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Empowered by energy

Market Harborough – based Welcomm has completed the latest phase of product diversification having become a gas and electricity supplier in partnership with Fidelity Energy, a move that’s powered up Welcomm’s margin making engine.

As an industry long timer Welcomm has developed long-term relationships with customers, enabling the company to leverage its trusted advisor status to good effect by adding gas and electricity services to its portfolio following a link-up with Fidelity Energy. Now in its 27th year, Welcomm has grown from being the first mobile retailer in the midlands to the large communications specialist it is today, offering a complete suite of communications solutions across mobile, fixed line, telephony, hosted and managed services.

Welcomm’s drive for growth was acknowledged earlier this year by the London Stock Exchange in its landmark ‘1,000 companies to Inspire Britain’ report which identifies the UK’s most exciting and dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises. “Being in business for as long as we have is rare in this industry,” said Chris Stanton. “This longevity already positions us over and above competitors by giving us the foundations to grow at a steady, yet progressive pace.” Close, long-term partnerships with the likes of O2 Avaya and Gamma. Indeed, Welcomm’s relationship with the latter was further cemented in early 2015 when it was granted Platinum Partner status. “We have now become one of Gamma’s biggest Horizon and Hosted Voice resellers, as well as having completed their largest converged private network deal to date,” added Stanton.

The Welcomm team established a close working relationship with John Haw, who ran the sales team at Gamma for eight years. When he moved into his new role as Managing Director at Fidelity Energy, it was the catalyst for the company’s move into the supply of energy services. “The simplicity of the energy business model and the added value we believe it brings in giving customers value for money complements our business perfectly and strengthens our relationship with our customers,” said Stanton.

“It has been relatively easy to get started as we used the resources we already had in house to promote the service and to get bills in for review. This uncovered a number of opportunities and revealed any potential obstacles, so it was a great learning curve. During this brief period of testing we also got an understanding of the internal processes of Fidelity.

Key Opportunity

“With the concept proven we quickly brought on board an Energy Manager as we knew beyond doubt that this was a fantastic opportunity and needed complete focus and passion to deliver the results from our receptive customers. Now we have this in place, things are moving at a pace and Fidelity has the flexibility to keep supporting us with our requirements and strengthen the Welcomm Energy brand.”

Welcomm is initially extending the service to its existing base to ensure that its customers are the first to benefit from a saving of between 10-50 per cent on their current energy rates. The team is then planning to contact new companies in key target sectors that are high energy users. Setting up the energy division has been relatively straightforward and the processes are simple to implement according to Welcomm’s new Energy Manager, Nicola Bingley.

“We are ensuring that customers are able to seamlessly switch their energy billing to take advantage of the great savings available,” she commented. “Once we have a copy of the customer’s bill and their authority to proceed, we work in conjunction with Fidelity to source the best energy rates in the market. We summarise these findings in a proposal to highlight the top three and our recommendation, and then the contracts are agreed and signed. The fact that they will have one point of contact for their mobile, unified, comms and energy needs is being viewed as a bonus.

“Most customers that we have spoken with to date are receptive as we can save them time as well as money by sourcing and securing better energy rates for their business. In addition, Welcomm Energy will proactively account manage the service, alerting customers when their contract is due to end to prevent them from slipping back on to high out-of-contract-run on rates.”

Many customers haven’t reviewed their energy suppliers for some time, therefore they are typically paying 40 per cent more than the current low rates Welcomm Energy will be able to secure for them, according to Bingley. “Even if our customers are currently tied into an energy contract, Welcomm Energy can future sign them at current low rates for up to five years in advance,” she said. “We see this as a huge opportunity for our customers to save money and to benefit from out account management.”

Comms Dealer

VOL 20, 12th May 2016

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