"The biggest benefit we have gained from using TEK Express is quite simply reliability." - Rowland Lloyd, Managing Director of Operations, Ipsos Mori

Rowland Lloyd is the Managing Director of Operations at the UK's leading market research group, Ipsos MORI. On Thursday 16th October at 9:30 a.m. sharp I picked up the telephone for what turned out to be an enjoyable and animated 20-minute conversation. Rowland talked about his role at Ipsos MORI and shared what he thinks about TEK Express.

But first of all, what does Rowland do at Ipsos MORI? "I manage the operations side of the business in the United Kingdom and I'm also responsible for our quality and compliance procedures on the board of the company. In my spare time I chair the Market Research Society." As you would expect from someone involved in the field of market research, Rowland is a people person, commenting when asked where he gets the biggest buzz in his job from, "I enjoy coordinating many different projects and I'm a firm advocate of using technology to simplify things and make life easier. But, what really gives me the biggest buzz in my role is the fact that I work with a diverse group of people."

Although the growth in online research has increased significantly in recent years, the largest part of Ipsos MORI's data collection in the UK is their face-to-face field operation where interviewers make appointments to speak to participants. "We have over 2000 interviewers that are conducting field-based research on a daily basis. It's true to say that we conduct more face-to-face interviewing days per year than any other research agency. That's why our reliance on technology and supporting our field-based researchers is critical to the success of our business. If a laptop fails at a crucial moment, we're wasting resources and money. But most 
importantly, if technology lets us down, then our image with our participants is dented. We rely on the goodwill of participants to freely give us their time. The last thing that we want is for one of our interviewers to be in a situation where they're poised to start an interview and their laptop doesn't work."

TEK Express play two vital support roles for Ipsos MORI. Firstly, if one of Ipsos MORI's interviewers has a problem with their laptop, TEK Express replace it with a unit preloaded with the software and then repair the faulty unit including a full service before adding it to the working stock. For Rowland, the fact that no one from Ipsos MORI has to become involved in this process is a real benefit. What is more, TEK Express are also fully responsible for setting up and sending out the kit when a new interviewer joins the team at Ipsos MORI. Naturally, the outsourcing benefits of this arrangement have not gone unnoticed by Rowland. "We are market research experts not hardware experts so it makes sense to use a company that specialises in this field. The biggest benefit we have gained from using TEK Express is quite simply reliability. The reliability of our hardware has increased significantly and this has improved our relationships with participants right across the board."

Ipsos MORI has recently gained the general data security accreditation ISO 27001 - which is a first for any market research company in the UK. "We provide our services to many government agencies and commercial clients so as you can imagine, data security is high on our list. We worked with TEK Express when we were looking to encrypt the laptops of our researchers. They have provided a high level of support to us in one of several areas that we have been working on to gain this accreditation. We know that whenever we are looking to do something new or different with regards to supporting our interviewers, that they will always respond in a proactive and helpful manner."

Ipsos MORI - Leading the Way in Market Research

By Dee Blick, who interviewed Rowland Lloyd on behalf of TEK Express