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Red11: Closing the great divide

Red11: Closing the great divide

Services provider, Red11, found a gap in what the industry delivered and what the customer wanted; now it plans for further growth

Perth-based services provider, Red11, has only been operating for four years. Its owner, Graham MacKellar, decided to start up the business after recognising a gap in what the industry delivered and what the customer wants. He spoke to ARN about the difference in spruiking customer service and actually delivering it, along with its growth strategy in the next 12 months.

Perth-based services company, Red11, has found its groove in providing outsourcing services for its customers.

Founded in September 2006, its owner, Graham MacKellar, identified a gap in the market between what the industry was offering and what the customer was actually looking for.

“It boils down to three things,” MacKellar said. “Customers want the best quality products and service, but at the lowest cost associated with them.”

So how does Red11 go about delivering this? Outsourcing a lot of the services that it provides to customers, helps to reduce Red11’s business costs without compromising services provided to customers, MacKellar claims. It also ensures the customer receives the best expert to deliver the specific services it requires.

“Our business model is specifically around reducing costs and providing customers with the goods, but without diminishing the service or the quality of product that we provide,” he said. “The person that we’re providing the customer with has the right service and they get a better experience. By doing it that way we’re able to deliver to the customer what they want in the way of product, services and the best pricing.”

Even though Red11 has about 10 staff on its books, it manages about 40 external people and MacKellar boasts the company can deliver any type of service the client requires.

“It can range from anything like a large deployment of desktops to a complete backend infrastructure through to upgrades and all those sorts of managed services,” he said.

The integrator recently restructured its sales team to help build a broader customer base. It primarily focuses on the education market, local government and mid-size corporations, which MacKellar describes as clients with 100-600 seats.

Its proudest achievement to date was being selected to take part in the Western Australia local government contract about two years ago, providing IT equipment to the whole of local government.

“We’re making sure the customer service that we deliver doesn’t diminish as we grow,” he said. “We will only take on highly skilled sales people that we think will fit into our company, but also deliver high levels of service. It’s a slow process in trying to engage with those people and bring them into the company.”

The pool of talent in the Perth market is quiet tight, and MacKellar said one of its challenges was enticing people to join the industry. “The dynamic aspect of our industry makes it hard for people to come into,” he said. “One of the benefits of outsourcing is that as long we know where the good experts are and we engage with them on the services, then it gives us that resource without having to actually employ people. In some respects, the model that we have suits that the fact that skilled people is a very rare commodity.”

MacKellar stressed the most important aspect of business was customer service.

“There’s a difference between talking about customer service and delivering it in a real sense,” he said.

What are some key tips to keep in mind? MacKellar suggests to always keep the client informed about what you’re doing for them and set realistic expectations.

“You always have to act in their best interests and only undertake what you’re able to do,” he said. “There’s a danger of over-promising and under-delivering in what you’re going to do, so avoiding that is very important.

“It also comes down to being an extension of the customer’s business and building that level of trust.”

MacKellar said the company grew about 15 per cent last year and it was well on the path to achieving 40 to 50 per cent growth in the next year. Its key strategies during the next 12 months involve developing a Web portal, enhancing its sales team and building its portfolio of vendors. It currently deals with vendors such as HP, Lenovo, Cisco, Microsoft, VMware and Citrix.

“We have over 400,000 products and want to offer a complete solution to our client,” he said. 

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