Speaking to TTG at the Elite conference in Granada, chairman Wayne Darrock said that the homeworking solution would be under the command of recently appointed general manager, John Escott, and should be ready within the next three months.
“We are now going to introduce homeworking to our members – a plan that has been on hold pending John’s arrival. Before that, we struggled to deliver it.”
The concept, originally introduced in 2011 under the working title, Homeworkers In Placements, had received positive feedback from consortia members.
Darrock explained that homeworkers would be “advised” by head office with the decision-making left with Elite agents.
“From renting a desk in one of our member’s branches to simply working from home, the solution will be flexible and will have no set commission structures. Homeworkers will have the opportunity to talk to our agents to find the right fit and Elite will oversee it,” he said.
Commenting on Escott’s appointment, Darrock said that it would be more “operational” than that of chief executive Neil Basnett, who stepped down in April.
Escott, who began his career with Horizon Holidays, has held a number of managerial roles in retail, tour operating, marketing and distribution.
He was most recently sales and partnerships manager at Al Fresco Holidays.
“We see John as being more hands-on, with the goal of improving communication and interaction between members in the consortia.”
Looking to the future Darrock explained that Elite would work harder to get its message “out there”.
“We want to shout about what we are doing. Elite is small but profitable, and a great investment for our members because they are the stakeholders. What we do is let in the high-end independent agencies that would otherwise get lost in the big organisations.”
Regarding overall sales performance from Elite members, Darrock insisted the consortia continued to thrive and was open to welcoming new members.
“Last year we saw a record profit and this year looks to be profitable again. We are always considering bring in new members and are talking to people all the time. What I do want to say is, it’s not about the number of branches you have, it’s about the turnover you generate.”