Associated Consultants Ltd

Origins

The founders were working as a sales manager and support consultant for a computer firm that unfortunately ceased trading. However, customers approached them on a personal level to request support and ACL was formed in 1983 to provide this, becoming incorporated in 1989. The first challenge was funding as there were no start up grants available at that time and it took many months of trading before salaries were paid. The second challenge was a place to operate from that was affordable and suitable. Whilst all public sector applications were mainframe based, personal computers were just emerging and the founders recognised the potential of providing lower cost applications on machines that were more flexible and more powerful than the mainframe dumb terminal. However, it was initially difficult to persuade big organisations to move away from Mainframe to PC based applications.

Success Factor

The three key factors that have resulted in the growth of the business include an experience and understanding of the market specialised in; an ability to be flexible and to quickly move the focus of the business to the needs of customers; and having the right products and personnel to sell and deliver these product and services to meet the customers needs.

The Future

Over the next few years, there are a number of growth areas that have been recognised in the IT market including mobile applications and the integration with corporate or back office systems, the latter which would allow customers to integrate between different systems. The business also hopes to provide core e-commerce products and services whilst expanding its sales activities into the private sector. This may then require greater funding to expand the staff or to obtain bigger premises to operate from.