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JD Newsletter_Q3_Nov22 Flipbook PDF

JD Newsletter_Q3_Nov22









Hey all, apologies for the delay in this publication of Just Connect, it’s been very busy and there have been a lot of changes in the UK / world! Before I get into the main comms, thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the staff party, what an amazing night. I, along with everyone I have spoken to, loved it, it was so nice to see so many of you and your partners and it was a lot of fun! If you didn’t get to go due to location or other commitments, we’ll look at communicating earlier next year and working better on it being fully inclusive. Well, there is a lot going on in the world right now and particularly Britain. Interest rate rises and inflation are well documented, as is the chaotic government.

I was on a recent webinar hosted by a Chief Economist of HSBC, and they were predicting that 2023 would continue to be challenging, but 2024 looked much more promising with a return to lower inflation and, you would hope, lower interest rates too. It will all hinge on two factors, the war in Ukraine and the certainty and stability the government can bring. I feel for a lot of businesses right now, especially those that aren’t regarded as everyday necessities: holidays, new clothing and even a trip to the local pub. With every single business experiencing rising costs (including us), they will also see their revenue fall, I fear a level of instability for them not too dissimilar to COVID times… but without furlough.

Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

I know this probably sounds a bit negative, but the good news is we are not like any other business, over the last two years when the world was cautious and licking its wounds over COVID, we set out on a strategy for growth. Two years ago, you may have thought this was madness, surely survival is key, not investing in growth. Well, it is that strategy along with your commitment and hard work that underpins our stability today. It has enabled us to remain profitable (not quite where we wanted to be – see later) in a period of uncertainty and escalating costs. Our costs have increased by an unbudgeted £400k this year, our average order values have been £300k behind this year (now recovering), but we have still grown. We continue to be 100% supported by our board in this strategy and we will grow again next year with revenues likely to be over £15m, albeit with tighter margins, but its a huge achievement… Thank you!

doesn’t change. As I explained in the huddle, we will be paying a one-off payment in this month’s pay and I want to thank you for all the wonderful messages to myself, the SMT and to Board. On top of this, we will continue to think of other ways we can help and holding frequent social events (including partners and children) at JD… Every little helps. All I ask of you is that, as we enter our busy period, you do your absolute best, work as hard as you can, achieve what others would think is impossible, continue the great customer service and have fun along the way too. If you do this (as you always do), everything else will look after itself and we will be in a great position. As always, thank you for everything you do, you are one amazing team! Yours, Andy

I have always committed that we will do the absolute best by you, our JD family, and that



Summer Party!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Summer Party on 17th September! It was a great success and I hope everyone had a good time. Thank you to Mandi Hales, Abbie Cameron, Robbie Arthur and Fran Catling for helping to organize the event.


We held the golden ticket draw where there was an opportunity to win £400 in vouchers. Congratulations to Ivan Filipov, Luke McDonald and Clive Gosnell, who each won £400. We also had a raffle where all employee names were in the hat with the opportunity to win £100 vouchers. Congratulations to Megan Sloan, Ryan DeCourcey and Ben Slayford.

Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Engagement News By now your Senior Manager will have been through the results of this year’s survey to get ideas of actions that can be taken in your department, and actions are underway. The first meeting of the Engagement Forum was on 15th September, where the first topic of discussion was a proposed Company Sick Pay policy. We look forward to feedback and will meet regularly.


Department Spotlight – Display Services

Our Display Services department have had an exciting and busy summer helping our clients catch up on exhibitions that were postponed during the pandemic. They have been up and down the country building and taking down exhibition stands, as well as completing signage installs for a client rebrand. Alongside exhibition stands and signage, our Display Services team also produce a range of large format items, including the GS canvases, posters, packaging mock ups, foamex boards, shaped standees, and so much more!


Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022


We made it!

We hit our target of 3962 miles – with 4 miles to spare! In August, 35 of the JD team took on the challenge to complete 112 miles for charity. (112 miles being the distance between JD and Support Dogs head office). Miles could be completed any people-powered way and people completed a range of activities including walking, running, biking, swimming, rowing, surfing and paddle boarding to get the miles in. Congratulations to everyone who took part and helped us raise £1280 for Support Dogs, and congratulations to some of our challenge winners:

Most overall miles: 235 - Sam Pepper Most overall miles biked: 177 - Sammie Webster Most overall miles walked: 125 - Yasmin Cox Most overall miles ran: 108 - Katie Kaylor Most overall miles swam: 12 - Megan Proud Most overall varied miles: Surfing, Rowing, Walking, Running and Biking Abbie Cameron Challenge winner: Most colleagues on a walk Megan Sloan Challenge winner: Most unusual way to travel a mile Megan Sloan


Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Prizes were sourced from social enterprises and companies that give back below: Medals: The workshop at Aberfeldy - a social enterprise, passionate about making a difference by supporting young and disadvantaged people into employment. They offer free training and work experience in woodworking, small-scale manufacturing, design, laser cutting and CNC routing Stand4socks vouchers: For every pair of socks purchased, they donate a thick, antibacterial pair to a homeless person Gandy’s hats: A travel-inspired fashion brand who are dedicated to building kids’ campuses and giving back to other underprivileged children around the world


What’s that new logo?

You may have noticed that the Graphic Services logo has had a revamp and that Designers, Admin, Proofreaders and Quest are using a new signature, so we wanted to share why these changes have been made. As many of you know, our funeral customers know us as Graphic Services, as opposed to Just Digital. This was created by Adam to give the homes the comfort of feeling like we are an embedded extension of their team, their very own Graphic Services department.


Due to this, we felt it was important Graphic Services had its own identity and earlier this year we decided that meant it needed a more befitting logo. The team researched a colour palette that would evoke a more sustainable image for the business- so we have gone for soft greens. The heart was an adaptation Nick created from the original JD logo, whereby we softened the edges into a heart shape… a shape we continually came across when researching treasured keepsakes. We wanted a logo which encapsulated the sentiment behind the product and that these aren’t just Orders of Service, but treasured, superior quality keepsakes which enhance the homes funeral offering.

Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Potato Print Update Great news! Four schools are officially onboard Potato Print and the parents at these schools have started to sign-up to Potato Print, too. Three of the schools have said they would like to use us this year to do their Christmas card project, which is fantastic!

Our upgrade, being the app and sharing functionality between teachers, children and parents, is taking longer than we had planned, given some complex integration hurdles we are busily trying to find a solution for, so the likelihood is we will be launching the upgrade in the new year. But until then, we will continue to promote Potato Print as it is now, for schools and parents to continue using. We had lots of nice ideas from you all when I recently asked for help on ideas to get parents to want to go on to Potato Print and we are putting many of those ideas into action, so thank you!

Over the next few months, we will be working with these schools to build a true partnership to help us develop Potato Print, our approach to schools and increase conversion rates of parents on the site.

In the next couple of weeks, you will see a Christmas category added to Potato Print. Please remember that you have access to a staff discount code for Potato Print, please email Mandi once you have signed up and we will send you the code. Thank you to those of you we have seen spreading the word online, to the teachers at your children’s schools and other parents… we TRULY appreciate it and it makes all the difference! From, The Education Team


Welcome to Just Digital! Please welcome the staff members who have recently started with us:

Iqra Khan Artworker I recently moved to the area, so it has been great working at Just Digital; everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. In my spare time, I enjoy going for walks, the gym, shopping and spending time with my family.

Lydia Stockton Artworker Working here has been great, and I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent here so far! I studied illustration and I love it very much, as well as gaming. If I’m not at work, I’m usually doing one or the other.


Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Edgaras Strasnovas Artworker Love cars and photography, always been interested in them. Unfortunately, my Fiancé doesn’t let me spend my money on them :). I never say no to a cold pint on a weekend, and I have two cats. I have returned to working at Just Digital and am pleased with all the changes in the year since I have been gone and how much the company has grown.

Vicki Clark Artworker My hobbies and interests are very varied. I paint, draw, write, sew and create the occasional children’s book. I also sing and am part of a choir. Last, but definitely not least, my pets are incredibly important to me and I am an animal fanatic! I used to work for Just Digital 6 years ago and came back, starting again this July. There have been a lot of positive changes, and I am very much enjoying being back with the company.


Tamara Sunina Artworker I’ve been working at Just Digital for around four weeks now and I really like it, it’s a great environment. I moved to Huntingdon (from Boston, Lincolnshire) to be able to work at Just Digital, so I’ve been having fun exploring the new territory. A few days ago, I saw a black squirrel for the first time. It turns out they were brought here from the US to a private zoo in Cambridgeshire, but they escaped and have been living in the Cambridgeshire area ever since. Very cool!

Hafsa Afzal Artworker I have always loved designing, but had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do up until recently. I really enjoy working for JD and have met some lovely people here. I enjoy different creative activities in my spare time whilst binge watching on Netflix.


Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Jasmine Bonner Proofreader Hi, I’m Jasmine, or Jaz for short. I started on the proofreading team at Just Digital at the end of August and have been seeing hymns pop up in my dreams ever since. When I’m not working, I can usually be found playing videogames, learning how to roller-skate (badly), or wondering if it really is possible to cook anything in an air fryer. Working at Just Digital has been great and I’d like to thank everyone I work with for being so welcoming!

Florence Chase Proofreader My name’s Flo, I have been with Just Digital as a proofreader for just over a month and really enjoying it. I graduated in May from Glasgow University in English Literature and Art History so am no stranger to spending my days reading. At the moment I enjoy knitting, cooking, playing the guitar (badly), painting and going to the cinema. :)


Nathan George Business Development Manager I started at Just Digital three months ago in the Education department as a business development manager. I have loved working for the company so far and have met some amazing people. Outside of work, I love driving, I’m really in to cars and going to the gym. Most of all, I LOVE eating.

Shane McDonald Sales Administrator I have just joined the JD family in the displays team. I have been made very welcome and everyone has been very friendly and helpful in the short time I have been here. Outside of work, I try to live an active lifestyle and enjoying playing football and golf in my spare time. I also enjoy travelling and finding new places to explore. I am also a qualified barber and enjoy cutting people’s hair in my spare time.


Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Catherine Doe Graphic Designer I am from Edinburgh and have recently moved to Cambridge. I have been working at Just Digital for just over a month now as a Graphic Designer. I am enjoying the variety of work I get every week, and my team members are lovely and have been very welcoming. In my spare time, I enjoy gaming and playing the guitar.

Rebecca Barrett Junior Web to Print Artworker I like playing video games and spending time with my kids. Like to go for walks around country parks. When I get time to, I like drawing and reading. Finding working at Just Digital is really good, my team is great.

David Essandoh Warehouse and Dispatch Assistant This has been my first job since arriving from Ghana and I am happy being here. I like the new things I am learning and I enjoy working with my nice and helpful team. Outside work, I love cooking, music, football and movies.


ESG News We continue to be busy with all the various aspects of our ESG strategy but, before going any further, a recap of what ESG stand for: Environment Social Governance

Why the strategy? To support our contribution to making our world a better place. In essence, we want to look after our planet and the people on it because it is the right thing to do - for us all, for our children and for the generations to follow.

What are our achievements so far?

• We have removed plastic bottles from the vending machine • Recyclable paper tape on all our boxes • Business card boxes are now made from recyclable materials

• 10 EV chargers – that all staff can use

• Plant trees and support communities – through all three of our paper merchants we support tree planting in the UK and community projects in Kenya and the Amazon Rainforest

• Over 90% of our lightbulbs are LED

• Living Wage Foundation employer

• Zero waste going to landfill • 100% renewable energy


Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

• This year we became a Best Companies Top 100 One to Watch company • Safety footwear now has vegan/recycled options

We also had a lovely pop up vegan lunch in July with very delicious foods. A recipe book has been circulated if you want to try any of the recipes yourself!

• We are transitioning to our uniforms being made from environmentally friendly materials (organic cotton and/ or recycled materials)

So what is next? • We are preparing communications that can be sent to our clients, put on our website and used on social media • We are researching a local community outdoor activity

Watch this space...

Have your say Almost two years ago, you let us have your ideas for our ESG strategy – we have acted on most of your suggestions. Please see the next page for further details on our updates.

If you have any new ideas for further initiatives we can take to improve our environmental journey or engage with our communities, please get in touch with the ESG committee (Lisa S, Rachel P, Sally G, Carl, Jane)


You asked

We listened

Recycling of all waste

We have zero waste going to landfill - 86% is recycled and the remainder is diverted waste.

Biodegradable paper tape so the whole box can be recycled

We are now using paper tape and have also changed our shipping pockets from plastic to biodegradable paper ones. The bubble wrap we use is made from 30% recycled plastics and is 100% recyclable.

All company cars to be electric

Most of our company cars are now electric and, when replaced, non electric cars will be replaced with electric cars. We have electric car charging points for all staff to use.

Offer more plastic free options in large format

The Displays team has a comprehensive list of environmentally friendly products they can show clients.

Calculate CO2 emissions

We calculate our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions: 2021 total 21,161kgCO2e.

Plant trees

We have signed up to tree planting schemes with our three main paper merchants and have so far planted approximately 330 trees in the UK. A JD team went on a tree planting day in June.

Cycle to work scheme

We already have this in place - please contact HR for details.

Health and wellbeing scheme – gym etc.

We have introduced private medical care, death in service and life insurance for all employees. Through Moorepay, there is a range of other gym and health offerings.


Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Reduction in plastic usage and offerings to clients

We are transitioning to tins of water in the vending machine and we are not having plastic cups for the watercoolers. For clients, we replaced the plastic business card boxes with cardboard ones.

Eco friendly uniform

Transitioning to uniforms made from environmentally friendly materials (organic cotton and/or recycled materials). There is a choice of vegan recycled safety footwear.

Sustainability as a lifestyle change - incentives and communication to staff

We held a vegan pop up kitchen event and produced a recipe book and Sally Gower regularly sends great tips and ideas for sustainable living on Yammer.

Coffee and tea sustainable

Recyclable tea bags; Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.

Being carbon neutral

We are working toward being as carbon neutral as possible - for example, all our electricity is from renewable sources and 90% of our lighting is LED.

Carbon offsetting

We collaborate with our three main paper merchants and carbon balance all the paper we purchase from them. So far, we have facilitated the planting of approximately 330 trees in the UK. We have facilitated the purchase of 80 household stoves and saved 267 tonnes of coal and firewood through participation in a project in Kenya, as well as supporting deforestation projects in the Amazonian Rainforest.


Systems Update

We are now live with our new finance software, “Sage Intacct”. The Finance Team have done a tremendous job in getting to this stage. We are still in a transitional period as we close things out of our old system and start to use the new. Sage Intacct will eventually be fully integrated into our new ERP system (PrintIQ) and will remove the current time-consuming manual processes, creating a seamless flow of information. We have also recently been working on upgrading our FileMaker system. As we go to print, the upgrade weekend went well, weekend testing was a success, and this is now live. A massive amount of work has gone into preparing and checking and testing what we need to do and how we can do the upgrade with the minimum of impact to the business. The upgrade is a pre-requisite for so many other 20

developments we would like to do within the business. Least of all, to commence a project upgrading the operating systems of all our Macs. The discovery and scoping of our requirements for the new ERP system (PrintIQ) is taking us longer than we initially planned. So we are reviewing our priorities and scoping what can be delivered and when. As we move into our busy period for Orders of Service and to ensure we do not adversely impact the business, we have made the decision to hold the delivery of the new Order of Service process until after our peak period. We are, however, still working on getting some core systems and processes in place in other areas of the business, where they will not be unduly impacted this year. Further information will be published as soon dates are confirmed.

Just Connect | Quarter 3 2022

Financial Update Results as @ end of Sept 22

We continue to show good growth with revenues now 38% ahead of where they were last year, and it looks like we will end somewhere around £13.5m mark by the end of the year. This is a remarkable achievement and will be the highest ever turnover in JD’s history in all areas… Well done! The challenge has been converting this extra revenue in profit and cash, we are behind both revised forecast and budget in these areas. Profit has been hampered by a suppressed average order value in the first six months of the year, rising material prices and little room for price increases with large clients due to fixed contracts. That said, the flip side of this is that contracts provide stability, and this has proved to be very important over the last two years.

Congratulations! Congratulations to Luke McDonald who recently passed his ACA exams making him a fully qualified accountant… Well done!

We have already started to do lots of great work on new contracts with clients that allow for price increases, and we are changing this culture. Later in 2023, we should start to see some benefit of this, but we will be balancing the increases to our customers to recovering costs. With a fair wind behind us and great growth in GS, MS and Education, we should see revenue grow further to around £15.5m next year with a better conversion to profit... Watch this space and future financial updates! 21