What Evolution Looks Like: CI Profile of IMS Technology Services

With tough times visible in the rearview mirror, IMS Technology Services successfully reinvented itself and continues to do so.

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Things have been great lately for IMS Technology Services. After landing on the Inc. 5000 in 2012 and 2013, it’s poised to bring in its most revenue ever ($16.5 million) in 2014.

Co-founders John and Jill Renninger aren’t likely to sit back, however. For them, a period in September 2001 when the company went three or four weeks without any work and wondering what they could do to make it to the other side doesn’t feel like that long ago.

“There was never a question we’d be continuing,” says Jill. Still, it was at that point when IMS did something that is often challenging for integration firms. It changed — a lot — in a relatively short period of time.

It was at that point in 2001 when the company went from a wholesale rental house to local event staging. Today, the company offers integration, managed services and event staging.

Related: IMS Technology Services is Industry Leader in Corporate, Higher Ed Markets

What continues to set IMS Technology Services apart from other integration firms in 2014, however, is its ability to recognize areas in which it needs to change and commit to doing them as well as or better than anyone else.

Evolving in Tough Times

While many of their competitors fell by the wayside or struggled during the most recent economic recession, IMS grew 77 percent in those years and found itself gaining national and international acclaim, including those Inc. 5000 lists.

IMS Technology Services
Location: Garnet Valley, Pa.
Principals: Jill Renninger, president; John Renninger, principal; Patrick Britton, VP of sales and marketing; Keith Moss, director of engineering; Michael Shinn, operations manager
Years in Business: 19
Employees: 62
2013 Revenues: $13,500,000
2014 Projected Revenue: $16,500,000
# Commercial Installs in the Last Year: 174
Top 3 Markets: Corporate, Higher Education, K-12 Education
Top 5 Brands: Crestron, Panasonic, Haivision, Biamp, Milestone (Chief/Da-Lite)

“We did this by focusing on quality, high-ROI solutions for our clients and opening new markets,” including going national on event staging and systems integration, says John.

For the past several years, the company has invested more time, money and energy on expanding its IT offerings. That includes solutions that feature video streaming, digital signage, video conferencing and collaboration.

The name IMS Technology Services is relatively new — 2012 — and the result of its shift toward AV-IT convergence. The company was launched as Integrated Marketing Services.

“There’s a focus on driving relationships with customers,” says John. “You always need to look at something new and innovative, but something that works. You can’t survive today on standard conference rooms. AV-IT convergence is here and we are constantly expanding our personnel, training, expertise and experience to support a sustained AV-IT model in our industry.”

One area where IMS has plenty of room to grow is through its recurring revenue offerings, which encompass about 5 to 8 percent of the company’s annual revenues. To that end, the company is relaunching its managed services department.

“We’d like to see that be a lot bigger,” says John. “We’ve dabbled in it based on customer requests so far, but we’d like to see it get to 10, 20, 30 percent.”

IMS is aiming to offer solutions that manage their clients’ networks “because that is where the entire industry is charging forward full steam ahead,” says John.

That includes working on production services for video campaigns and audio in the cloud; AV design services; and owning content for installed systems such as streaming, digital signage and collaboration, says operations manager Michael Shinn.

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