TALL Group is a combination of three businesses, Checkprint, Tall Security Print and DLRT. Together, they work tirelessly with companies around the world to ensure secure print and payment solutions, producing millions of secure documents each month. Intelligent SME.tech speaks to Martin Ruda, Group MD, TALL Group about the group, how they adapted to client needs during the pandemic, ensure staff have skills to successfully deal with business process outsourcing and hopes for the future.
Tell us a bit more about your business and how it started?
TALL Group originally started in 1991, with the aim of helping UK banks with chequebook printing services. The founding directors took a leap of faith, left their employment at a competitor, and built the company from scratch.
In the mid-nineties, Checkprint, then a sub of a large American cheque printing business, changed the paradigm for corporate cheques with the launch of ‘The Checkprint Special Cheque Service’ based on a US model. This took the cost and control of the provision of special cheques for business users away from the banks and turned a six-week lead-time into a six-day service, simplified the customer proposition and created menu pricing.
TALL and Checkprint came together in 1999 to then buy and build, to harness some of the (acquired DLRT in Belfast in 2015) best secure print operations in the UK. The TALL group operates in Runcorn, Hinckley and Belfast and holds long term contracts with multiple banks, government departments, corporates large and small.
What is your company’s vision and goal?
Our goal is to lead the market through service, innovation and value for all stakeholders. We want to see a £20 million turnover group in 2025.
What kind of clients and markets do you serve?
In the UK, we serve primarily BFSI customers, and, internationally, we serve governments in emerging markets. Our clients are always businesses, institutions and governments, never individual customers. However, we never say never!
How do you ensure cheque fraud prevention and financial safety for your clients?
We have patented security features on the face of cheques and automated verification prior to funds settlement. We also have leading Edge data management and highly secure operational procedures.
Extensive knowledge of our markets and the industry of ‘payments’, trusted partnerships with banks, intermediaries, technology specialists and sheer hard work allows us to be ahead of the curve with innovative developments, which deliver serious protection against fraud and return on investment.
How have you adapted to meet changing client requirements during the pandemic?
When customers ask us for something we haven’t seen or done before, we start the conversation with ‘yes’ and then work out the answer. We use cross-training to have more achieved by few people, ultimately using fewer resources – whether that is cash, equipment, time or energy. We stand out from the crowd by being the benchmark for resilience and building recovery from within.
How do you equip your staff with skills and knowledge to successfully deal with business process outsourcing?
We use R2R – ‘Road to Recovery’ – which is an internal communications and motivation campaign that we launched a couple of months ago to engage all staff, highlight individual and team success, acknowledge those going ‘the extra mile’ and report on the green shoots of recovery as they emerge.
Every month there is a celebratory lunch, pizza day or ice creams in the car park, we run a prize draw for tokens and are building up to a hamper raffle at Christmas. These simple actions get people talking, oil the wheels of communication and have created a more optimistic, forward-looking team. Without the programme, this wouldn’t have been the case, coming out of the darkness of the pandemic. We are not a culture that just ‘hopes for the best’.
Additionally, we use training, focus on security, quality, right the first time every time. Our staff retain skills and knowledge and transfer them to the ‘next generation’. We try hard to flush out the learnings from new projects taken on for customers. For example, we have just appointed a fully PRINCE 2 trained Group Head of Project Management to ensure our projects are documented, delivered on time and to budget.
How do you ensure you innovate to keep pace with the constantly evolving – and highly sophisticated – fraud landscape?
We use innovation, technology partnerships, take risks and envision futures that look impossible. All this needs faith in the leadership, in the teams that create and deliver new solutions, and devolving responsibility to those who have the skills and experience to do new things. So, we trust our employees to predict the right changes.
What best practice advice would you offer business leaders in the BFSI sector looking to improve their fraud prevention strategies?
Understand the processes surrounding payments. Don’t lose people with thirty years of knowledge. Challenge the way things have always been done, internally and externally, and never take no for an answer.
Looking ahead, can you highlight your business strategy and what clients can expect?
The thirty years of history of the company is worth nothing if the next thirty years is not firmly in our sights. The challenge is to evolve to meet the needs customers don’t realise they have yet! So, by investing in acquisitions, partnerships and people, our customers see a constantly evolving business that they can plug into for help and use our solutions and services that will secure their future too. We also build relationships with people who matter and hope these relationships endure. So, we’re able to deliver new and different products and services that will fuel the future success of the business.Click below to share this article