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Midlands communications innovators set out vision after key move and management buy-out

L-R: Kalamazoo IT Managing Director Rod Taylor and Financial Controller Lydia Morton.

An historic IT company has rebranded to its original name and invested in a new Oldbury HQ to underpin an ambitious future after a management buy-out.

Kalamazoo IT has invested in a new HQ following its joint acquisition by its managing director in a bid to build on its 133-year track record and open important new markets.

Formerly known as ITS, Kalamazoo IT is looking forward to opportunities made possible by a region ‘on the up’ after moving into Wharfside Business Park in Oldbury.

Employing more than 65 team members across its skilled departments, Kalamazoo is celebrating its new headquarters, accommodating staff, stores and a repair workshop. This new environment has allowed growth while remaining in the city, close to their beloved Birmingham roots, in a location close to the motorway  network and previous premises to help retain staff.

As pioneers of communication, the company was founded in 1886 and evolved as the first IT business in Birmingham standing tall against Cadburys and Austin as a leading local business.

It was later named Kalamazoo after the Michigan city visited by the company’s founders in 1890

From the heart of Birmingham it built a global reputation as a trusted printing company and helped cement the region’s standing as a booming hub of industry. The company was first opened as a printing company, started by Oliver Morland and local Quaker businessman F Paul Impey

With a strong family and Quaker presence, it was also known for its excellent staff retention, benefits and morale. Kalamazoo diversified almost a century later as a leading computer manufacturer before scaling back operations in the early 2000s.

Now an exciting new chapter is beginning for Kalamazoo after a return to the West Midlands with services covering the whole of the UK.

In addition to its West Midlands HQ, the company has nine hubs across the UK and field IT engineers stationed from Glasgow to Crawley.

Managing Director Rod Taylor, who is a partner in the buy-out, said: “Kalamazoo IT has thrived over the years through their reputation to deliver great service – something still paramount today.”

Following the acquisition of the business we needed to source our own premises that accommodated staff, stores and repair workshop in the Midlands.

“We want to leverage the name Kalamazoo which has a long heritage and history in the Midlands.

“That means part of our strategy is to target customers in the Midlands as a local provider with nationwide capability.

“Being local enables us to provide effective critical IT related services to Midlands-based organisations of differing sizes enabling them to stay connected and operational serving their customers. We are always looking for new customers as part of our growth aspirations and to help them grow which in turn provides job security for the local community.

“We have also joined up with St Basil’s which is a local charity helping young homeless people. We’re looking to support St Basil’s in their cause with our employees getting involved in some of their events to raise awareness and funds.

“Our core services are traditional hardware break-fix services supported by our nationwide field services and innovative workshop.

“Oldbury will also be home to our managed IT services helpdesk along with managed cyber security, continuity and cloud business solutions.

Rod added: “I have worked in the Midlands for the last 25 years and in that time it has seen lots of change and investment into the infrastructure and facilities.

“Businesses that were traditionally in the South have relocated and with the Commonwealth games coming to Birmingham next year Coventry being named as European City of Culture 2021, it’s a region on the up – one we are proud to serve and where there will be lots of opportunity. The advent of the HS2 also means this is a great location and timing for us.”

“We rebranded to Kalamazoo from ITS as the name is recognisable and everyone I talk to –clients, new clients, suppliers and friends has a story to tell. It’s already opening doors for us and is a brilliant conversation starter. I’m proud of the brand and the marketing we have undertaken in such a short period of time.

“Following an acquisition there comes a period of change. For us now, it’s about stability; we’re aiming for substantial growth as well as the retention of our established client base.”