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FileMaker helps Alletson Arnold’s profits grow 577%

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Founded in 2003, Alletson Arnold is a company with a dedicated purpose — processing vital immigration papers in pressing timescales. Operating in the field of immigration administration, managing director Jeremy Arnold has grown a business from the ground-up that specialises in the complicated and highly time sensitive movement of documents through the government agency.

In the fast moving world of immigration, organisation is everything. Papers and documents need to be processed on time, or people’s entire lives can grind to a halt while the right visas and applications make their way through the various embassies and official bodies.

Alletson Arnold’s customers typically include law firms, who in turn handle work permit applications for their own clients, usually large corporations seeking to employ foreign nationals in the UK.

That process requires a large number of sensitive documents — often including passports, marriage and birth certificates — to be moved around the government agency sites in Sheffield and Croydon. Alletson Arnold manages the journey of those documents, ensuring that once applications have been completed, they are returned with all relevant papers back to the client. With hundreds of applications submitted on a regular basis however, the management of it is an information intensive task.

As Arnold puts it: “It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that some form of business automation would need to be put in place, but I wanted to be in control of what is a people business and not become subservient to a computer system: The ‘computer says no’ scenario was not for me.” So in 2010 he visited DataTherapy who helped him to implement a FileMaker based system.

“It was all about getting better organised. We tracked everything through piles of paper notes and, almost overnight, found we could record each job and enter progress updates into the database remotely, as they occurred, using an iPad. The big bonus for me was being able to track each passport or visa application in real time and know exactly what its status was. Rather than emailing and calling clients 30 times a day with updates, automatic emails are now distributed via the database. We save time and cost and the customers get a better service. What’s not to like?”

As Alletson Arnold’s employee numbers have grown, Arnold has been able to use FileMaker to manage their time sheets; staff who are paid by the hour sign in and out using an iPad with signature capture (verified by a team leader). Importantly, the system simultaneously enables the effective management of staff and vastly decreases the manpower required to undertake basic administrative tasks. “Without FileMaker my workforce would need to be dramatically larger to deliver the same results,” notes Arnold.

Rather than making new demands on his attention, FileMaker has given Arnold more scope to focus on managing his business and its expansion. As its clients expanded, Alletson Arnold was able to grow its service to match. This would have been near impossible if the business operations had not become more streamlined. The business insight that the FileMaker platform generates enables Alletson Arnold to give the law firms it works with the up-to-the-minute information and impeccable service that they expect.

FileMaker has allowed Arnold to focus on marketing, expanding and improving the services his company offers, and build relationships with new and existing clients. Since Alletson Arnold has used FileMaker the company’s profits have increased by 577%.

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