Long-Term Relationship Helps Drive FirstFound’s Continued Success
Established in 2000, FirstFound is a privately owned full service digital agency with the vision ‘to enable all businesses, regardless of size, to succeed in the digital world’. FirstFound continues to grow, providing services to over 5000 clients and employing over 40 staff out of their Manchester and Dublin offices.
In 2004, FirstFound engaged Greystone to help turn their small 10 PC set up to a networked environment. This first engagement firmly established the relationship between the two businesses and since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength. Greystone now provide fully managed IT support, IT project management as well as custom-made software specifically designed for their unique operating requirements.
What challenge was FirstFound facing?
As one of the founding agencies providing Search Engine services in the UK, FirstFound experienced a period of exponential growth in both their customer base and employee numbers when the digital space exploded in the early 2000’s. No longer were their basic operating systems suitable. The lack of networking hindered productivity and manual tasks associated to operational activity were inefficient.
Building a stable and scalable IT infrastructure would be key for onboarding new employees as the team grew. At the same time developing a bespoke software solution to automate internal processes was essential to prevent overburdening of internal resources.
What was the approach?
Based on their technology strategy, FirstFound did not intend to hire additional staff despite their growing IT needs. They wanted to partner with a like-minded organisation who was able to provide them with the breadth and depth of knowledge required to help them meet their business objectives.
Speaking about their requirements, Chris Bellamy Managing Director at FirstFound said: “When we initially looked at what we needed all those years ago, it quickly became apparent that we needed a solution that would span all operational activity; from accounting and invoicing through to Customer Relationship Management and communication.
Acknowledging that there was nothing out in the market that could meet their needs, FirstFound instructed Greystone to develop a bespoke software solution to deliver exactly what was needed for the business to thrive.”
What solution did Greystone implement?
Since its inception back in 2004, FirstFound’s IT Systems have developed and flexed to adapt to the ongoing needs of a business at the cutting edge of the digital services market.
The bespoke software Greystone developed has been deployed across all operating units with 40 employees using the system on a day-to-day basis. The system is intuitive, easy to use and secure. New team members are onboarded swiftly and easily, enabling them to work effectively and efficiently from day one.
Over time, FirstFound’s needs have changed and external influences have forced modifications to their working environment. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, they had to pivot their team to work remotely and for an organisation that predominantly centred their operations and employees out of their two offices, this was a significant undertaking. Greystone could draw on their extensive experience in serving remote workers providing the team with a secure, functional and collaborative solution.
What were the results
FirstFound have unrestricted daily support across their offices and remote environments. Well managed IT Systems underpin the operational activity carried out through their bespoke software solution. In addition to traditional break / fix managed services, FirstFound call upon the expertise of the IT Director as a Service (ITDaaS) offering access to trusted advice and support at a strategic level.
Considering the appointment of Greystone 17 years ago Chris said: “For any organisation having the right technology is key but with such a big investment at stake, you need to be confident that your chosen partner can deliver. I trust Greystone implicitly and from day one the systems have done exactly what we needed. Greystone deliver time after time.”
Greystone’s Director of IT Services, Ben McDougall said: “At the core of our relationship with FirstFound is the trust earned from delivering over the past 17 years. We have witnessed them go from strength to strength and being able to help them grow through supporting their technology requirements is extremely satisfying. We look forward to our continued partnership with FirstFound.”