Animation company has designs on expansion

A North East digital animation company has designs on further expansion, after taking part in a scheme aiming at spotting and exploiting business opportunities

Dominic Lusardi, left, and Sam Harrison, from Animmersion UK Ltd
Dominic Lusardi, left, and Sam Harrison, from Animmersion UK Ltd

Animmersion, a Teesside-based visualisation business, has enjoyed significant growth since signing up to the Interim Sales Director (ISD) Programme, a mentoring scheme accessed via DigitalCity Business and the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC)

The programme sees sales and marketing expert David Anderson work closely with businesses across the region to undertake detailed reviews of current company performance and to make recommendations on how to improve or diversify to unlock potential.

Anderson worked with Animmersion owners Dominic Lusardi and Sam Harrison to help them develop their sales plans, segment their markets and begin to put into place a solid growth plan that built upon the business’ strengths and track record.

Through the ISD Programme, Animmersion has identified a number of market specialisms, allowing the team to present its services with greater clarity and client focus.

Lusardi and Harrison have also enhanced their ability to monitor sales and production activity and clarified account management and key personnel activity roles to streamline business development.

The company, based at Middlesbrough’s Boho building, produces animations and interactives for marketing and training, as well as customer-facing products like interactive manuals for touch screen devices.

Lusardi and Harrison set it up seven years ago after studying together for a visualisation degree at Teesside University. The business has enjoyed 50 per cent year-on-year growth over the last three years, and has seen its team expand from four to 12 since 2010.

Lusardi said: “The ISD Programme encouraged an increase in the Animmersion team’s overall confidence in terms of selling our own services.

“Confidence is absolutely priceless whenever a business is selling its products or services, and that’s one of the main things we were able to take from the programme.

“Improvements made to the way we manage our customers’ journey have been incredibly helpful in ensuring that we’ve retained clients.

“As a business, we’re now much more customer focused, which in turn increased overall annual turnover. The programme is not about quick wins – it’s about creating a long term strategy to encourage growth. The results, for us, have been invaluable.”

As well as introducing improved sales techniques, the ISD Programme helped to identify opportunities for Animmersion in the healthcare sector. The business has also landed a lucrative contract with US based Vortex Valves, which, along with other contract wins, has allowed to take on two new recruits.

It is also seeing growth in the oil and gas sector, where animation is used to articulate complex concepts.

Anderson said: “Often, it takes someone from outside of a business to go in and really take a critical look at where the gaps are in a business’ sales strategy and what can be done to improve it. The ISD Programme does just this.”

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