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Revenge of the Nerds

01 Oct 2006

Hawkes Bay-based Need a Nerd is out to change the stereotypical techie image. General manager Adam Dunkerley says his Nerds have people skills, their pants don’t sit below their armpits, they don’t own a pocket protector, they laugh without snorting and they bathe daily.

When was Need a Nerd established and why?Need A Nerd was established in Oct 2004 to fill the void for a nationwide technical support service brand targeting residential and small to medium business customers.  You have Hire A Hubby, Green Acres and now Need A Nerd.

How large is your team?We have eight fulltime staff; five Nerds (technicians) and a help support centre providing basic technology advice and supporting the nerds.

What expansion plans does the company have?Need A Nerd is focused on being nationwide in two-three years and plans to achieve this growth by refining its business model, creating strategic relationships, implementing its recruitment strategy and developing supporting operational systems. In preparation for this we’ve re-branded and undertaken supplier arrangements and alliance with internet and mobile telco companies Slingshot and Vodafone.

What are your key business areas?We support, set-up, and sell computers, mobile communication, internet, and home entertainment systems at the customer’s home or business.

How are you going about changing the nerd stereotype? We employ technicians with people skills and a sense of humour.  Plus our marketing material always has the fun factor.  For example our service guarantee includes us performing 10 press-ups if we under deliver and you know how good nerds are at press-ups.How have your vendor relationships worked out?Having the ability to offer comprehensive communication solutions to our customers is essential for the future.  Our customers are now becoming aware that we offer these services and the sales are starting to come.

Who are your customers and what are their business needs?Our customers are residential households and SMEs.  Mostly our customers are just after reactive fault support and advice.  We wish to change that so we’re working on providing proactive technical solutions that enhance their business IT infrastructure or techie experience.

What are the hot technologies right now?Mobile communications in particular PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) phones and mobile internet capable phones.  These both give the ability to provide access to server-based information in a remote environment.

What technology is yet to really take off here?Getting the best functionality out of PDA cell phones.

What’s dropped off?Wired networks with the introduction of wireless.

What challenges do you face operating outside a major city?Attending training.

Do any of the Nerds possess a brown cardigan?The brown cardigans have been put away since spring is here.  The Nerds are very excited as they now can pull out their socks & sandals and their favourite pair of tight tan Stubbies!

What’s the best thing about your location?You mean other than the weather? Hawkes Bay and Tauranga are great regions to build positive relationships with our customers.  Business networking and great service creates excellent word of mouth around the regions – this creates referral customers.