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HR Expert Vows to Help Businesses Cope With Current Challenges

Phil Collier, MD of Phil Collier Associates

The HR expert whose company branding has been part of Barrow AFC’s matchday experience for many seasons, is celebrating his company’s 8th anniversary, by gearing up to assist many Cumbrian and north Lancashire firms currently facing tough times.

Phil Collier Associates was founded in 2014 by human resources and personnel expert, Phil Collier, when he decided to create new waves in the marine industry, whilst also supporting Cumbria’s SME sector county-wide.

Having sold on his previous business, TurnstoneHR, because it had grown to a size taking him away from doing what he is most passionate about – delivering in-depth, personal consultancy, strategic business guidance and HR advice to his clients – he launched Phil Collier Associates to be able to focus on this type of service.

Eight years on, PCA is on the cusp of moving to a new stage in its life-cycle, responding to different pressures in the business community by expanding its services and management team.

“Our 8th anniversary coincides with a time at which the Cumbrian and North and NW Lancashire labour markets are under tremendous strain,” says Phil.

“Recruiting quality people is hard; retaining good employees is vital. The cost of living crisis is changing spending patterns. Sourcing raw materials is increasingly problematic, due to the war in Ukraine, global shipping disruption and inflationary costs. The Covid effect is still causing pressures within workplaces. Alarm bells should be sounding, as regional businesses need help and need it right now.

“Now is the time to take a long hard look at strategies, restructure and revisit ways of working. We can help with all of this and much more.”

To particularly address the new pressures affecting the Cumbrian business sector, PCA is marking its 8th anniversary by launching a new training division and will dovetail its HR and personnel services with a new training programme that can help strengthen local companies.

Those who have been aware of what PCA has had to offer have been quick to endorse the skills of Phil and his associates, helping the business grow through word-of-mouth recommendation and first-class testimonials.

Many PCA clients have not been of a size that warrants employing an internal business support or HR team but have desperately needed this type of input, with the business world always having its challenges and the life of an employer often being hard to manage. PCA has become their go-to expert on all things strategy and HR-focused, delivering added-value that has helped fuel growth and the advice on HR topics that has enabled them to be compliant and steer clear of employer pitfalls.

Companies that have benefited from the expertise that Phil has brought to their table have ranged from Penrith Building Society to Lake District Farmers and from award-winning start-ups such as Growthviser to hospitality businesses such as Cobalt Hospitality.

“Those that have derived most from what PCA has offered have been businesses who have not contacted us because of a knee-jerk reaction to something that has suddenly gone wrong in their business,” says Phil, “but because they recognised that the missing piece in their business puzzle was covered by our services.

“Yes, we can be a salvage operation but our real value lies in helping get businesses afloat with the right strategies and policies behind them, ensuring businesses sail on calm employment waters and providing the focus that sees clients arrive at the right destination, be that defined in terms of quality, growth or cost control.”

Those recommendations are something that many Cumbrian and North and Northwest Lancashire businesses should now be studying, as they consider how to navigate what are likely to be tough times ahead.