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Midland rebrands as ‘Mdee’ following radical restructure

Michael Garwood
April 22, 2014

Firm to attack IT and fixed line markets and aims to double reseller partners in 12 months

EE airtime distributor Midland Distribution has rebranded as Mdee – as part of a “radical” restructure of the business to help drive sales and penetrate new B2B markets.

The Nottingham-based firm, in which EE owns a 35 per cent stake, rebranded this week having traded as Midland for 27 years as part of its “relaunch” plans.

Former Avenir Telecom managing director Tanny Jeffrey (pictured) has been brought in to instigate and manage the operation, with a mantra of increasing profitability and doubling partner numbers in the next year to 400, and a focus on those outside of the traditional mobile channel.

Jeffrey, who had spells at Brightstar Europe (2009-2010) and Shebang (2011-2012), began her as-yet-untitled role this month, having been approached by chief executive Mark Liley at the end of last year

Big ambitions and targets

Jeffrey told Mobile News that whilst the company has been successful – its last turnover was £27.5m, up 27 per cent year on year – it is in need of a fresh injection of ideas and leadership.

“Midland is a very family-orientated company,with loyal staff and a loyal customer base,” said Jeffrey. “Whilst this has its positives, the lack of fresh faces does restrict the opportunities for fresh, new and innovative ideas.

“The staff are performing well and the company is financially strong but they are lacking direction. I’m here to provide that leadership and to help take the company forward and identify new growth opportunities.

“We are not looking at this as an opportunity to take from our airtime rivals – but more of an extension in to the wider market.

“We see a huge opportunity with other markets looking to sell mobile for the first time.”

Business updates

Liley, who has made a “significant” investment in the firm to finance Jeffrey’s plans, added: “We’ve been a key player in the distribution market for many years and with the market ever evolving, we are keen to further strengthen our relationships and continue to innovate with new initiatives.”

Changes to the business outlined by Jeffrey, include doubling its number of field sales staff to eight as it looks to form closer ties and communicate in person with both new and existing partners.

Jeffrey said staff, of which there are currently around 30, will also now have specific dedicated responsibilities, removing some of the inherent “Jack-of-all-trades” ethos in the company.

She said the firm was overhauling its IT systems, and website design at a cost expected to run into tens of thousands of pounds.

A significant part of this, includes the redesign of its online connection and account management portal MCD Connect, which, in addition to providing improved  management portal MCD Connect – which, in addition to providing improved interaction with Mdee, and greater levels of account management, will provide what Jeffrey claims is a “simple” and “easy-to-understand” connection process for those new to the market.

She added that training, and business planning on an individual basis will be provided to new partners in a move designed to help breakdown the inherent barriers experienced by the fixed and IT market.

“We are confident the level of internal restructure and the significant investments we are making in our IT system will provide the tools to help us and our partners achieve their business aims.

“There is a huge opportunity in helping others make the transition into mobile. We feel we have a system which allows them to do that – in a clear and intelligible way.”

EE business marketing director and Mdee board member Mike Tomlinson added: “We see a bright future for MDee, full of genuine opportunity and true win-win growth for both Mdee and all their existing and future partners.

“We fully support the team at MDee and are confident that though challenging, they will achieve their goals through the depth of their experience and strong relationships within the B2B market.”

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