Did you know that everyday technologies that form the bedrock of our lives were originally invented for military use? Global Positioning Systems (GPS), drones, computers and even the wrist watch were all devised to assist soldiers during times of conflict.
RAM Tracking has taken advantage of military derived technology with its GPS system which specialises in vehicle tracking for business. RAM Tracking’s award winning founder and CEO Chris McClellan took time out from building his empire in order to reveal the rewarding elements of running a successful business, the challenges and much more.
1. Describe your business in two sentences
We are a multi award-winning provider of vehicle tracking technology and associated customer success and support. Our software is perfect for any organisation wishing to develop their fleet management while protecting staff, improving profitability and enhancing environmental efficiency.
2. Describe a typical day in the office
Every day is different, as my role is still very much hands-on as well as strategic. I regularly meet with the management team and assist them with decision-making as well as meeting our external partners and customers. I also like to make sure I’m available for any internal members of the team that need my support or direction on anything.
3. Tell us about your career route, where did it all start for you?
I had a keen interest in business from a very young age, starting with my very own milk round at the age of 13. At 17, I became interested in hardware/software, decoding car radios for a number of different garages in the West Yorkshire area. This was my first taste of working in the motor industry.
I took on my first senior role in 1999 as a Business Development Manager for a telematics company. It was here I discovered my passion for vehicle tracking, as I saw first-hand how much it helps businesses save vital time and money. With this knowledge, I took the decision to set up my own tracking business in 2004 and it’s grown year on year since then.
4. What are the most rewarding parts of the job?
It’s extremely rewarding seeing people succeed and grow within your own business. I’m a strong advocate of rewarding and promoting within and have already seen a number of my team start with entry level jobs and very quickly move into key strategic roles.
We have almost 4,000 customers nationwide, and I find it so rewarding when I see our customers achieve success, make savings and improve their business with the help of their RAM Tracking system.
5. What are the most challenging parts of the job?
Making sure that every department is balanced and working in sync with each other. We’re growing so rapidly as a business that scalability can be a real challenge, specifically making sure that business operations are balanced with our sales department.
6. What is your greatest business achievement to date?
Understanding what our customers and employees want is really important for me. Recently, we took the decision for the business to undergo the prestigious Investor in Customers survey. The IIC surveyed both our customers and staff to understand if we’re meeting their expectations. This was the first time we have ever put the business through such an exercise and I was proud to find out that we were awarded two out of three stars for outstanding customer experience, and that we were only 0.1% off getting all three stars. Personally, a major highlight of my career was when I was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009 in the North England and Northern Ireland Business Awards.
7. Describe your growth funding path
RAM Tracking is entirely privately funded and has been from the start. I reinvest the profits back into the business, that way it grows organically through its own profitability.
8. What numbers or metrics do you look at every day in your business to judge success?
We have heavily invested in our CRM system, Salesforce, giving all of our staff clear visibility on how the business is performing. For me personally, I look at sales, how quickly we’re getting our tracking units installed, customer support metrics, case resolution times as well as business financials.
9. To what extent does your business trade internationally and do you have any future expansion plans?
We already have an office in Canada that’s been established since 2009 and is doing really well. We’re now looking for opportunities to expand the business into other international markets.
10. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business?
Salesforce.com, * our internal CRM, has had a huge impact on our business over the last few years. It has enabled complete visibility on the journey of prospects and customers who we work with, as well as giving us the ability to scale at a rapid rate and improve operational rigour throughout our whole business
11. Where do you see RAM Tracking in three years’ time?
We are currently expanding into new premises to allow us to scale up over the next three years, while looking at a number of opportunities to diversify both in the UK and overseas.
12. What is the most common mistake you see entrepreneurs make?
Undervaluing their staff and not seeing the importance of nurturing and developing them. I also think that some entrepreneurs take their eye off the ball once they start seeing the rewards coming in.
13. What advice would you offer to a less experienced entrepreneur?
Build a team with the best people you can find. Your people are instrumental in your business’s growth and achieving your aspirations, so hire the best.
For further information please visit: www.ramtracking.com