Chris worked within IT for many years prior to setting up Proactive Learning Ltd in July 2004. At that time the government were ploughing money in to education specifically for them to update their audio-visual equipment in their classrooms. The brand-new technology around at that time were interactive whiteboards and projectors. Chris recognised that this was a huge step up for most schools and without training some teachers could struggle and without technical support, potentially 1000’s of interactive whiteboards would hang unused on school walls throughout the UK.
These thoughts formed the ethos of Proactive AV and set the basis of how the company still operates up until this day.
Instead of deciding to cover the whole of the UK, Chris made a conscious decision to only trade in an area where Proactive engineers could reach any school within a maximum of two hours. He felt it was necessary to be on hand to provide a service that would ensure that new equipment was used to its full capacity and that the schools received their return on investment.
He employed experienced engineers, technical specialists and trainers to ensure that if a school dealt with Proactive AV, they would only deal with Proactive AV – not any subcontractors or personnel sent by manufacturers. He wanted to make sure that every customer would be happy with the service they received from Proactive and they would not be buying blind from an internet provider or a company who sold in bulk and employed sub-contractors to install.
Chris has made sure that the company is brand independent and every member of Proactive staff consults with schools to ensure they look at the right product for them based upon their particular requirements. That said he has also ensured that Proactive only supply brand leaders and not the myriad of products which may or may not have longevity in the market. His ethos is that every screen has at least a five-year warranty and his company will support this warranty (not the manufacturer), therefore he needs to ensure that the manufacturer is there to enable Proactive to support their customers. They must be quality brands with very low failure rates.
Even though this type of service is expensive from the Proactive point of view, Chris has never deviated from his strategy even as school budgets have been squeezed ever tighter. He believes that as cash is scarce, spending it in the most cost effective and value for money way is vital. There is no point in a school spending £1,000’s on new technology for it not to be used or not to function correctly, after all schools are in place to educate our new generation and these products only enhance their learning experience.
Chris has also ensured that he has set up a relationship with an education focused leasing company who can assist schools in purchasing equipment for their whole school at the same time, thus ensuring continuity in teaching and learning.
Being experts in the field of interactive touchscreens, Proactive AV also specialise in audio visual solutions in school halls and digital signage in receptions and around school buildings. Chris made the decision not to work within IT – he leaves that to those specialists as he would hope that IT companies leave AV to the professionals.
Latterly Chris has brought businesses into the mix and has provided flat panel, interactive solutions and digital signage into meeting rooms, boardrooms and receptions.
In July 2019 Proactive AV will celebrate its 15th Year Anniversary and Chris is happy to report that Proactive customers are happy customers; many of which started their interactive journey with Proactive way back when and whom have replaced their equipment three or more times as technology has moved on.
This year Proactive will be launching all sorts of marketing campaigns and competitions to celebrate their 15th year so make sure you keep an eye out for social media and emails as you could be the lucky winner of a weekend away or a free touchscreen.
Thank you to all who have supported us over the years!