Office Flow is looking forward to significant growth in 2022. Michelle Ryder finds out more from Sales Director Tom McCarthy
Office Flow was founded by three former colleagues – Tom McCarthy, Sales Director; James McCraith, Managing Director and James Harris, Service/Ops Director. The trio had worked together in the past and following an acquisition of their former employer, they decided the time was right to set up an independent local dealership.
One could argue that setting up a new business in January 2020 was incredibly unfortunate timing – just two months before the COVID-19 crisis brought the world to a sudden standstill – but McCarthy disagrees.
“That first quarter was hard work, then the lockdown in March 2020 was a shock to the system. But we turned that into a positive and continued working throughout,” he said. “As business owners, we couldn’t just give up, we had to roll up our sleeves and get on with it. There were lots of legacy contacts we wanted to speak to and what was really good was that with offices shut, phones were diverted, and it was much easier to get through to the decision-makers. We also found that when working from home, people had more time to consider options and review proposals that would help them to cut costs etc. In fact, the summer of 2020 was the biggest growth period for the business,” he added.
In the two years since it was founded, Office Flow has gone from strength to strength. The company employs ten full-time members of staff – and is planning to further expand with an additional three new team members across sales, admin and service. It has built an impressive MIF of 1,200 devices and recorded an annual turnover of £2.7 million.
“The business adds an average of 43 new machines per month, like other companies, we have been impacted by the supply chain shortages and we have a few hundred devices on back order,” McCarthy said, adding: “Despite that we’re expecting to hit £3.5 million this year and we’re aiming to achieve £5 million within five years.”
Office Flow initially partnered with DSales – a decision that made sense as both the team including their engineers and their prospective customer base were familiar with the Develop brand and the technology. The company is now among one of DSales’ biggest resellers. Twelve months ago, it added Epson to its offering, in particular the A4 and wide- format models.
On the move
“We signed a three-year lease on our premises, and we have very quickly outgrown the space,” McCarthy said, adding: “We’re now moving to a new, more central location which will give us five times the amount of warehouse space as well as bigger office space to accommodate our growing team.” McCarthy said that they expect the number of new installations to slow down a little, but still expects to grow its MIF to 2,000 devices in the next few years. “We have four full-time engineers and future business growth will come from increased service revenues,” he said.
Office Flow predominantly serves customers across East Anglia but has the appetite to supply and service nationwide. “We have a number of customers with regional offices and one of the advantages of partnering with DSales is that we can tap into their dealer network to provide on-site service on our behalf. McCarthy explained. “The price is set so it’s a fair agreement, plus we can be confident in the level of skill, expertise and knowledge of the partners providing service to our customers and vice versa,” he concluded.