I sit here at my desk putting together my thoughts on The Apertus Group being three years old. What started on a train ride home from work, to explain to my partner that I wanted to go self-employed with our 3-month-old baby and maternity pay looming will probably still rate as my toughest sales pitch to date!
The grand plan for The Apertus Group was always for it to be a Procurement company. Offering help to our customers in all areas of business is massively rewarding and strengthens your relationship with current contacts. We have always believed that these guys should receive as good a level of customer service as a new customer you are prospecting to add to your portfolio. We all know companies that only wheel out the best deals and service for the new business or for the “leaving” customers forcing a better deal. A great manager of mine in the past always asked whether we could win enough new business to cover the amount falling out of the bottom of your net that you weren’t caring for?
Our plan was to launch with the energy procurement as this was the industry I was coming from. Keeping the other offerings on the back burner was hard at times because you could see potential, but the energy area needed to be strong, set up correctly and needed all my focus to get to the right level to diversify.
Our plan was to consolidate in year 3 as years 1 & 2 had great growth but also had some very steep learning curves. I always worried about growing too quickly, and all the pitfalls that cash and attention to detail can lead to but after a review on our standing we decided to add to the team to give me the flexibility to start bringing through the other areas of The Apertus Group.
Growth for The Apertus Group
On the 1st May 2019 we launched the 4 other areas of The Apertus Group. Running alongside the already performing Apertus Energy came Apertus Water, Apertus Print, Apertus Communications and Apertus Automotive.
In my past life I owned a printing company and the biggest issue we had was that we underestimated the knowledge needed in the production of print. So, we started Apertus Print as a print management business. We have carefully chosen our supplier with our focus on quality, customer service and adaptability key factors before cost. Offering a full range of print from paper to signage, clothing to merchandise we really cover all aspects of print needs.
Water fell into place seamlessly next to the energy offering, again we wanted to get the right suppliers on board with this and make sure that the offering met with our customers’ needs to ensure they understood the new deregulation of the industry.
The Communications offering was the hardest to get off the ground. We needed to keep this as much as possible in house and offer a customer experience to match our energy customers without giving our currently customer base to an outsider. We partnered with a large company to back up our sales with experts who valued our company and customers. After meeting with Rob, he showed how his company offered support and advice to many companies like ours and within the first meet we could see his care for is customers rivaled ours. I do harp on about customer service, but I genuinely believe that customers have almost forgotten what customer service feels like in today’s market place. The utility industry has such a bad reputation (rightly so in most cases) that it was what really stood out as the lacking factor when I started the group.
Apertus Automotive has been the area to really get my pulse racing. Anyone who knows me knows the petrol head I try and stifle on a day to day basis. We wanted to be able to offer a great avenue for our customers into the automotive market. Whether that’s through leasing, car sourcing or prestige car purchasing Apertus Automotive can help. A past colleague of mine runs the company we partnered with on leasing. As many of you will know due to regulations, we can’t say we lease vehicles, or even that your car is coming through Apertus Automotive. We had to know we could pass our customers onto a company that would deal with them as we would through the entire process. Claire from Blue Poppy Automotive was the exact partner we needed. No hassle, no pressure just open and honest and open advice and cars, terms and business options. We spoke to one client who has been with us from the start and he said she called three times, each time with a response to his questions.
Prestige car procurement and car sourcing follow the same ethos. You tell us what you want, we contact our suppliers, arrange a test drive of a similar vehicle and negotiate the deal for you. No hassle, no time and no problems.
I am massively excited about the next 12 months, with 2 new additions in the team, 4 new arms of the business, launching the new look of the logo and new markets to attack means the only thing staying the same is the way we treat you.