Connected Energy was co-founded by Matthew Lumsden back in 2010.
Now CEO, Matthew has a substantial career record in energy and transport consultation – making him perfectly positioned to be at the helm of such an innovative 21st-century business.
Matthew has a team of 35 staff, which encompasses electrical and integration engineers, commercial specialists, software and data experts.
It has been a decade of rapid and significant progress for the ambitious Connected Energy team.
While the formative years focused hard on proof of concept regarding the use of second-life EV batteries, the emphasis then moved into commercialising the technology and recognising the various applications for the systems.
Global interest has followed this mammoth and commendable effort, which now means the company has been deploying its battery energy storage technology in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands as well as the UK.
In order to continue such a trajectory, Matthew and his team have been acutely aware of the need for funding.
Last year, they were able to focus on this to the extent of raising £15million of investment from global players including Volvo, Caterpillar and Engie– all with an explicit goal of scaling up.
In turn, this requires more staffing, skills and experience.
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The Case for Support:
Having secured funding, Matthew’s senior management were determined to recruit and retain the right people to take Connected Energy to the next level.
With only limited internal staff focused on HR, policies and procedures that needed updating and a new staffing model needed within in this thriving young company, Matthew wanted to bring in a consultancy, to enable an external assessment and help drive forward the company at pace.
Matthew and his board decided that a step-change in staffing and all matters related to human resourcing and company culture were required in line with the newly secured investment.
He says: “On the back of us securing our investment, and with our ambitions focused on more international growth, we knew there might be organisational challenges so we wanted to do a sense check of where we were.
“We knew we couldn’t afford to be complacent, or to work it out as we went along.
“We did some research into HR consultancy businesses which had been used by others in our sector or our region, and we struck upon MAD-HR.”
Matthew and his team carried out an interview process with clients of MAD-HR, in order to truly understand how they were perceived from a customer perspective.
From there, and with full confidence that Carole, Charlotte and the team would be a good fit for their needs, he instructed them to undertake a holistic HR review spanning everything from company culture and staff buy-in to formal policies and procedures.
Matthew explains: “We initially talked through the challenges and what we envisaged might be obstacles or issues along the way.
“MAD-HR really seemed to understand us, and they undertook an assessment, interviewing around half of our team in a great level of detail..
“It was an incredibly helpful process and led to us receiving invaluable feedback from our team and MAD-HR developing a plan for us going forward, as well as moving into the adoption of specific policies – and looking at our company values.”
Matthew valued the approach and also gave the green light to MAD-HR carrying out various workshops to delve further into the idea of recognising and defining the core values and culture of Connected Energy.
Subsequently, the relationship between the two firms has also led to the creation of further individual assessments, as well as looking at how training plans and mentoring are handled.
Matthew recognises that the niche nature of the business, and indeed the challenges around location and core skill requirement, have made recruitment and retention into the business particularly tough.
It’s one more reason why he values working with MAD-HR so closely.
He says: “There’s no doubt that recruiting is a major challenge for a business like us, specialising in the sector that we do and being located as we are.
“There are some real quality of life benefits to our base locations in the North East and here in East Anglia, but it does mean that we have to work hard to get the right candidates interested, and then to train them and retain them.
“Working with MAD-HR alongside us gives us some extra firepower in dealing with these issues, and we’re delighted that they are now a supporter of Hethel, which is our Norfolk location.
“We value it as a site for business in East Anglia, and we like that they do too.”
TOP CLIENT TIP
Matthew says: “As a business leader, I recognise that ‘you often don’t know what you don’t know’, so it makes sense to form a relationship with a specialist consultancy who is prepared to get to know you and to share their special knowledge.
“I’d also highly recommend chatting to customers of the consultancy you plan to use. We learned a lot about MAD-HR in the process and knew they would be right for us.”
**MAD-HR is proud to have become a supporter of Hethel Innovation, the home of which is Hethel Engineering Centre.