Chris McLaughlin, Managing Director of MIS Active Management Systems, popped into the huddled office to talk to us about the solutions his company provides for social housing organisations. Find out more about his personal approach and why his company is regarded as the supplier with the highest customer rating.
Chris McLaughlin – MIS Active Management Systems
What’s your name, position and where do you work?
Hi, my name’s Christopher McLaughlin and I am the Managing Director at MIS Active Management Systems who are based in Northwich and I’m also on the executive board for the Bid Team at Gadbrook Business Estate in Northwich.
Describe your business in one sentence.
MIS Active Management Systems are the number one supplier of housing management systems in the UK.
What separates you from the competition?
I think our biggest separating factor is our customer support. What we, as an organisation, do is make sure that everything the customer wants is delivered on time and within budget. Everyone deserves customer support.
What have been the highlights of your company so far?
I think the biggest highlight for MIS was back in 2013 and 2014, where they did a review of the market and we actually got voted the number one housing management, asset management, lettings and CRM in the UK.
What qualities are needed to succeed in your industry?
Biggest qualities you need is a bit of vision and the ability to help and support housing associations. As an area in industry it’s not very forthcoming in the way it’s adapting and as IT you are there to help and guide and support those organisations to make sure they can be better at driving efficiencies and making everything more effective.
Why do new businesses choose Manchester?
Manchester is a very, very good commercial hub. It’s got fantastic transport links and is growing year on year. A lot more businesses are going there because you have a good balance between family life as well as working life. You are very, very close to the city and yet you are living in the country at the same time which is a really really good work life balance.
Who are some local companies you would recommend?
It’s hard to say. There are so many good local companies in the area and it would be hard to differentiate the one or two. Some of the ones I’ve worked for in the past have been fantastic such as Mears and Morrison and I can’t say much other than thanks to Hot PR who’ve been a fantastic support to us on our PR side over the last few years.
Who do you think are the most influential people in the local business scene?
It’s hard to say one individual person who would actually stand out. I think the BBC coming to Manchester was a fantastic move. And they’ve really, really reinvigorated the Manchester arena, making more and more businesses consider Manchester as a business hub and really, really driving Manchester forwards.
Do you have any advice for new businesses in Manchester?
The biggest and probably the best piece of advice I can give to anyone who’s starting up a business is when you’re starting to get to that point where you’re starting to break even and starting to make a profit, is not take your foot off the accelerator. Realise your benefit but also realise your foundations. Establish what you were doing and the reason for why you were doing that. And make sure you can only build on that.
What I’ve found in the past for smaller organisations is they often have the tendency to move away from what they’re doing and actually they start getting aspirational in some respects. And by doing that, they move away from their original purpose. So I’d say set your foundations with your organisation to move forwards.
What’s the main benefit of working in Manchester?
I’d say the biggest benefit to working in Manchester is the commuting. It’s very easy to get in and out of Manchester but it’s also very, very easy to get the rest of the country. As an organisation, we find it absolutely fantastic to work in the Manchester area because there are so many businesses close by that are easily accessible.
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester?
In Manchester there’s so many good places to eat and drink. From a food perspective, I’d have to say San Carlo or Manchester House, two fantastic restaurants. But there are so many to choose from. From a drinking perspective, I think I’ve changed over the years between the Deansgate Locks, the Northern Quarter to Spinningfields, all again, fantastic places. And it’s nice to mix it up and show that there’s a large variety in Manchester.
This is Christopher McLaughlin from MIS Active Management Systems and this is huddled.