AFD Software. Address, Postcode and Bank solutions.


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When Planning for Growth, organisations improve and change.

Leading national debt charity StepChange tell us their story. New simplicity has been brought to their systems and internal costs have been reduced by switching to AFD Solutions.

We show how a multimillion pound investment in infrastructure and recruitment is positioning the AFD Group to deliver even more to customers.

As you read, we invite you to consider how your organisation can improve, change and grow – and to see how we are changing and enabling others to improve and grow by switching to AFD Name, Address and Bank validation solutions.


Making a change to improve existing systems can be difficult and may seem risky. Will current functionality be maintained? What costs will be incurred? Will improvements actually be made?

When it comes to Name, Address and Bank data validation, hundreds of organisations are switching to AFD Software.

StepChange Debt Charity, the UK's leading debt charity who have been helping people deal with problem debt for 20 years, is one. Here is their story, could it be yours?


Free from Debt, Free from Inaccuracy

Operating from ten locations across the UK, StepChange Debt Charity helps thousands of people every week overcome serious debt problems. As a charity it is not driven by the need for profit or by shareholder pressure. This means its advisors are able to offer expert tailored advice and practical solutions, genuinely in the best interests of clients.

During his 18 years at StepChange Debt Charity, implementing and developing IT systems, John Patterson has seen significant growth. When he started with the charity, then named Consumer Credit Counselling Service it had 60 employees.

Now, as StepChange Debt Charity, there are 1200 employees and John is Infrastructure Manager.
Growth inevitably involves change. We met with John high above Leeds, in the charity's city centre Head Office. We asked him about the data challenges he has experienced during rapid growth – and how AFD Software and Services are helping.


The Imporatnce of certainty

"Ten years ago we believed there would be a transition to online retail. The fact is that although we do deliver a multi-channel experience this transition did not happen at the rate we expected. Today the proportion of phone orders has risen to 40%, orders by post 51% and with just 9% of orders placed online or via email!" explains Ian.

Jeanette continues: "What determines the customer channel choice is not easy to prove, but we think the channel choices are driven by factors such as the increased cost of postage and the enjoyment of speaking to a real person. The profile of our traditional customers is senior – and that is another factor in channel choice."

  • Each client agrees to maintain contact with StepChange Debt Charity. We send lots of correspondence, the majority by post. StepChange Debt Charity contact the client's creditors – it is surprising how many clients get creditor details wrong.
  • Clients often don't remember or know the full extent of their debts. A valid address enables us to carry out a voluntary credit check to build a complete picture of money owed.
  • Repayment plans often rely on Direct Debits, which require accurate contact data.
  • In the UK some addresses are very difficult to capture accurately. For example tenements in Scotland, obscure street and locality names, or simply addresses that are very long."


Precise contact data

For each of these reasons StepChange Debt Charity decided to incorporate the unique fast find functions within AFD Postcode Plus – across its multiple systems. Even the most difficult or incomplete address information offered by clients is now quickly resolved to a single accurate address. This results in high levels of service to clients and creditors.


Simple maintenance, lower costs

John continued: "AFD assigned a Data Quality Consultant who worked with us throughout the process of changing from our existing address validation system to AFD Postcode Plus. He helped us fully explore and clarify our needs across all three internal systems. The proof of concept was complete in just two days. We now enjoy:

  • Automatic data and program updates - cutting our internal IT costs
  • A resilient, consistent single service – straightforward with minimal maintenance
  • Security, by having AFD installed on our own servers
  • Transparent licensing – our compliance is assured, and we take this seriously
  • Price stability for the duration of the agreement
  • Flexibility in accommodating our changing requirements."


Refreshing Change

John concluded: "We hadn't realised just how easy AFD Software had made it for us to change to Postcode Plus. The savings and new levels of simplicity are refreshing."

Would you like a refreshing change? Contact one of our experienced data quality consultants to discuss your needs today.






















































How to make your business more exciting... and save more and make more

The AFD Group continues to grow – so much so that we have searched for and purchased a new Head Office location. The new International AFD Group HQ is set in 12 acres of beautiful countryside on the northern plains of the Isle of Man. It might sound remote, but it's actually at the heart of key Internet highways. The £2 million investment will deliver spacious office accommodation, recreational and social facilities.


The Hub - Connected & Resilient

Technical Manager Chris Edge-Alexander is very enthusiastic: "Our internet services will be spread across 6 points; two separate copper bundles, one multicore fibre optic cable, two separate microwave links, and an on-site 4G mobile communications mast. The levels of internet connectivity and redundancy are without parallel – in a beautiful location."

The site has its own electricity sub-station fed by two independent mains power supplies, and high capacity on-site back-up power generation is now installed.


Exciting new phase

AFD Group Managing Director, David Dorricott says: "We are entering an exciting new phase in the development of the AFD Group with increased demand for software, services and media.

This development is an opportunity to create a dynamic and creative environment which expresses our commitment to invest in our staff and the communities in which we operate."


Could you locate at The Hub?

AFD Software is welcoming businesses to benefit from the incubation space the Hub offers, and making use of the first class infrastructure available.


Recruiting for the future

AFD Software is currently recruiting in Testing, Development and Sales. On-going training will continue to give staff the tools they need to best serve the customers.

These investments will ensure our customers continue to benefit from AFD's innovative products and technical support - with excellence.








Having recovered from the consumption of egg-shaped chocolate at Easter Drive, Aberdeen, why not see the new-born animals at Lamb Lane, St Albans or on Chick Hill, Hastings?





Originally from Warwickshire (Shakespeare's county), Joel moved to West Yorkshire to attend The University of Huddersfield before joining AFD Software.

Playing football whenever he can, Joel is an Arsenal supporter and knows the ups and downs of being a football fan. His sporting hero is Thierry Henry.

When football is cancelled or he has a football injury, Joel uses mountain biking and walking in the Yorkshire Dales with his family to keep fit.

Joel has been married to his wife Emma for five years, and together they have a two year old daughter Olivia. Active in his local church, Joel helps to run community initiatives, social activities and organising care for those in need.

Working alongside the Sales and Marketing Director, Joel works on multiple tasks varying from writing Postcode News and other external communications, organising and attending conferences, managing sales figures, reporting on marketing activity, and maintaining health & safety and infrastructure at the Bradford office.






Last quarter there were significant updates to data on the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF). These included 22 new localities; 5,764 new postcodes; 82,977 new delivery points and 21,030 delivery point changes.

The most up to date data is available now in our latest Q.2/15 update. The Q.2/15 Names & Numbers is due for release in May. You can order updates for any AFD solution by calling 01624 811711 or


Any Questions? Call now on 01624 811711

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