This year marks Rugged and Mobile’s 9th year in business and during this time we’ve tried our best to provide something different to the rugged, mobile data capture world. Judging from our superb client list, 1000’s of blog subscribers, our Twitter following nearing 6000 followers and our relentless stream of quick questions and help we give, I’d say we’ve made a success out of things!

Throughout our history we’ve innovated in so many areas

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses all over the world from small UK companies to some of the largest and best known global brands by selling the right rugged hardware. We brought brands like Bluebird, Dotel and Winmate to the UK market, supporting, nurturing and growing these brands, putting them on an equal footing with the incumbent brands. We created ruggedrescue.com allowing us to innovate on top of these brands by offering free 5 day end to end support done right here in Liverpool, making big enterprise support accessible to the smaller business.

Our embedded team have fabricated all kinds of bespoke cables, hand straps, cases, clips, holders and more on a variety of devices and we’ve provided these at great prices whilst providing a low bespoke QTY true to our agile manufacturing ethos. They also created loads of embedded IOT products, with our 3G capable NFC readers being our proudest moment.

We also provided a string of solid web and mobile software to many businesses and we’ve helped countless people, businesses and forums across the world through our blog, forums and twitter account.  I want to personally thank everyone there for the moments of interaction that made it all worth it for me and the team here.

All of this work has created a stable, profitable business that has sustained a number of UK jobs, apprenticeships, suppliers and more and we like to think we brought a ray of light and something different to the market we’re in. 9 years on and some awesome creative people have left me feeling extremely proud of the work we’ve done over the years. It has been one heck of a journey!

BUT …

We’ve become too diluted in what we do, with the hard work and effort we’re spending on other peoples brands simply not paying off for us any longer whether you take the financial or the happiness view on that. We’ve also turned into a business that’s no longer true to our core beliefs and we’ve grown into something we don’t want to be or enjoy doing any more. So with this in mind we’re doing the following:

  • We’re no longer reselling hardware so ruggedandmobile.com will cease to exist with immediate effect.
  • Rugged and Mobile will live on as our social platform where we continue to vent our passion for all things rugged and mobile!
  • We’ll be focussing on our own brand of devices both in the IOT and rugged mobile world where all of our effort and expertise can make a real difference.
  • ruggedrescue.com will live on as our repair, help and advice portal for existing clients with a new portal being built for our Raptor clients.

Questions

There will probably be a lot of questions so here’s some answer up front below:

What will happen to hardware support, will you still repair hardware?
The short answer is no, the long answer is that we are no longer buying parts for any “none-own-brand” so all repairs will be at our discretion, it is probable you’ll need to send it elsewhere from now on.

What about warranty covered support?
The above holds for anything under warranty with us too. You’ll be covered but you’ll need to use alternative repair centres for your cover.

I’ve got a 2 year service contract with you, what happens to me?
We’ll honour all service contracted customers. You’ll get the same service as you always had performed by us until it runs out. Repair services are business as usual in this case.  Most of our service based clients are Android based anyway and we’ll have some fabulous replacement devices for you when you come to refresh.

What about printers and barcode scanners?
We’re going to be selecting the brands of printers and supplemental hardware to our own brands in the near future. The same follows as the above.

What do I do if I need a few more accessories or devices, can I still come to you?

We have a stock clearance going on right now, everything is up for grabs and we’re taking offers on anything, brand new or ex-loan stock. Just ask if you need anything and if we have it you’ll get a great price!

When does this all come into effect?
Immediately. In fact we already made the changes and moved on.

Will you be downsizing your business at all? Are job losses on the cards?
Absolutely not. In fact we’re growing the core team here as we find our feet again and step forward into a new direction. Everyone who wanted to leave has done so amicably with a very nice goodbye and we’re all still friends.

Have you run out of money?
No, we’ve always run a tight ship, so we have never had to make any touch decisions. The decision was made because we all felt that if you don’t come into the business you built and feel right, then it’s time to change or leave.

I’m still not quite getting it? This all seems very unusual to me, can I talk to you more about it?
From the very beginning we’ve always been different and we don’t expect everyone to understand how we think. However at the same time we’ve always been very open and transparent talking about things as we go along.

We’re not going to dwell on the past, we’ve got work to do now, but if you’re someone who could use a great business story then you can stil talk to us at info@ruggedandmobile.com.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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