Complete IT’s drive to take on more workers

COMPLETE IT Systems has recorded a rise in turnover and profit in its fifth year of operation as it continues on a drive to recruit more staff.

The Bradford-based IT reseller, which currently employs 37 people, wants to hit a headcount of 50 as soon as possible, said managing director Paul Spence.

Turnover was up year-on-year to £8.9m from £8.2m, while pre-tax profits were up to £511,100 from £182,100, according to accounts for the year ending April 30, 2012.

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Earlier this year, the business, which is owned by Mr Spence and Ben Gregg, sales director, moved into new, larger offices at Thornbury, Bradford, from the Gumption business hub, also in Bradford.

Complete IT Systems provides a range of IT products and services for customers across the UK, with technology partners including the likes of Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, VMware and IBM.

Mr Spence said: “2011-12 was a significant year for the company consolidating the investments put into our team, infrastructure and accreditations to deliver the profits that reflect the first four years of foundation work.

“This was truly the year Complete IT Systems completed its transition into being a medium-sized business with milestones such as purchasing our new office, profit growth of 180 per cent to break through the half a million pounds level and the continuation of our recruitment drive.”

Complete IT Systems was set up in May 2007 by Mr Spence and Mr Gregg, who were formerly colleagues at another Yorkshire IT company.

Initially, operating from Mr Spence’s home in Bradford, the business quickly expanded, moving to the Gumption business hub after three months of trading and taking on several members of staff.

Last year, Complete IT Systems bought its new office in Thornbury and now has room to nearly double its existing headcount.

Mr Spence said there are also plans to set up other branches of the business, perhaps one in the South of England.

The main limitation to growth for the company is finding employees with the right skill set.

Mr Spence said “the sky’s the limit” in terms of the number of people the company wants to recruit. “The difficulty is finding people in the local area that have the experience,” he added.

He is expecting the company to record a turnover of £10m in its current financial year, with the second half of this year focusing on investment in staffing and its facilities.

Predominantly, Complete IT Systems targets companies with small to medium-sized IT departments with 100 to 500 PCs. But it also has large corporate customers as well.

Among the firm’s customer base are William Hill, Raleigh Cycles, Barnsley College and Bradford City Football Club. Meanwhile, a recent contract win was secured with the newly opened Titanic Belfast visitor attraction.

Mr Spence said one of the biggest growth areas for Complete IT Systems is server virtualisation, which allows the running of multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine, with each virtual machine sharing the resources of that computer across different environments.

Mr Spence said: “Complete IT Systems’ growth and profitability is achieved by following simple business principles that we have built in a cultural and structural organisation. We are a good company to sell to, buy from and work for. We pay our bills on time every time.

“We train our team in the technical and soft skills required to deliver a consultative and confident service our customers both value and trust.

“The Complete IT Systems ethos is that we effectively sit in our customers’ chair looking out at the marketplace choosing the solutions for our customers that we would want to buy in their situation rather than being vendor centric.

“On a personal note, I am proud of the hard work and professionalism displayed by the whole team and I am confident that because of the quality, depth and commitment of our team we will continue to grow and develop over the coming years.”

A fast-moving company

Complete IT Systems won the award for the Fastest Growing Medium-Sized Business at the 2012 Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards.

The business was also crowned the third fastest growing company in Yorkshire overall. Managing director Paul Spence said it was “a great recognition of the effort and expertise shown by our team”.

The Yorkshire Post teamed up with law firm Ward Hadaway for the initiative, which celebrates the region’s success stories by recognising profitable private firms who have seen the biggest annual growth rate in turnover. The list is compiled by independent economic researchers at Bradford University School of Management.