In March 2017, after a few months hot-desking at the old Bristol Post building, Brian Smith and I signed up for a small office at Future Space in Bristol to start our debt management software business, Flexys Solutions. Two years later, we are spread over three offices, with eighteen of us plus an intern here in Bristol and another two software developers who work remotely. We’re just about to start another round of recruitment to keep up with the pace of development and demand from customers.
How did this all start?
Along with our Chairman, Brian Dewis, Brian and I have many years experience in the debt collection software business and we noticed that the innovations in collections software of the early 1990s had not been continued. This resulted in the stagnation of both ideas and progress and we wanted to overturn this with some much needed fresh thinking. Conversations with our collections industry colleagues confirmed that current systems were dated and sluggish and not keeping pace with today’s business or regulatory demands. Technology has moved on in bounds since many of these monolithic systems were first installed but nothing had hit the market since that has brought more than superficial change and that’s why we started Flexys.
It was a huge personal decision for us to leave the security of a job and start a software business from scratch but now we can’t imagine any other way of working. We try and make Flexys a diverse and inclusive working environment where our employees feel free to express their personalities, improve their skills and most importantly, be respected and valued. We have a busy but relaxed working environment where the business needs and the needs of our families and our own wellbeing are all considered important. The thing we’re most proud of is when we hear someone say they wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
Location, location, location
We are very pleased to be based here on the University of the West of England campus in the Future Space innovation hub. Not only are we surrounded by talented people creating exciting new businesses but we have the considerable benefit of a close relationship with the University. This has resulted in a valuable Knowledge Transfer Partnership from Innovate UK so that the Flexys artificial intelligence team can join with academic experts at UWE to further develop our groundbreaking machine learning applications. It’s rewarding for us to contribute to the real-world experience of academics and students as they work with us on this project.
Looking forward, there is lots of hard work to do, lots of ideas to realise and more customers to satisfy so we are planning for an even more successful year ahead in 2019. Watch this space!