Chris Birks, Managing Director
15 years ago I started Proactive from my home study. My wife and I stumbled across the opportunity when I was selling SMART boards and projectors for a London based IT Company into East Anglia.
Because many of the Schools were somewhat rural in terms of location, quite small in terms of numbers of pupils and not in a position to have a full time IT specialist on site, it was imperative they were shown how to use the Audio Visual technology we installed for them. The London based reseller I was working for at the time simply asked the product manufacturer to train their end customer which they very occasionally did. The lack of service led solutions on offer did not sit well with us or our potential customers therefore we changed the approach to Schools and started Proactive with a service based offering being our focus. Quality installations, bespoke training and onsite technical support was the driving force behind our package then as it very much still is today.
Over the last 15 years I have calculated that we’ve carried out over 1200 on site demonstrations and installed over 17,000 solutions into over 2000 Schools and Colleges. We’ve delivered nearly 6000 training courses and our support log suggests over 10,000 calls and just over 4000 on site support visits.
This pattern hasn’t really changed in all that time. Schools and now MAT’s still want and absolutely still deserve to get exceptional quality installations backed by continuous training to ensure they’re using and utilising the classroom technology they’ve invested in.
15 years ago we occasionally used subcontractors to install our Audio Visual solutions. Never again!
The service led solution approach simply didn’t flow and function when relying on other external parties. The customers called us, we called the subcontractors and so on. We decided to bring everything in house and committed that we’d only ever supply a solution that we could install and support ourselves internally giving the end customer one point of contact and effectively “one throat to choke”.
We now have a team of 25 people who collectively deliver exceptional solutions by doing what they do exceptionally well. Our sales team, engineers, trainers and support staff all drive our differentiators collectively. Customers love the solutions and that’s the reason they return to us time after time. That’s the reason that after 15 years we’re still here and going strong and others have disappeared.
This exemplary offering used to come at a cost. We used to be slightly more expensive than others who couldn’t offer this package. Thankfully the Countries biggest Technology manufacturers have come to realise over time that they need quality resellers like us to sell and more importantly add value to their brand. This in turn has led to them offering us very favourable discounts which we’re constantly passing on to our customers.
To summarise, it’s been a roller coaster 15 years but my wife Jayne and I are delighted that Proactive is finally getting the recognition and reputation it deserves for providing “Audio Visual Excellence” to our customers and, we intend to keep doing so for many years to come.
Thank you for your interest and business,
Chris Birks, Managing Director