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Member Interview: Richard Latimer, Jam Crackers – Keeping a Constant Eye on Your IT

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 02 Oct 2023

At Leighton Buzzard-based Jam Crackers, the team understands that IT is a critical business tool, and that businesses shouldn’t have to worry about how it works – just that it does.

In fact, the business was named – by CEO Richard Latimer’s brother and co-founder – with exactly this objective in mind: “If your IT’s in a jam, we’ll crack it.”

That was back in 2011, and since then the business has grown to become not only a successful Bedfordshire IT managed services company, but one with an impressive international dimension, as it also has a development base in the Netherlands.

We spoke to Richard to find out more about the business and why it matters, and to understand how his membership of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce has supported its growth.

Always-on protection

Downtime equals disruption, so Jam Crackers offers managed service contracts that are focused on keeping customers’ IT networks healthy 24/7/365, and proactively heading off any issues at the pass.

The company constantly remotely monitors customers’ IT systems, detecting and remedying faults, installing critical updates and patches, and maintaining watchful, robust cyber security and backup to keep operations and data safe.

“We install and support everything from Microsoft 365, to data backup and cyber security applications, to managed print solutions,” he explains, “mainly for customers in the construction sector, but also accountancy finance, and others.”

“The managed service approach is much more secure than a traditional break-fix IT contract,” he clarifies, “which, by definition, is only triggered when a problem is already causing the business harm!”

“With managed service contracts for both cloud and on-premise IT applications, we ensure our customers’ networks are protected all the time, which means their business is protected all the time too.”

And if customers need a specific software solution building from scratch for any purpose – a customer relationship management system, for example – Richard’s developers can do this for them and roll it into the managed service contract.

Outstanding service: the differentiator

Nonetheless, support calls and emails are a fact of life in IT services, and Richard resolved to differentiate  his business from day one by offering superlative levels of support and customer service.

“Customers simply call us when they’ve got a problem,” he says, “and they get through to someone with genuine expertise, because we have first-, second-, and third-line technical support in-house.”

“Our average response time to an emailed support enquiry is just nine minutes.”

Critically, Richard’s team also understands that support enquiries come typically from individuals whose core activity is running a business, not articulating IT problems.

“Sometimes, the customer can’t even explain what the issue is,” Richard says. “They just know something’s up – but that’s fine, because through a remote support session, we can see exactly what they’re seeing, find the problem, and, like the name says, crack it!”

Where the Chamber adds value

Richard describes his contacts at the Chamber as “good people and good friends”, and he says that both the advice and business resources the Chamber has provided have been “valuable”, and have “helped us learn more, and grow.”

“Justin, Paula, and the team there are helpful and proactive,” he continues. “We’ve exhibited at a number of Chamber events, participated in the Meet the Buyer programme, and built important relationships through the many other networking opportunities the  Chamber offers.”

And eleven  years on, it’s fair to say that Richard has built a truly cracking business.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of Chamber membership, call us on (01582) 522448.

Topics: member interview

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