For CommerceQuest SA (Pty) Limited (CQSA), 2017 marks the 20th Anniversary since opening the doors for business back in 1997. This serves as a major milestone for a small, niche, IT software integration company! Over the years, our industry has seen a lot of companies, small and large, come and go… So what is it about CQSA that has kept us going and not only still going, but still growing?
Firstly, our dedication to customer services and service delivery has enabled us to keep a loyal customer base. We have several customers who signed up with us way back in 2001 who we still do business with today, whether it is software sales or providing them with the dedicated support they need. This leads onto the fact that we continue to grow our skills base and knowledge and have a truly technical team of support and software implementation specialists, with a very low churn rate so that we are able to invest, grow and have product specialists on hand when they are needed.
Although 2016 was a somewhat challenging year for many of us in our local IT industry, CQSA significantly grew the business by achieving over a 20% growth in terms of turnover for the 2016 calendar year. But what is even more exciting than the numbers, is the fact that we signed up a brand new customer for every month of the year – 12 new customers. Not bad going in a turbulent market.
Customizing our offerings to suit the needs of the customer is relatively easy for us as we have a niche offering and we are a small company in terms of our actual size, which allows us to be flexible and fast to react and to be negotiable. Having an understanding of the financial and time pressures of running a business and of doing business, we put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and come up with plans and ideas to help with a solution. For example, the capital outlay of purchasing a software license can be a big knock on the budget, so we offer a monthly (OPEX) option where we can leverage the Cloud, where it makes sense.
We have always enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, a good team spirit within the company and we are very proud of the technical learners training program we have put in place to assist young people, who did not have the means to attend University, a chance to learn with us. In 2017, we have launched our University Assistance program where we are paying the fees and mentoring 3 learners who we hope will graduate with flying colours and join our full time team, whether it be technical support, sales and marketing or product sales.
So a huge thank you, to all our loyal and supportive clients who have been carving out the path with us and negotiating all the ups and downs, some of you since 2001. A huge thank you to our new clients for giving us the opportunity to prove ourselves and learn from you.
Reflecting back on the past 20 years, there have been many challenges for our customers and indeed ourselves. We are sure there will be more – and we are looking forward to solving them together with our customers!