Drumz plc (LON:DRUM) Chief Executive Officer Angus Forest caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss its largest order to date for its portfolio company, Acuity Risk Management, what developments have been made and the outlook for the business.
Q1: Now, there’s been a couple of contract announcements recently but nothing before that, is there a reason for the sudden upturn?
A1: We have been winning contracts regularly over the past six months and we win contracts every month but these contracts, the order value for the company is £620,000 over three contracts and this is substantially in excess of anything company’s ever won previously.
So, it is newsworthy, both the number and the value of the contracts.
Q2: What developments then have been made since Drumz invested?
A2: Well, we take the holistic approach to a business, that each components of the business contributes to its success, nothing on its own really is going to make a tremendous amount of difference.
So, in the sales and marketing, which is where we have been involved, we’ve worked on commercial terms so the pricing, the contract terms, that was the first element.
The second element was to increase demand, we’ve changed the way that the company’s marketed itself, we’ve used some more model technology. The result is the sales pipeline by November, was three times the level of the year before and now further 50% increase and those are all qualified opportunities.
The next thing is we’ve invested in people, we’ve got more salespeople, in December 2019 it had one salesperson, we’ve now got five. Three have started relatively recently, so not completely productive, but they’re all looking as if they’re going to be productive.
We’ve enhanced the product, from a product which will be used by a subset in a company, typically the Chief Information Officer’s department, to something which can be an enterprise-wide solution. That not only offers us opportunity of higher prices, but it expands the market and can appeal to the largest company and we compete directly now against all our competitors.
Then there’s been better management, I think, of the sales and marketing function and it’s been more appreciated within the business.
Q3: What is the outlook for the Acuity business then?
A3: Well, in previous years, quarter four was the highlight, it always did much more than previous quarters and Q1 was low point. This year, Q4 will be significantly stronger than any previous quarter that the company has ever had so the outlook is that Q1, starting next month, is at least going to be as strong as this one.
We’ve got more salespeople, more on-stream capacity, the company has always had good technology and subject matter expertise and it has a competitive advantage, speed of deployment, which is dramatically better than our competitors. We can deploy in a month, many of them take months, if not more than a year to deploy and we have a sales engine, which is going well, with opportunities to grow, not only next month but throughout the next quarter and probably the following quarter.
Drumz plc (LON:DRUM) is an investing company whose policy is to invest principally but not exclusively in the technology sector within Europe. On 4 September 2020, the company made an investment in Acuity Risk Management Ltd, which operates an award winning software business specialising in risk management.