Carryduff firm calls up external sales profits

Carryduff firm Sentel Independent has secured a number of significant contracts in Great Britain in just six months with help from Invest Northern Ireland.

Sentel Independent provides a range of telephone call management services which enable organisations to collate data on aspects such as destination and duration of calls, frequently dialled numbers and the speed at which calls are answered. This enables organisations to reduce response times, cut costs and ultimately improve customer service.

The company recruited a business development manager and general operations manager earlier this year who proactively sought out new customers in markets outside Northern Ireland, primarily in Great Britain. As a result, Sentel has secured a number of contracts with major organisations, including the UK Blood Transfusion Service, Coventry Primary Care Trust, Redstone Telecom of London and Brake Brothers Food Service of Birmingham.  

Ger Connery, Managing Director of Sentel Independent, said: “Since our establishment in 1998 we have delivered innovative solutions to customers who wish to improve customer service and cut the high costs associated with telephony.

“Our online system enables easy, instant access to detailed telephone usage data and has proved popular with organisations in both the public and private sectors. But in order to maximise our potential we needed to make our products more widely known and seek out new business outside the local market.

“With the help of Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office, we improved our IT systems, strengthened our management team and are now taking forward a focused marketing programme in Great Britain which has already produced results. This has also given me more time to concentrate on the strategic development of the company and enabled the team to dedicate more time to refining products and processes.”

Mr Connery added: “The next step is to gain a foothold in mainland European markets. Invest NI is helping us, through its E2 programme, to recruit a marketing graduate who will help to identify sales opportunities in countries including Poland and the Netherlands. Combined with our success in Great Britain, we hope to double our turnover within the next three years.”

Graham Davis, Invest NI’s Director of Regional Economic Development, said: “If Northern Ireland is to increase its productivity level and extract the greatest value from its business activities, it is essential that companies of all sizes strive to secure revenue from external markets. Sentel Independent is an excellent example of this, with over 90 per cent of its sales generated outside Northern Ireland.

“The company is exploiting its strong product range by focusing on export marketing activities and bolstering its management team, further adding to its success. The contracts it has recently secured will provide a sound basis for future growth and achievement of its long term sales targets.”