In the Media

Tidy opens for business in the UK

By Kevin Mann

07 December 2015

The New Zealand All Blacks recent rugby world cup victory in the UK included their win over Tonga in Newcastle.  They aren’t the only Kiwis to use the city as the base for future success.  Tidy, a New Zealand based Xero Add-On Partner that provides project, job and inventory management solutions has recently opened their European HQ in the city.  XU Magazine talked to Kevin Mann, Tidy CEO, about the firm’s progress, the customers and integration partners they are working with and how the Xero community is fundamental to their business.

Tidy opens for business in the UK

Efficiency in a new era of technology

"Ever since we launched the business in 2010 we have been driven to help companies become more efficient in a new era of cloud-mobile coupled technology. I think that is a common theme amongst the Xero community, whether it is Xero themselves, add-on partners like us, accountants or integrators.  On-premise firms have struggled to adapt or are dying while pure cloud-mobile firms like public-listed Xero and growth firms like Tidy grow fast and get stronger. We don't carry out-dated baggage. The cloud and mobile technology provides a massive opportunity for businesses to be more streamlined and for software to be easier to on-board and use. For individuals, teams and management of SME's it's real time information about their business, accessed anywhere they might be and need that information to work at a more productive pace.


This philosophy drives the evolution of not only our horizontal applications such as TidyWork (job management) and TidyStock (inventory management)  but also TidyBuild, a vertical application for the building and construction sector which we launched at Xerocon in New Zealand earlier this year.  Even when it comes to developing more functionally rich applications for larger or more complex SME needs, the user experience has to come first as we have shown with TidyWork Enterprise which is being used in firms with over 200 users and leveraging Xero into much larger organisations than even Xero themselves might realise.


“What we did not expect is the improved collaboration within the business; we now all pull together to the same end”
Lee Kemp, Business Coordinator, Crouch Waterfall


Support is essential to build trust

At the same time it is essential that we are based in the right locations to support our customers.  Cloud has no geographic boundaries. Tidy is used with Xero by some of our customers with many offices in different countries. As we have expanded and have begun to build a customer base in the UK, New York and South Africa we knew we'd need an office to compliment the New Zealand timezone for these customers.


The UK, and specifically Newcastle, soon became the obvious choice to achieve that.  We are located at The Core in Newcastle Science Central, which is home to The Cloud Innovation Centre and develops partnerships between researchers, industry and public sector, and is a great source of talent to tap into as we build the team. I hope it also gives UK accountant partners the reassurance that we are in this for the long term and here to help when needed, not just in terms of product development but also customer training and support.


Add-on partners, accountants and integrators working together

The UK has such a vibrant Xero community and we have begun working with some great integration partners such as Maree Maxfield from Maxama and BlueHub Cloud Consultants, where we work with Matt Flanagan, who was previously with CapGemini.  I believe in  the essential role of integration partners working together with accountants and bookkeepers to deliver value to the cloud end user.  When a Xero Accounting Partner and a Xero Cloud Integration partner join forces to work alongside each other they are massively valuable as a team providing the full range of skills and support necessary during the cloud adoption process and beyond. Quite often inefficient workflows are fixed in the process. The end user benefits in every way, feels well supported, and this makes for a more satisfied and loyal long term client. This has to be a win all round.


Collaboration is the value added benefit of the cloud

One of our UK customers is Crouch Waterfall, a civil and structural  consulting engineering business.  This is what Lee Kemp, their Business Coordinator had to say about the benefits of a cloud based system, "We were getting tired of our old Sage accounting system and our accountant recommended that we move to Xero.  We also needed a project management application and TidyWork came out top.  Before this we used one spreadsheet, which people had to log into one by one to record their time  and we were also using excel time sheets for time keeping and project coordination, which was not efficient.  But with the cloud system anybody  can be logged in at anytime.  The integration with Xero is excellent, synchronising client details from one application to the other and eliminating double entry.  It is as if it is one system. 

 “We are working on a whole range of varied Xero and Tidy projects, utilising the power of the APIs to give customers all they need at a fair cost. I just wish we’d found TidyWork a few years ago!”
Matt Flanagan of BlueHub, Xero integration partner

We also feel part of a community, with the product continually evolving.  This is largely driven by collaboration with other customers  via a forum in which we can suggest updates.  It is great to be able to work with companies which have  similar challenges and work to solve these together.


There were some benefits we expected from a cloud system - such as eliminating double entry and improving efficiency.  What we did not expect, and has been a major bonus, is the improved collaboration within the business - people are having far better conversations.  In the past people were more interested in how their individual projects were performing but now they have greater visibility into other projects and are keen to learn from each other.  The system has become a great learning tool and helps with resourcing and planning and to develop more accurate proposals which in turn leads to more satisfied clients. This has been a real value added benefit and one I'd encourage other businesses in the Xero ecosystem to explore, or indeed any business looking into cloud-mobile applications.  We now all pull together to the same end rather than our individual goals.”

"XU Magazine is the independent magazine run by Xero users, for Xero users. The magazine is aimed at the ever growing 500,000+ strong community of Xero users"

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Kevin Mann is CEO of Tidy. An Electrical and electronic engineer by training Kevin’s career has been around technology and finance. Starting as a graduate trainee with BP he then accumulated more than 20 years IT management experience in the finance, banking and energy sectors for a number of big name companies. He then set up a technology consultancy directing global projects for many businesses, developing commercial grade, mission critical, high transaction rate software before establishing cloud technology TidyWork in 2010.