hen a mutual friend introduced Bill Freeman and Nick Asscher about 10 years ago, it was a meeting of minds. Freeman was the national sales manager for Hal Data Services, now a multifaceted IT hardware and services supplier, while Asscher was a manager for Interactive Pty Ltd, which specialised in business continuity services and cloud.
They struck up a rapport and common belief that customer experience was paramount to IT services delivery. So before starting their shared venture seven-and-a-half years ago, they thrashed out a 10-point values statement that today hangs prominently on a wall in their Artarmon, Sydney office. Concepts such as providing “real choice”, “fix it first” and “promise and deliver” are touchstones for Touchpoint, which focuses both on end users as well as channel partners.
“We often get comments about, ‘How have you worked together so long?’, and it comes down to the values we set in stone in the first week of Touchpoint’s life,” says Freeman. “We sat in a room for a week and worked out how we would run our company. Those are the values we still live by.”
Some values are deliberately more confronting than others.
“Open and honest communication is most important; if Nick and I have a problem or challenge we get it out early and we lay it on the table in its entirety so we can work on it together,” says Freeman. “That causes its own challenges but they’re quickly resolved when all the facts are known. It’s an approach we apply to our customers. Sometimes they don’t like it, but we share, warts and all.”
Freeman says it has proven invaluable when managing staff. “When they ask, ‘What should I do here?’, we just point at the wall. If our staff are aligned to the values, vision, goals and mission, and use the values as tools, nine times out of 10 we don’t have to do anything and they make the right decision.”
While it’s difficult to draw a line between values and the company’s 120 percent growth to $7.22 million last financial year, Freeman says the consistency in approach keeps customers coming back.
“Our customers say, ‘I like how you do it and I want to buy more’. It allows us to open the door into other areas in the [client’s] company.”
A major strength is imagining the art of the possible and helping their channel partners, including system integrators, disties and resellers realise immediate gains, he says.
“Customers will say they have a crazy-arsed idea but no idea if it can be done. We can rent
hardware for a day or three months, or liquidate a data centre and turn that into cash. We can assist with recycling and data wiping, source hardware the customer thinks is unavailable, maintain, put software on it and even run it for them,” says Freeman.
“We want to be the company who gets the call and assists our partners make good money and deliver a project they didn’t think was possible.”
Pictured above: Bill Freeman and Nicholas Asscher, Touchpoint Technology
Key executives Bill Freeman, Nicholas Asscher
HQ Artarmon, Sydney, NSW
2016 revenue $7.2m
Top vendor HPE