Samsung repair partner credits business uptick with availability and word of mouth
TMT First says it could surpass its revenue and recruitment targets for the year after seeing an increase in business during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Staffordshire-based Samsung repair partner had plans at the beginning of the year to double revenue and hire 20 staff by the end of the year.
However, managing director Adam Whitehouse (pictured, left) says that after taking on business that would otherwise belong to other repairers who had closed down or scaled back operations, TMT had experienced a period of growth during the lockdown.
“We needed to take on 20 new staff to hit our targets by the end of the year – we’ll now have 20 new staff by the end of this month,” he said. “We’ve gone all out to find people during these challenging times that will enable us to grow at an even faster rate than we envisaged.”
Whitehouse says TMT has 250 active B2B customers, and from April 1 until today processed more than 36,000 devices for SMEs and consumers. Devices were predominantly mobile, but TMT also repaired wearables and tablets.
TMT chairman Jon French (pictured, right) adds that repeat business has led to strong word of mouth. This has aided growth without the need for marketing spend.
“The most pleasing thing has been the repeat business,” said French. “There was a feeling that service expectations had dropped but our service levels haven’t, so it’s been word of mouth and organic traffic.
“If we can keep that, and turn on our marketing in the second half of the year in the way we intended to in this half, that’s where going beyond double growth comes in.”
In its 40,000 square-foot warehouse in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, TMT First has been able to implement split shifts and appropriate social distancing measures for all staff.
“We have plenty of space to grow into, we can continue to expand repair operations, I don’t think we’ll fill the repair space by the end of this year, and if we do we have a spare repair room with four times the capacity,” said Whitehouse. “So we’ve moved into a building that’s fit for the future, and the space has allowed us to do social distancing.”
Additionally, TMT has benefitted from Samsung’s nationwide closure of its Samsung Support Centres (SCCs) during lockdown, having negotiated with the vendor to take on the consumer devices that would normally be processed in the stores within 48 hours of lockdown being announced.
While the repair firm normally targets the SME sector, the uptick from consumer repairs has constituted around 20 per cent of the volume of devices processed in the time since. Samsung has not yet confirmed whether or not it will be reopening its SCCs from June 15.
During lockdown, TMT First has also collaborated with Juice to provide hospitalised coronavirus patients with tablets and powerbanks.