Take Me to the Cauliflower

Comms Business Magazine attended reseller Ramsac’s customer GDPR seminar in Surrey last month and met with Managing Director Robert May to find out how his company is meeting the challenges of a fast-moving market.


Godalming, Surrey, based reseller Ramsac regularly holds customer technology briefing days and this outing was on the subject of preparing for the introduction this coming May of the EU General Data Protection Regulations.

Ramsac has had excellent responses to these sessions. It turned out that this was an additional date added to their schedule on this particular subject as the first event had ‘sold out’. Even then we were scrambling around for chairs to get all the bums on seats.

I’m not going into detail on what was said other than to say Ramsac kept a fairly dry, albeit very important, topic very succinct with three quick presentations on what GDPR was, what steps had to be taken for compliance and an open Q&A with the audience which was very informative and demonstrated a good depth of knowledge within the reseller.

The key and pithy message I would have taken away if I were a delegate was to ‘put GDPR on the boardroom agenda before it becomes the agenda’.
Speaking to Ramsac Managing Director Robert May after the event I got much more of a feel for the company he has been leading ever since it was formed in 1992.

Progressively throughout that time Ramsac has shifted from being an equipment based reseller to a services supplier. Today, with around 50 employees, focus is centred around IT support, consultancy, cyber security, Office 365 and cloud migrations.

“A key objective,” says May, “is to make IT simple for our clients.”

“We have a fundamental promise to our clients, our strapline, which is making IT simple, and all through the induction of our people, we say whatever you do, the sanity check is ‘has what I have just done made IT simple for the client?’ We talk about this and measure it in people’s development plans. But still people are people and they don’t always deliver on that.”

May has a ‘parable’ that he uses to explain how to keep IT simple.

“Envisage you are going shopping to a store you have never visited before. Imagine you go into the food hall of Harrods and you need to buy a bottle of wine. You go to the wine section, you take your time and you choose your wine. You are just about to leave and all of a sudden you remember you need to buy a cauliflower, so you turn around and see a member of staff and say, “excuse me can you please tell me where the cauliflowers are?” Now if you were in Harrods what happens at this point is you are suddenly surrounded by staff who pick you up and guide you to the fruit and vegetables and someone will see the wine that you have picked out and they will say ‘actually sir that wine will go really well with this variety of cauliflower’. So you take your cauliflower and they say, ‘is there anything else you want?’ and you say ‘no that’s everything’ and they pick you up again and take you to the checkout and you pay, and off you go, and have a very nice day.

If you are in a less exclusive supermarket you have chosen your wine and you turn around and there is someone who works there and you say “excuse me, please could you tell me where the cauliflowers are?” They walk you to the end of the aisle and they point over there and they say 3rd aisle on the right, that’s where you will find the fruit and veg, have a nice day.

Now imagine you are in a budget supermarket. You turn around and you say ‘excuse me, please can you tell me where the cauliflowers are?’ And the shopkeeper looks at you, grunts and walks away. The point is and the point of my story is you as the customer have asked the same question in every single store, but the reactions that you have got and the service you have got is all down to the culture. The message I delivered is that in Ramsac what we have got to do, is we have to make sure that whenever a customer asks us a question, metaphorically we take them to the cauliflower, we pick them up and we take them there.”

People are important to May and in recent times he has invested in putting 20 of his staff through a business school program to help with personal and company development.

“I have no great concerns about our business, nothing keeps me awake at night but we all have to be aware of the challenges. I try to make sure we have all the right people on the Ramsac bus and that they are all sitting in the right seats.”


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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine