Transformation from an IT Reseller into a fast growing Managed Services Provider

Transmentum enables AAG Systems to gain focus, increase their Managed Services revenues, and achieve exceptional business growth

AAG Systems provides IT products and proactive services to large and small organisations, nationally. One of the UK’s fastest growing IT providers, AAG Systems provides expertise in all aspects of IT services and supply, including hardware and software, Managed Services, virtualisation, cloud services and large-scale IT solutions.

From negative equity to £8m in 5 years

Alexa Greaves, managing director of AAG Systems says the company, which was founded in 2009, was in negative equity to the tune of £200,000 when she and finance director, Michelle Walker took over the running of the company in January 2010. In their first year they achieved a turnover of £600,00. Since then, Alexa and her team have transformed AAG Systems into an £8 million business.

Growth and funding challenges

Their biggest challenges are managing growth, obtaining the right funding, and recruiting key personnel – particularly in sales. Their ambition within the next couple of years is to grow their managed services business to the point where income from recurring revenue covers their overheads within the first week of each calendar month. To assist in achieving this, AAG Systems’ sales director, Joey Hemingbrough suggested they engage Transmentum.

“The growth we have seen in our business and the increase in professionalism and structure has been exceptional.”

Bringing management focus

Though the business was growing well, they lacked management focus Alexa explained: “Transmentum brought us to a higher level of professionalism within the management team and has really strengthened our focus.” She added, “It’s made us sit round the table and put strategies together. It was something that was always put on the back burner because there were more pressing issues.”

Working with Adam Harris gave them the pinpoint focus they needed, “We take time out of the business to put the strategy together. It has helped us address all kinds of issues: strategy, growth, and introductions to the marketplace. Adam is very well known in the industry and has introduced us to a number of key people.” Today, Adam is a non-executive director of AAG Systems.

Meeting like-minded people

Alexa Greaves and Michelle Walker regularly attend the Transmentum peer group meetings. Alexa explained, “I am a member of quite a few peer groups. But, I get far more out of Transmentum because it is linked to our industry. It is very useful to meet like-minded people from a similar industry”

“The calibre of people at the peer group is exceptional and I have learnt a lot from attending. It is testament that Michelle, our finance director attends those meetings, as she is probably a lot more cynical about these things. She went to the first one and was very impressed with what she got out of it.”

Mentoring at every level

Transmentum also mentors individuals at every level of the business. “I see Adam Harris once a month. Steve Potts has mentored our sales director: Joey Hemingbrough, and Kevin is mentoring our second tier management group: Lisa, Damian and Matt. The feedback we’ve had from these three individuals about the mentor programme has been great.”

Working on the business

Working with Transmentum has forced the management team to work on the business. “It hasn’t taught us anything we didn’t know we needed to do, but it has actually made us do it. That is absolutely critical to any business. When you are in the thick of it – the daily curve balls you have to endure – it makes you take a step back. You set aside time, and you do it.”

Value in growth and opportunities

Alexa said AAG gets good value from working with Transmentum. “There’s an excellent return on our investment, specifically from the growth we’ve seen in the business, the opportunities, and how we deal with them.”

Increasing managed services revenues

“We’ve seen a real increase in our engineering support business and that was an area we really wanted to concentrate on,” she said. AAG Systems started off as a traditional IT Reseller, but now has ambitions to become a managed services provider (MSP). The company reports that the percentage of business from service and engineering has doubled in the 18 months since starting work with Transmentum.

Challenged to be a better team

Alexa likes working with Transmentum because they feel they’re constantly challenged, “Transmentum aren’t ‘yes-men’, “she said, “ They’re not there to make you feel better about yourself. They make you think. The sessions that we’ve had as a team with Transmentum have been really worthwhile.”

Confidence to grow the business

Working with Transmentum has also made Alexa more confident about running a tech company, as she explained, “It has shown me that I don’t need an IT background to make AAG grow and flourish. It’s given me the confidence to grow the business with their support.”

Structured board meetings

The biggest benefit has been the change in mind-set of the management team and the professionalism that has brought. “We were struggling to have any type of structure at our board meetings. They were easily postponed. Now we have them every last Friday of the month. We are away from the business. We set aside a whole day. And, we’ve been making real progress in developing the strategy.”

Exceptional asset for any business

Asked whether they’d recommend Transmentum to other IT Services companies, Alexa replied, “Absolutely! Transmentum, because it is so focused on IT, is an exceptional asset for any business. They are able to identify with the everyday problems that IT companies have.”

“They have a lot of market knowledge and they have a real depth and breadth of skill within their team. They’ve offered us an awful lot to take our business forward.” Alexa concluded that Managed services companies would benefit from working with Transmentum because they offer structure and a strategic approach to growing businesses.