UK survey design and data processing agency IDA has ditched its central London offices in favour of a ‘virtual company’ structure. MD Peter Jackling is the only remaining IDA employee, with the other seven former members of staff now working independently and directly with the firm’s clients.
Jackling told DRNO the move is in part a response to tough trading conditions resulting from a number of factors, among them competition from India and the spread of 'one man bands’ with lower overheads. The increase in work being conducted online and the growth of panels, sold with DP included in the price, are also factors, according to Jackling.
‘As well as providing opportunities to work ‘better’ with no ‘dead’ time spent travelling, fewer distractions and more direct contact with clients, our restructure will allow us to reduce overheads and become more flexible and competitive,’ said Jackling. ‘Another significant consequence is the reduction of the company's carbon footprint through cutting out needless travel.’
Communications are now conducted online with phone lines diverted directly to each consultant. ‘We have been operating this way for four weeks now and it’s working well,’ adds Jackling.
IDA’s associate company Merlinco still has offices in Tower Bridge, London from which it provides software packages for in-house survey design and analysis, and for extra analysis of surveys processed by IDA.
Web sites are at www.ida.co.uk and www.merlinco.co.uk.