Case Study: Imperial

Parking, environmental and traffic management vertical

Background

Established in 1988, Imperial provides fully integrated business processing and IT solutions to public authorities, universities, hospitals and private enforcement contractors right across the UK. Acquired in 2019, Imperial is Volaris’s first UK business in the parking, environmental and traffic management vertical.

The Transition

The opportunity to grow with Volaris was a key part of the decision to sell, yet presented a significant change for the organisation.

Imperial Managing Director Ashley said: “We knew this would be a huge change for us, but a very positive one. One day we were running a small family business; the next we were part of something much larger. But while Volaris Group is different in many ways, to us it just felt like moving from one family to another.”

As part of the transition, Volaris appointed an Integration Manager to support the Imperial management team and ensure a smooth transition process.

“The Integration Manager was so important for us,” explains Ashley. “His personality and technology background were a perfect fit. He put the team completely at ease and helped us all ease into our new family.”

Post-Acquisition Success

Access to the wider resources within the Volaris family are already paying dividends. “We have been able to take advantage of highly skilled Volaris finance and legal expertise, both of which have delivered real value in our everyday working lives.

“One of the things that helped us right from the start are the business performance ratios which Volaris use. It is a really simple system for understanding how different areas of the business are operating, and where we can make changes for improvement.”

Meanwhile, Ashley says that with the backing of Volaris Imperial has greater confidence in tackling larger opportunities: “We are currently working on a bid which, if successful, would take our business to another level. With the backing of Volaris I believe we have the resources – and credibility – that will enable us to win work at this kind of scale.”

And as Imperial looks to future growth, access to greater marketing resource is also proving invaluable. “Previously we lacked internal marketing expertise and our market presence didn’t accurately reflect the organisation,” says Ashley. “Now we are using the latest tools to project a modern feel, and have already become far more effective in how we communicate with our customers.”

Collaboration within Volaris

Ashley says that one of the most valuable aspects of being part of Volaris is the opportunity to share best practice with other business leaders: “Despite Covid-19 it has still been possible to meet new colleagues virtually, sharing knowledge and advising one another on the challenges we face. It’s a great resource which and has already provided a real benefit for the business and myself.”

And while Imperial might be Volaris’ first UK parking, environmental and traffic management business, as an organisation that works with local authorities there is a great deal of overlap with Trapeze, the Volaris business which delivers public transport solutions across the UK and beyond.

“We have already begun collaborating within the UK businesses,” says Ashley. “We all have ideas and knowledge to share and it is exciting to think what we could achieve by working together.”

Looking Forwards Together

For Ashley and the Imperial team the transition to Volaris has been smooth and presents the opportunity for a brighter future: “The entire process has been a positive experience for us and I would recommend it to organisations in a similar situation. I took the approach that you just have to jump in and absorb Volaris’s collaborative culture and the expertise and support around you. It has certainly worked out for us.

“This has been a challenging year for so many of us as we deal with the effects of Covid-19. Fortunately, I believe Imperial is much stronger as part of the Volaris Group, and we are able to focus on how to further develop our business, rather than worrying about how to navigate these unusual times.”

Ashley Bijster, Managing Director, Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions

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