This week we thought we would introduce you to our Managing Director, James Garvey. James is the founder and owner of Garvey’s IT and we thought we would do some digging about his past, present and future! So, here goes…
What inspired you to create Garvey’s IT?
After working in IT for 14 years I felt the only way to move forward with a company focused on customer support was to do it on my own. Whilst everyone is so focused on profit margins these days, it was difficult to run a forward-thinking department with the main objective of being relevant and giving the customers the best experience possible.
My employers didn’t have the same ideas as me going forward, so I took it upon myself and made the step into the business world with Garvey’s IT.
What background have you came from? (What did you do before Garvey’s IT?)
I have worked in IT support since being 16, so a good few years now!
When I left School at 16, my old IT teacher put me forward for a position at Stockton Borough Council as an IT Apprentice, I went for the interview and started the following day.
I completed my apprenticeship and started working for Adult Education, which included teaching adults of Stockton the basics of computers and helping them setup home pc’s and networks.
I applied for more jobs in the IT Sector and landed a role at a company with a small IT department supporting local businesses. I was there for 13 years, during the first 5 years all of the Senior staff above me left and my role grew as I took on their tasks. I became the Manager of the department and was responsible for managing networks all over the North East, assisting other companies such as Barratt Homes in their London offices and looking after networks all over the country.
What has been your biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has always been attracting new business. I am a ‘Techy’ at heart, and sales has never really been my forte. However, fortunately for me, there are customers I have worked with for lots of years who recommend me to others, which means the sales and promotion takes care of itself.
What are your values as a Company leader and how do you ensure these values are upheld by your employees?
Garvey’s IT is a customer focused business.Our customers come first and whether it be answering the phone in 2 rings, replying to an email within 15 minutes or fixing an issue within 1 hour, we always try to make sure the customer gets the support they don’t expect or aren’t used to.
We offer services with 4-hour responses, but our average response is under 30 minutes. We have friendly relationships with our customers and often get invited to Christmas Parties and staff nights out. I think this shows our roles and relationships with our customers greatly surpass the typical customer-supplier relationship.
Where do you see Garvey’s IT ten years from now?
In 10 years, we will have 5000 staff, be supporting every business in the UK for IT and holding a personal relationship with every customer. Nah, just kidding.
We aim to grow every year – slowly and steadily – whilst expanding our Staff base at a pace which allows us to keep our customers receiving the support they’re accustomed to.
What are you most passionate about? In both your personal life and work?
Between my family, especially my 2 kids (10 & 4), I don’t have much time for many passions, however, I try to fit in exercise (at the moment its Jiu Jitsu 3 times per week) where possible, and I’m currently working on becoming an FA qualified coach with my wife. She’s currently an assistant coach on my daughters’ team and I’m looking to take a team next year.
In summary, Family, Exercise & Football!
Would you describe yourself as a risk taker?
No, up until the point I made the decision to leave my previous role to start Garvey’s IT everything was always very calculated and planned 12 months ahead; I have a spreadsheet for everything, planning down to even the smallest points.
I prefer to be organised and have a plan for everything – my wife will vouch for that (through gritted teeth and her new-found hatred for Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets!).
What is your favourite way to spend your weekend?
Weekends are family time! We have football matches, football training and normally watching football! Sunday is our chill out day where we’ll watch movies, do homework and, if necessary, some work to start the following week off!
Sometimes it might include a few beers in the local village if the kids are staying at their grandparents or auntie’s house.