HDS Securities goes for gold at Rio 2016 with Bibby Financial Services

London 2012 paves the way for long term success

HDS Personnel Ltd and HDS Securities Contracts Ltd
Tilbury Freeport, Essex
Security staffing / Temporary recruitment
£250k and £200k
£2.5million (Personnel); £1.8million (Securities)

The organisation

HDS Personnel and HDS Securities Contracts Limited is a specialist, temporary staffing and security recruitment business based in Tilbury Freeport, along the Thames Corridor. 

From humble beginnings with just 5 members of staff in 1987, today the business has an international client roster; a global reputation and permanent and temporary staff numbers in excess of 500.

The business was formed in 1987 as HDS Personnel, a multi-skilled labour provider to the maritime industry. Since then, the company has achieved significant growth and although it still provides staffing services to the maritime industry - maintaining its strong ties with the Port Tilbury area - its customers span a range of diverse operations, including industrial, port and rail services.

Ken Anderson, Commercial Director, attributes the businesses’ success to its adaptability: “One day a client may require 20 people; the following day a different client may need 200, so labour providers need to have scope and agility to act quickly – something we’re very good at.”

The business need

Although the company has benefitted from this adaptability, its business model requires a smooth cash flow and significant working capital to manage gaps between temporary staff payment and customer payment times. Ken explains: “Many of our contract workers are paid weekly; however, our customer payment terms are often between 60 and 90 days. For this reason, it’s vital that we have a flexible source of working capital in place to ensure the smooth running of the company.”

The company’s previous funding provider was unable to find a solution for the business’s complex requirements, but in 2009 Bibby Financial Services (BFS) was recommended to Ken. Since this time, BFS has been the business’s primary funding partner, providing working capital through its Recruitment Finance product. Speaking of this relationship, Ken says: “The funding support we receive from Bibby Financial Services has been crucial to our plans for the future and has enabled us to grow at a significant rate.

“The team at BFS has specialist knowledge of the recruitment sector, which is essential. This sector knowledge enabled BFS to find a tailored solution for us and since this partnership began, we’ve never looked back and our turnover has grown 12 per cent in the last year.”

Diversification and Olympic success

It is this forward thinking; aspirational attitude which has been the driving force behind the business’s success and in 2005, the management team took the strategic decision to diversify operations, subsequently creating HDS Securities Contracts Limited.

Ken reflects that the decision was in response to the increasing requirement for temporary and permanent security staff, across sectors and geographical areas: “Our daily operations in the temporary recruitment sector, gave us access to labour pools on a large scale so we decided to look for opportunities in the market. Entering the security labour market was a logical decision for us and we have gone from strength-to-strength since.”

In 2010 in preparation for a sizable and prominent contract bid, Ken and the team extended the funding facility from BFS to include HDS Securities Contracts. Following an extensive 18 month tendering process, the business was awarded the security contract for Team Brazil at the London Olympics 2012, fending-off a raft of competitors. Ken says:

“We knew from our existing funding facility with BFS that their support and expertise would be invaluable and without this support, it’s unlikely that we would’ve been awarded the London Olympics contract.”

The contract involved managing security for over 550 members of the Brazilian Olympic team, providing services for the many athletes, physiotherapists, doctors and coaches in the UK for the games.

A year after London 2012, the Brazilian Olympic Committee has requested that HDS Securities tender a proposal for the provision of security at the Rio Olympics in 2016; an opportunity that Ken says they will grab with both hands:  “It was an amazing experience to be part of and a great platform for us to demonstrate our capabilities which we did and we have now being asked to support the Brazilian team at the games in Rio in 2016.”

While concentrating on this exciting opportunity, the business is now looking to grow even more and Ken says that there is a significant emphasis on training and technology moving forward: “We are now planning significant investment in new technology and staff training - both of which are integral to securing the long-term success of our businesses.”

Ken says that the business has no intention of changing its source of funding and urges other businesses to spread their gaze beyond the banks: “Bank funding is often discussed in relation to SMEs but my advice would be for business owners to find a bespoke and tailored solution that fits with their own business model and for us, this is the invoice finance facility from BFS.”

“On top of the funding we receive from BFS, additional services such as credit control facilities offer us a support network we didn’t know existed. They understand the needs of our business which is reassuring and rewarding.”

“The funding from BFS has enabled us to sustainably grow and the credit control facility helps us to focus on securing future revenues, while servicing existing clients which is a winning formula.”

“We’re now working on two sizable contracts which could potentially grow HDS Securities Contracts by 60 per cent by the end of the year.”