really help customers and make a difference. In order to achieve this, REPL doesn’t adopt a cookie-cutter approach where one size fits all; it makes a real difference by being an innovative and pragmatic company that works with customers and offering a personalised service. REPL’s employees relish being able to help customers serve their customers better, or make their employees’ lives easier, and are rewarded by seeing how they have helped transform businesses they have worked with.
With technological challenges often holding organisations back, REPL finds ways to overcome these obstacles and deliver things faster to clients to allow them to realise benefits sooner.
REPL Group Brook House, Birmingham Road, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5QR • Tel: +44 (0) 808 200 7375 email@example.com • www.replgroup.com