Appointment of Financial Director, James Monks
Based out of Leeds, James brings to the table over 18 years of experience working in the automotive industry. During this time, James has excelled in supporting business growth and development thanks to effective strategic planning.
Due to anticipated growth, RAM Tracking made the decision to hire James in order to harness and leverage his leadership qualities and the support he can offer in developing the company further. The following interview offers an insight into James’ predictions for the future of RAM Tracking, as well as his own take on the business sector.
Q. Where do you see the remainder of the year, financially for RAM Tracking?
‘Both revenue and profit have significantly increased over the previous year, with a very strong order book for the start of the new financial year.’
A. We have just completed the year to Sept-16, and it is another year of significant and sustained profitable growth. Every month shows considerable growth over the last, with September being an all-time record sales month. Both revenue and profit have significantly increased over the previous year, with a very strong order book for the start of the new financial year.
In the last year the company has invested in Customer Support (‘Customer Success’ as RAM calls it) to maintain the high levels of service our customers have come to expect, and prepare the business for the next phase of growth. This demonstrates how customer focused RAM Tracking is, just one of the reasons I was attracted to the company and its values. There has also been investment in new product ranges, which are about to be launched in Q1 of 2017. So it’s a really exciting time to join the team.
Q. In 2017, which departments would you most like to see investment in?
‘One key investment that has just been launched is the Engineer Testing App; a mobile application designed to improve the efficiencies of our installation engineers.’
A. A key goal for the business over the coming months is to improve the ‘usage & adoption’ of the system by our customers. This will be led by our Customer Success team at RAM, to ensure every customer is achieving the maximum benefit from the system they have. So investment in the Customer Success team will allow us to fulfil this mission.
One key investment that has just been launched is the Engineer Testing App; a mobile application designed to improve the efficiencies of our installation engineers. This launch has been incredibly successful, giving rise to considerable efficiencies from the start.
2017 will see a number of new product launches from RAM Tracking, which are all exciting and will add additional revenue to the business over the coming months. Everyone in the business remains customer focused, and work towards a customer experience not matched by our competitors. Every department continues to develop and improve efficiencies on a daily basis, something that really impresses when you join the team.
Q. RAM Tracking have seen considerable growth since forming in 2004. What would you be your advice in growing and expanding the company, up to 2020?
‘My advice to any business would be to ensure rapid growth does not negatively impact your customer.’
A. The company has grown rapidly year on year, and shows no sign of slowing down in relation to the rate of growth we expect from the core business. The customer focus and easy-to-use customer interface, mean the RAM Tracking solution to our fleet customers is second to none. The release of new complimentary product ranges will only serve to add to the great success of the core business.
My advice to any business would be to ensure rapid growth does not negatively impact your customer. However, this business has already invested to maintain those levels of excellent customer service, so the investment is already in place to accommodate the continued growth over the next few years. Recent efficiency improvements will also enable RAM Tracking to manage continued growth, whilst maintaining our customer centric focus. Continued development of the system will ensure it stays at the forefront of technological innovations in the sector.
Q. Would you expect RAM Tracking to grow its business through the acquisition of other tracking companies?
‘…acquisitions, if beneficial to RAM, would be a strong possibility.’
A. All markets consolidate as they grow. RAM is financially very strong with a rapidly growing customer base, that is always looking for the next opportunity. Our three-year plan is for the core business to significantly grow, in addition to considerable growth of new technologies released over the coming months. In addition to this plan, acquisitions, if beneficial to RAM, would be a strong possibility. RAM is ideally placed to take advantage of a potential acquisition, and the synergies we would achieve from an acquisition.
Q. What key challenges do you face in helping to grow RAM Tracking?
A. One of the first tasks is to integrate the financial system with the CRM used by the rest of the business. This integration will result in significant efficiencies throughout the business. There is also a significant opportunity in the Canada business we operate, and we are currently focused on maximizing the potential of that business.
Q. Where do you anticipate RAM Tracking will be in 3, 5 and 10 years’ time?
‘With new developments set to launch, the sky is the limit.’
A. RAM continues to grow exponentially. With the new developments set to be launched, the sky is the limit. We also have launched RAM Enterprise which looks towards larger fleets of 30+ vehicles. This, again, is a really exciting opportunity for the business. A number of developments, both internal and customer focused, are now ready to be realized. So in short, I expect RAM Tracking to continue to grow and become a significant player in the telematics sector.
Q. What is your definition of success?
A. I believe real success comes from being part of something that benefits those around you. From a business point of view, for me, both customer and employee satisfaction would be good indicators of success.
Q. What has been your proudest achievement so far in your career?
A. In my previous role, I was part of the management team that grew a business from turnover of £15m to £200m, providing jobs for over 2,000 employees and maintaining a strong customer focus. I’m proud to say I helped that business grow.
Q. What has been your greatest challenge?
A. Working with elements of a business that are not performing to their best potential can be a challenge. The key is to communicate effectively and show them how their contribution can help a business achieve its goals.
Q. What excites you the most about joining RAM Tracking?
‘It is a great time to be at RAM, with new developments, both large and small, being launched daily.’
A. I have thought many times over the last couple of months, ‘What a fantastic time to join RAM Tracking.’ Everyone at RAM is determined to work to the best of their abilities and make the customer experience class leading. Everyone knows the values of the business, and applies them throughout their working day. They all feel a sense of pride of being part of the RAM Tracking team, as do I. It is a great time to be at RAM, with new developments, both large and small, being launched daily. The business does not stop innovating in every area. The customer is the main focus, and everything we do at RAM is to help our customers achieve greater efficiencies within their businesses.
Q. Do you have any advice for individuals looking to get into accounting?
‘Get to know the people that work there, and ask how finance can help them do their jobs better.’
A. My best advice for anyone considering accountancy is to get to know the business. I’ve seen some accountants that never leave their office, and just publish a set of accounts at the end of the month and think that is it. To be really effective, you should get to know as much about the business as possible. Get to know the people that work there, and ask how finance can help them do their jobs better. A good accountant provides the business with relevant key data, that helps them in the decision making process.
Q. Is there anybody in the industry that inspires you to grow and become a better individual at work?
‘Successful entrepreneurs focus on the customer’s needs. It was obvious when I met Chris McClellan (CEO) that he was such an individual…’
A. Successful entrepreneurs focus on the customer’s needs. Many of these leaders inspire their employees to work hard for the good of both the company and themselves. It was obvious when I met Chris McClellan (CEO) that he was such an individual, and I have enjoyed working with him over the last couple of months. However, I can get inspiration from many places. For example, when anyone goes above and beyond their job description to do a good job and ensure they have completed their task to the best of their abilities. Especially when you see this from a trainee or junior member of the team, doing the very best they can. These will be the ones that succeed in life.