Good technical people, a focus on service and the ability to differentiate your company from the competition is a recipe for reseller success regardless of size. Queenstown-based Digital 7 has achieved steady growth in a hyper-competitive market over the last four years by doing the basics right.
But Digital 7’s achievements have not happened by accident – managing director Angelica Mayo had a business plan based on more than 20 years of high-level systems integration experience, most recently with Datacraft in Singapore.
“It was our goal from the start to be primarily a solutions provider,” says Mayo, who has a degree in computer engineering. “There just isn’t enough margin to only sell products so we knew that we needed to combine services and products – total solutions – to compete successfully. As our client list has expanded since we opened, we’ve seen the service percentage of our business increase. And because we focus on helping our clients achieve their goals, we’ve seen more and more of our business come from word-of-mouth.”
While Digital 7 has a retail showroom in a high foot-traffic part of Queenstown, walk-in customers are a small percentage of its business. “We knew we needed the exposure when we first started,” says Mayo, “but now that we’re established, the showroom is a less important part of our marketing strategy. We’re thinking about relocating to a larger premises outside of the tourist precinct where we can set up a demonstration centre to highlight our offerings in point-of-sale solutions combined with remote surveillance systems. Both of those markets are expanding rapidly here and prospects are more likely to purchase integrated systems if they can actually see and touch the solutions before they commit.”
With a focus on service, finding and retaining qualified staff was an important aspect of Digital 7’s strategy. “We’ve been fortunate in respect to staffing,” says Mayo. “Our technical manager, Sanjeet Bal, has been with us from the very start and that continuity has been essential for business. He has amazing network skills and has the ability to solve even the most complex problems. We have a fun atmosphere and always give our staff – we have three engineers now – the opportunity to learn about new technologies and products. We make it a company policy to invest in new equipment – such as wireless and mobile computing – as it comes on the market. Not only does this keep the staff involved but it has also opened up new opportunities for us. We also value their input for improvements.”
Mayo performs a number of jobs within Digital 7. “Running a service-orientated business means that I listen a lot,” she says. “I have a sales role, a management role and, every now and then, a technical support role. Selling solutions means that I have to really understand the customer’s requirements and then be able to specify the exact system that will best align with their business goals. This is what I was trained to do working for a much larger systems integrator but the underlying philosophy is exactly the same – if you give people good service they will come back for more.”
There has been an influx of big brand name electronics retailers in the area but they haven’t had a negative impact on Digital 7. “We won’t compete on hardware price,” says Mayo. “We can’t. But we are extremely competitive when it comes to service. When prospects compare our pre and post-sales services with the larger retailers, it is no contest. We need to differentiate ourselves from the others and we can do that best by offering exemplary services.”
Digital 7 is looking forward to continued growth. “Queenstown is a vibrant community with more businesses and people moving into the area,” concludes Mayo. “We’ve built a good reputation and are steadily building our solutions portfolio and customer base. There is plenty of opportunity for those who have the formula right and we are confident that we can maintain our momentum in this exciting market.”