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Semington company is evolving nicely
11:00am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
Success can’t be copied for one award-winning Semington firm, which is going from strength to strength eight years after it began in a garage.
Office Evolution started when neighbours Steve Davis and Matt Goodall, from Paxcroft Mead, decided to leave their high-flying jobs and strike out in business together.
Sales director Mr Davis said: “We started the company in 2005; I had been in sales and Matt had the technical experience.
“We both put money into the kitty and had six months to make it work; we were working from Matt’s garage with just one computer. I picked up the phone on Monday and made our first sale by Thursday, which gave me great faith, and we went from there.”
The firm is now based half a mile away at the Semington Turnpike trading estate, and provides photocopiers for firms across the South West.
Service director Mr Goodall said: “We supply to all sorts, from people working from home to big blue-chip companies. A good percentage of our clients are within a 40 to 50-mile radius of where we are, but we do have machines based in London, the Midlands, and Carlisle.”
The firm employs the latest network technology to manage the maintenance of its stock, with all the machines they supply sending them automatic emails, allowing Mr Goodall to monitor them remotely.
He said: “The industry has changed massively, now they’re all network-ready, and in full colour.
“We get regular messages coming in, so we get to know if there are any faults direct from the machines, and can get someone out to fix them often before the clients realise they’ve got a problem.
“Often we don’t need to go out though, as we can take over the machines remotely. Where before one of us would have had to drive to Salisbury we can now fix the fault by taking over the machine from here.”
The firm runs an engineering team of four, who keep up to date with regular training courses, and has since been joined by operations manager Natasha Reid.
Work in the community is also important. The firm has donated two copiers to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, and are shirt sponsors for the Bath-based invitational Godfathers Rugby 7s team, which raises funds for Clic Sargent cancer care.
Mr Davis also speaks regularly in schools, and is passionate about encouraging new business.
He said: “People are always keen to criticise the youth of today, but people need to hear that Wiltshire is a good place to start a business and to take a business forward.
“It’s a fairly mundane product that we sell, but we’ve still been successful with it. You don’t need to be selling Ferraris to make money.”
The company is the current Wiltshire Business of the Year, and manufacturer Develop’s national dealer of the year.
Mr Goodall said: “It’s a tough market place out there but like any industry the bottom line in king.
“Once people experience us our customer retention is among the best in the UK. We bring in on average 30 new clients a month.”
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