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On the 10th of March 2016, IS Oxford became an employee-owned company, joining the ranks of other successful employee-owned organisations including John Lewis and ARUP.
Employee-owned organisations are distinguished from others by their higher levels of innovation, staff engagement, stability and long term view. They recognise that their employees are their most important asset and that they should be closely involved in determining their company’s future. For IS Oxford this is a significant and logical development of the principles and ethics that we have always held to be important. It brings those who are focussed on understanding and meeting the needs of our customers into the heart of deciding on our long term goals and how to achieve them. The success of the business depends on our team and they will benefit directly from it.
IS Oxford’s board of directors is now responsible to the employee ownership trust, representing our staff instead of external or private shareholders. Our management has not changed nor has the composition of our various teams.
Postlethwaite Solicitors guided IS Oxford expertly and smoothly through the process. The Employee Ownership Association and its members continue to provide helpful advice and information; becoming employee-owned is just the start. Deb Oxley, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association said:
“We are delighted that IS Oxford is making the transition to employee ownership. Nationally, employee owned companies now account for over £30 billion of GDP annually, and the sector is growing at a rate of approximately 10% per annum. Evidence shows that employee owned companies are more productive, innovative and resilient; with successive governments lending support to the sector, as they recognise the benefits and opportunities that the model brings to the UK economy.”
IS Oxford’s library management software, Heritage Cirqa is the result of nearly 30 years of continual development. Customer retention over that period has been high and many of its earliest customers still use it. Its team of 25 is based in Oxford with an average length of service of over 12 years per member.