Ontario hardware manufacturer can’t stop growing thanks to the channel

Connectivity tools are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and a global hardware manufacturer from London Ont. has been making a lot of money selling them.

StarTech.com, one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, has been building and selling hard-to-find connectivity parts for more than 30 years, resulting in 11-straight appearances on Inc. 5000’s annual rankings of the fastest-growing private companies in America and five consecutive placements on the Profit 500 rankings. More recently, StarTech has decided to spread its wings and grow its list of operations in 20 markets across five continents by expanding into Chile and Finland.

The company’s president Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy attributes their success to a lot of factors, including a strong channel strategy.

Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy, president of StarTech.com

“Our channel expansion was important,” Murphy told CDN recently, referring to the other markets the company entered into over the years. “We wanted to be where they wanted us to be.”

And those markets have welcomed StarTech with open arms. The manufacturer’s inventory supports more than 200 technologies spanning basic adaptors to Thunderbolt 3, and every day, StarTech comes out with at least one new product. Its 24/5 support system is trained to answers calls within 10 seconds, boasts Murphy. Today, 98 per cent of StarTech’s revenue comes through the channel, and in the past five years, its experienced a 133 per cent growth in revenue.

“We have made it our business to become experts in connectivity,” says Murphy.

She notes a lot of value-added resellers are selling less hardware and instead, are turning into managed service providers and moving server requirements to the cloud. But that still leaves the door open for a hardware manufacturer like StarTech to swoop in and fill in the blanks to actually get the solution to work, because a solution only works if it can merge with the customer’s specific needs, and with so many legacy systems refusing to go away, that can be tricky.

“We are a small, but critical part of the overall IT solution… we have many ways of bridging the old with the new,” she says. “We try and get ahead and identify the pain points before they emerge.”

Juggernauts like Amazon might have the answer to an IT solution providers needs, but StarTech is banking on its expertise in the connectivity space and its close relationships with vendors and solution providers to keep them at the top of everybody’s list when it comes to their hardware requirements.

“The customer is at the centre of everything we do,” says Murphy.

One of StarTech’s latest ventures is in the ergonomics space – standing desks, foot rests and adjustable display units for monitors.

“Channel partners actually told us they wanted to see more options when it came to ergonomics. It’s what prompted us to even start exploring that space.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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