PrintIT Reseller - issue 65

INTERVIEW 01732 759725 26 PrintIT Reseller caught up with Pinnacle Group CEO Clive Hamilton as the company celebrates three decades in business Pinnacle celebrates 30 years in business and wholly integrated that within our operations. Managed print wasn’t their core business and they wanted to ensure their customers received the best support so they can focus on IT solutions. We have migrated all agreements over to us and the door for network and IT services remains open, it was a good fit for us. “Then at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018, we acquired Copier Mate, a Toshiba dealer based in South Wales.” PITR: You mentioned acquisitions were central to your growth strategy, you now have three under your belt, are there any more in the pipeline? CH: “Yes, very much so. I think mergers and acquisitions have to be an aim for any business that wants to grow. If you look at what we’ve done in the last four years, we’ve grown revenue by 50-60 per cent and grown our devices and services by a similar number. You can’t physically achieve that through organic growth alone. “We’ve been in the same business for 30 years and have largely served the same customers, to grow you have to be able to expand your offer. One thing that acquisitions bring is another portfolio of products that you can cross sell to your customer base.” PITR: Have you been specifically engaging with businesses outside of the print arena to enable you to increase sales within the IT solutions and services space? CH: “Yes we have, we’ve looked at a couple, but not had any success to date. It’s a different sector, a different industry, it just takes a little longer to do. What we have been doing, is partnering with HP and Xerox for their solution-led portfolio products. In the interim that’s the path we will continue to take, until we can get the right people to offer those services ourselves.” PITR: Is the DaaS and SaaS model gaining traction with your customers? CH: “It’s a bit of a slow burn but we are seeing some success. We’ve grown turnover from £3.8 million to £6.5 million in the last four years. If we had bottomless pockets we’d throw a lot more into this to get more coverage, but you can’t do that in the real world. What we’re trying to do is go to our existing customer base, engage in a new conversation and make them aware of the ‘as a service’ offer. “I think the biggest challenge is because buying as a service changes the PrintIT Reseller (PITR): We last spoke 12 months after you had completed an MBO of the business you’d worked at for 23 years. So what’s happened over the last three years? Clive Hamilton (CH): “Well, we’ve acquired a few businesses. The first acquisition we made after the MBO was Fast Technology Services, a business that specialises in IT printer hardware and related technologies. We bought it because there was a real synergy between both companies’ customer bases. They were a multi-brand organisation with specific expertise in managing large fleets of A4 devices. What we did was to align the business with our own so it offers the full Xerox portfolio but we also retained some A4 brands as well for continuity. “We also purchased a Bristol-based IT reseller’s entire MPS customer base