All fired up!

All fired up!

Steve Collard of Comms Plus
Steve Collard of Comms Plus

“At that time the company was selling Smart Boxes and carrying out telephone repairs. Ten years later I managed to complete a deal with the then chairman that saw control of the company pass to myself. I took over a company that had debt and had sold off the majority of its maintenance base to raise cash in order to survive. However, I was determined to turn the business around by working what seemed to be 24×7 and today the company is very profitable running from the single office now in Weston Super Mare.”

In 1996 Comms Plus began an enduring relationship with Samsung. “We’d had a supply agreement with Philips at the time but they were going through a lot of problems. We wanted a primary rate ISDN switch, Samsung had one and we have been a solus reseller for them ever since.

“It has worked well for Commsplus; today we have 17 staff and a turnover of just under £2.0 million – up 10% on last year but with profits rising four-fold. When I took over the company we owed many suppliers a lot of money and it seemed to me at the time that if we had many suppliers then we had to invest in say four different sets of training, maintenance stock and so forth.

“It’s my opinion that no matter what systems you sell, whether they are

Samsung, Siemens, Mitel, or Avaya, at any given point in time one of those systems will have features the others do not. I’ve always believed that what you have is what you are tasked with and challenged to sell; having all your engineers and sales staff trained on one product makes life easier, it’s more costeffective, and we can become experts on that single product range.

“Samsung equipment has proved to be very reliable over the years. If installed correctly – and we have invested considerably in our engineering training – then their systems work perfectly for our customers.”

Commsplus is now a Platinum Reseller for Samsung and recently hosted one of their reseller forums at a hotel just outside of Weston Super Mare.

“These events provide a platform for being brought up to speed on latest product developments but at this session Samsung wanted to do something different and asked me to do a presentation to the heads of the other Platinum Resellers on where our company was strong and in what markets we were being successful.

“The hotel we were staying in for the conference was one of our customers – our location in the West Country means we have developed specialisms in serving the hotel sector.”


Burning Interest

“Interestingly this hotel had suffered from two fires over the years and my fellow resellers soon cottoned on to the fact that we had in fact sold them three telephone systems as a result and wrongly assuming that every time we wanted a new system sale we just set fire to a suitable building.

“I would like to point out that we had a quote in for a new Samsung system before the Grand Pier in Weston burnt down! There’s a new pier being built so we may have a chance there too.

“Likewise, we also supplied a large, 280- extension OfficeServ 7400 to Wallace & Grommit makers Aardman Animations following their near catastrophic fire that destroyed so many of their models.

“Of course every dealership has its own niche!

“Samsung is ideal for h otel applications is because of the integration with front of house software systems that are used for customer billing. We approached one such software company based in Truro many years ago and persuaded them to develop a bidirection link for the Samsung systems. As a result any Samsung system we now sell in to this sector talks directly with the front of house system. This is really most applicable to hotels with 30 plus rooms. For smaller hotels we use Callista Software which is costeffective, sits on a PC and links to the Samsung systems.

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