Richard Rones was looking for an IT service provider that shared his views on customer service and had the resources to deliver that service. He chose Sharp...
Insolvency practitioner ThorntonRones Limited has a well-earned reputation for providing the highest standards of professional care. It’s something the principal Richard Rones has strong opinions about.
“It doesn’t matter how big or small your organisation is, or what it does. Sooner or later it all comes down to the standard of service that you provide,” he said. “And that means not only doing what you promise – that’s expected – but you have to make sure that every part of your business can be relied upon to support that ideal.”
Keenly aware of how much his practice depends on computer systems, Rones is careful to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
“When something goes wrong the impact is immediate,” he said. “So part of my strategy is to work with service providers who keep us fully informed of any problems, what they are doing to fix them and how long that will take. Unfortunately, not many companies do that these days.”
It was a lack of contact that prompted Rones to look for a new IT services provider. Although his practice had a longstanding relationship with a provider that was based less than 20 miles away, he was growing increasingly concerned about what he perceived to be a ‘hands off’ approach.
Rones drew up a shortlist of three potential suppliers and met with each in turn. One of the contenders was Sharp: “Sharp had been looking after our print and copy requirements for many years and we had a good relationship with them,” said Rones. “When we discovered that they could look after our entire network, including our bespoke software, Sharp seemed an obvious choice.”
ThorntonRones Limited signed up for four offerings from Sharp’s ‘Optimised IT Services’ portfolio. These are: Monitoring and Management, which offers continuous remote monitoring of the network with pre-emptive corrective action for maximum uptime; Helpdesk, which provides access to expert technical support up to 24 hours, 365 days a year; Hardware Maintenance, which gives customers a single source for fault fixing, hardware repair and warranty support; and Data Protection, which is a cloud-enabled data restoration and disaster recovery service.
Global reach. Local presence. Personal service.
Richard Rones was under no illusions about the risks involved with changing supplier, especially when his firm was using bespoke rather than off-the-shelf software.
“When you change to a new supplier you’re taking a leap of faith. You don’t really know if they can deliver on their promises until you have a real-life problem,” said Richard Rones. “But I’m happy to say that Sharp is doing a great job of looking after us. Moving to Sharp was a good decision.”
“The thing that might surprise some people is that although Sharp is a global enterprise it offers a friendly and personalised service,” said Richard Rones.
Sharp is a good match for ThorntonRones Limited because, in the event of an IT problem, there is always a ‘real’ person keeping a check on what’s happening and they telephone with progress reports. This, Sharp believes, is an important service and not just a courtesy. It knows that its customers find it easier to manage their way around a problem if they are confident about when it is going to be fixed.
Thanks to Sharp’s ‘always on’ Monitoring and Management service, many network issues can be resolved before they become a problem or, indeed, before ThorntonRones Limited is even aware that anything is wrong. The communication is good, too.
“Sharp visits every three months,” said Richard Rones. “Their quarterly reports contain a huge amount of information but they make every effort to explain things in plain English. Plus, they highlight the things that we really need to know about. It’s very reassuring.”
“Unlike some other large companies, the individuals at Sharp really take ownership. Their attitude to customer care is the same as ours. When they tell you something, you can rely on it. They will bring in other people if they need to, but they never just pass you on. There’s always a named contact in control. There’s always someone on your side.”
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