When the telecommunications giant NTL found that an aggressive programme of acquisitions had left it with a problem – many of its newly acquired subsidiaries had different billing systems – it came to the Independent Consultant Register for help. Founded in 1996 by Jonathan Smith, who dropped out of college before moving into the computer industry, the company provides systems integration for large concerns such as Lloyds TSB, Telewest and Thomson Holidays. Smith says he built the business by implementing solutions rather than waiting for clients to carry out its suggestions. ‘Our competitors – the big six management consultants – tend to be very good at strategy but not so good at delivery and support for clients,’ he says. ‘We aim to achieve a total solution.’ Sales have risen 181% a year from £574,500 in 1997 to £12.7m in 2000, when the company had 16 staff.
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