BLCMP members have overwhelmingly approved plans to adopt a profit making trading model with effect from April 1999. A new company, Talis Information Ltd, has been registered, and will carry out all of BLCMP's trading from that date.
BLCMP will pass all of its assets and contractual responsibilities to the new company in return for 100% of the initially issued shares. An employee stakeholding scheme will be established which will allow staff to buy into the value of Talis Information Ltd, and a proportion of the initial shareholding will be made available to the scheme.
Importantly, the model for Talis Information Ltd. allows for external investment, and for the company to enter into full partnerships and joint ventures. This enables the company to fuel development, meeting customer needs by bringing products and services to the market more quickly.
'Our market is changing rapidly', said Tony Hall, Managing Director. 'We are a company with enormous potential, and we have to adapt to take full advantage of the opportunities which are increasingly apparent. This is a controlled evolution of our business which opens up full commercial operation and access to investment funding. We are all excited by this decision.'
The decision follows several months of consultation with members, the first proposals having been made at the BUG '98 customer conference in July. The strong customer relationships and customer focus which have been developed over the years will remain central to the culture of the business.
BLCMP's history goes back to 1969 when it was set up as Birmingham Libraries Cooperative Mechanisation Project and the shared Database of bibliographic records was created. There are now over 17 million records on the Database. The company is the largest supplier of library systems to higher education and local authority libraries in the UK, with over 90 customers. The library system, Talis, was launched in 1992, and has become so widely known and associated with the company that the selection of Talis for the company name became an obvious choice.
A new logo will be introduced shortly.