John Sylvester has been largely responsible for the development and growth of the motivation & incentive discipline with p&mm, part of the Sodexo Family.
Having worked in the motivation agency business since completing a business degree in 1984, John joined p&mm in 1989 and the main board in 1996.
John is responsible for the company’s premier key accounts and the motivation / IT operations area of the business. John has a great depth of experience in developing, implementing and directing many large scale motivation, recognition and benefits programmes. He is on the Board of Directors at the IPM and is a recognised industry authority in the field of motivation, making regular contributions to industry press comment and speaking at leading industry conferences and seminars.
UKGCVA ‘Trailblazer’ of the year
Winner of the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association ‘Trailblazer’ Award, John is recognised as having pioneered the growth of vouchers, gift cards and prepaid technology for use as staff incentives, employee benefits tools and corporate promotions for nearly a decade.
Innovation in 2012/13
In 2012 p&mm (which incorporates The Voucher Shop) processed over £67 million voucher and gift card orders for corporate programmes – an increase of 11% on 2011.
John has overseen the migration of many B2B programmes in the past year from paper vouchers to plastic gift cards, with 43% of the total volume of orders placed on plastic by the end of 2012 (17% in December 2011).
2012 also saw the introduction of over 20 new retail gift cards to p&mm client programmes, which include reloadable cards where available. In conjunction with the expansion of p&mm’s card portfolio, John also oversaw the launch of evoucher codes on numerous schemes in an effort to deliver cost efficiencies for clients through savings on administration and postage. In fact, one client running a staff reward scheme saved over £10,000 last year by moving away from paper in favour of reloadable plastic.
It was also the year when p&mm introduced a personalised celebration toolkit, whereby employers can give vouchers and gift cards to employees in recognition of their birthday, wedding, the birth of a child or any other special occasion or spot reward.
Pioneering Prepaid Cards
Having launched the first prepaid card to be used as an employee incentive tool to the UK B2B marketplace in 2006, John has since developed a number of complimentary initiatives aimed at growing the use of prepaid as a reward and benefits platform by companies throughout the UK.
In 2012, load values were up 10% on the previous year to £170 million (2011: £155 million, 2010: £85 million, 2009: £38 million). This growth continues to be driven both by the expansion of existing card programmes and the introduction of new ones. In fact, in 2012 84% of the total UK card loads in the prepaid B2B open loop card market came via a p&mm platform.
The latest version of John’s Spree card product (launched in 2012) has opened up prepaid based cashback savings to organisations of all sizes. By drastically reducing setup costs with this ‘off the shelf’ staff savings tool, MySpree gives employees the opportunity to earn unlimited cashback on their shopping at over 40 well known retailers. The cashback potential makes it an attractive benefit that employees and their families can use everyday, with the potential to earn over £500 each year on spending they would have incurred anyway. It is also very affordable for the employer, with minimal administration, a suite of complimentary communications as standard and value added special offers each month.
John continues to ensure that p&mm and The Voucher Shop are at the forefront of voucher and gift card technology and deliver a huge selection of rewards, no matter what scheme a client may be running. An ongoing programme of system developments ensures that our clients benefit from the latest innovations in delivery, administration and communication. All the while John remains the figurehead for the organisation, striving to foster strong retailer, supplier and client relationships that are of mutual benefit to all.