Service Assured Maintenance is an Audio Visual company based in the Marina Commercial Park in Cork. Launched in November ’09 by Keith O’ Driscoll and Mark Hickey, the company has been expanding every year since and recently opened an Audio & Visual supply shop at their premises.
We spoke with Keith to find out some more about his company.
Q1 Hi Keith. Can you tell me a bit more about what services SAM offers?
Hi John, thanks for taking the time to speak with me. Service Assured Maintenance (SAM) is an Audio Visual company based in the Marina Commercial Park in Cork. The main core of our business is the supply and installation of AV equipment such as Projectors, Large format touch screens, Digital Signage, Room Control systems etc. for Corporate boardrooms and meeting rooms. We also have a workshop for projector repairs & servicing.
Q2 When did you set up the company and who’s involved?
We opened the company on the 9th November 2009 after my business partner (Mark Hickey) and I left our previous jobs. We both had experience working in the AV industry and have an avid interest in technology so it seemed like the best course to take. We started with only one customer on our books back then and have built up to over 80 recurring customers now.
I mostly work in the office taking care of the main administrative duties; I also install and design/configure our digital signage systems and touchscreens on site. Mark focuses on pricing work and installations; due to his previous experience as a carpenter Mark takes care of customizations when installs require unique approaches. We have one other full time employee (David) who is invaluable to us; he looks after the maintenance contracts, and completes installs with Mark. We also have three external contractors who join us on jobs that require an extra pair of hands.
Q3 Are you solely operating in Cork or do you offer a Nationwide service?
We mainly concentrate on Cork and surrounding areas, but we also work nationwide with customers in Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford and Clonmel. Additionally, we ship products abroad to some of our customers’ European partner companies on occasion.
Q4 Who would you say is your target market? Is it mainly corporate or are there services available to the public?
The vast majority of our customers are Multinational Pharmaceutical & Biotech and business users but we also have a good presence in Schools around the country, looking after their Interactive Whiteboards and projectors.
We recently converted the front of our office building into an Audio Visual supply store so we can offer our products to the general public. After 4 years we felt the time was right to expand our business and reach out to new target audiences. It’s going quite nicely so far and anyone is welcome to call in at any time.
There is also a growing interest among the general public in projectors for home usage (gaming, sports, movies, etc).
Q5 On the face of it, the economy seems to be turning a corner. How have things being going for you? Are you noticing any pick up in the market?
It was hard going opening in the middle of a recession and getting new business was difficult, but we figured that if we could make it through that, we’d be ok for anything. We’re in our fifth year of business now and our company is growing each year. The economy is definitely recovering and we have certainly noticed a big change in the last 12 months in particular. Our customers seem to be more open to investing money in improving the technology that their businesses use.
We have also found that through social media we have received lots of positive attention and potential for expanding our customer base. One of our biggest obstacles at the start was getting our name out there and this is a major help.
Q6 You mentioned you have opened an Audio & Visual supply shop at your premises. What type of products are available there?
We stock a wide range of cabling, tv/projector brackets and general Audio Visual/Technology related products. HDMI, VGA, Display Port, Audio Cables, USB sticks, Switchers, Satellite & Aerial equipment and all sorts of installation tools just to name a few. Any specialist items that we don’t have in stock can normally be ordered in with a lead time of only a few days.
Q7 Is there any other services or products you sell or provide that people reading this may find useful?
We have a workshop for projector repairs and servicing including full clean outs with a no fix, no fee policy. It’ll also cost nothing for us to look at a machine for you if you drop it to us. For businesses and schools we provide a preventative maintenance service to help prolong the life of their AV equipment and we also do rentals such as PA systems and projectors & portable screens.
We also have an online projector lamp store. This is set-up through our website, is easy to use and we offer close to 11,000 models.
We also offer free consultations and digital signage demos on request.
Q8 What’s the best way for people you get in contact with you?
If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase get in contact with me on [email protected]