A GROWING technology maintenance and modernisation company has boosted its turnover by 60% and is about to complete its second acquisition in just a few months.
Centrex Services, which is headquartered in Ashington and has more than 200 staff across the UK, bought specialist UK printer repairer DMS, based in Bedfordshire, and will compete the takeover of Gateshead printer expert Micro-Serv in the spring.
Mike Heslop, who founded the company in 2006 just a couple of years before the economic crash, said: “Both are quite small. RMS is a specialist printer repairer in the south and we are just about to acquire Micro-Serv in Gateshead in March. That will give us full UK coverage in printer repair.
“Recession for a company like ours is a good thing because it makes companies examine their cost base and how they operate.
“That gives us opportunities to bring into play new ways of doing things. That is the main reason for our growth.”
Centrex’s turnover increased from £3.4m in 2011 to around £6.4m mark last year. Heslop said that using “lean” principles, similar to the model used by many manufacturers, to make its operations as efficient as possible, had played a big part in the company’s growth.
He said: “As businesses have placed greater focus on finding the balance between reducing cost and enhancing service efficiency, our lean approach and ability to create a joined up service supply chain has become a real industry differentiator.”
Centrex provides an “end to end” service, from answering the initial calls from clients such as Santander and Yorkshire Building Society, to diagnosing and repairing the problem.
The call centre is in Ashington, and Centrex has repair centres in Milton Keynes and Belfast, plus around 15 service engineers based around the UK.
The company has built up a staff of 180 people and has just secured two more contracts which have created 35 jobs, although Heslop said he could not yet name the new clients.
“We have just won a couple of projects and those two alone have brought on board 35 staff,” he said.
“I genuinely believe the methodology we are using is applicable to many other electronic companies.”
He said Centrex has ambitions to become a multi-million turnover company and is “constantly” looking for fresh acquisitions.
“It’s a combination of organic growth and any acquisitions that help us to develop that growth is a bonus,” said Heslop.
“The two acquisitions we’ve done, these are areas of technology that we didn’t have a presence in. We believe there is some significant growth in the future. It’s not as bad as people think out there.”