The Experience in the Room – Gordon Smith, GVD

IMI’s new The Experience in the Room series will see us hearing from current participants about their own experience and the development journey they are undertaking at IMI.  This week we spoke to Gordon Smyth, Managing Director of GVD, an Irish technology and distribution company operating in the UK and Ireland.  He is currently doing a Diploma in Business Finance at IMI.

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Tell us about your day job

I’m the Managing Director of a small company setup in 2003. We sell & support IP technology – providing integrated video management software and hardware to security installers and system integrators. We consider ourselves a value added distributor.

It’s a small company – just 9 people.  So in my role I do a bit of everything – sales, management, finance… One of the challenges is the balance between being involved in everything and taking a leading role in the business. 

How is the development you’re doing at IMI relevant to you?

I want to get direction on how we might grow and scale. For us that could mean either in terms of positioning ourselves to be acquired or acquiring other companies ourselves.  So I’m eager to get to know how to put value on what an investor or a bank would see. That means looking at our own Business Plan structure and seeing things from the point of view of an investor or a potential merger partner. It’s about the ability to articulate value, really.

Also, I don’t have a financial background and I want to understand how we should be structured financially – for example – should we be more leveraged to take risks?

In the short term, we can grow by driving profitability and by doing things smarter. That’s going to mean being operationally clever – doing things with technology, automated procedures, in other words increasing our own revenue through the use of the right software! For the longer term however I have a lot of different ideas about what our future is going to look like.   I want to feel at the end of the day that I can go with my gut feeling, but that I have also applied logic to making the important decisions.

What’s are you excited about currently in your industry?

There two main interesting things happening… more and more your security system, phone system, videos, alarm are likely to be on the one network. That means you can manage them with just one piece of software. At the same time that software is getting better at spotting things intelligently – that means alerting you if something out of the ordinary is happening on your monitors before you may have even noticed it yourself. So overall there’s an increase in the intelligence of these systems – in their alertness and visibility.

The security industry has been slower to take advantage of the benefits of this type of software than other industries. Much of this is down to a skills mismatch. But we’re seeing a really growing interest in people taking advantage of what the software can do for them. We’ve even developed training courses to bridge the gap.

So while around 30% of security companies are using this software now.. in ten years they all will be. What this means for us opportunities. I want to be ready to spot them.

Read more posts from The Experience in the Room or on technology.  

For more information on the Diploma in Business Finance click here or speak to one of our programme advisors on programmeadvisors@imi.ie or 1800 22 33 88. 

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