Leeds-based reseller Applegarth Communications is celebrating a bumper year-end with a 41 per cent increase in profits on the previous year. At the same time, turnover rose from £300,000 in 2003-4 to £700,000 in 2004-5, according to delighted Managing Director David Marsden.
He predicts that, within the next 12 to 18 months, there will be a massive switch by business users from traditional land lines to internet-based or IP telephone systems. He said: “We are very proud of the achievement in a relatively short time and we hope the growth will continue because so many changes are taking place in telecoms – huge changes this Autumn that will mean a massive difference to business telephony. “
He puts the company’s success down to a number of factors.
It has won some major contracts in the past 12 months including work for the London Chambers of a leading barrister and for a new HQ for big Leeds-based construction company Hewletts and the installation of new telephone systems for Narec – the renewable energy research centre at Blythe.
Although the majority of work is in Yorkshire and the North East, Applegarth Communications is increasingly working all over the UK, having just been awarded a contract for a new hotel in Dumfries. The firm is also bidding for a very prestigious project on the South Coast.
Mr Marsden also praises his 11-strong team. In the last 12 months he has taken on his two sons who, he says, have already made a big contribution to the business. He has also appointed an additional engineer and a trainee.
And he believes another contributing factor is that the company practices what it preaches and has invested in a new state of the art demonstration suite and the latest IT and telephone technology to ensure the company operates as efficiently as possible.
All engineers are equipped with Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) that provide remote IT access for scheduling work and materials effectively. They enable staff to receive notification of jobs and information about the location of materials while they are out on site.
The firm has also upgraded its office IT to the latest Microsoft server-based systems, providing access for staff when working away from the office for example at a client’s premises or at home.
“It’s a matter of making the most efficient use of people and resources – providing more efficient communications that are available 24/7,” he said.
Success has been recognised too by the manufacturer of the phone systems they sell.
Last week Applegarth achieved Aastra Gold Partner Status. Aastra’s UK MD Michael Calvert, based in Farnborough, visited Applegarth Communications to present the award for the company’s commitment to training staff, for its ability to support the systems it sells, for the level of technical ability achieved, for efficiency and for investment in growing the business.
Applegarth Communications is now one of only 15 Aastra Gold Partners in the UK.