Donegal company announces US expansion

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

Donegal company announces US expansion

Doreen McKeown, Enterprise Ireland; Sanjay Kalasa, President, Adashi Systems; Fionnuala Quinlan, Consul General of Ireland, Boston; Malachi Eastwood, CEO, Gartan Technologies.

Letterkenny IT company, Gartan Technologies, has announced a major expansion into markets in the USA and Canada after forming a new partnership with US firm, Adashi Systems, based in Baltimore.

The announcement was made in Boston by Gartan CEO Malachi Eastwood, who is in the USA this week as part of the Ireland Northwest Trade Mission. 

Mr Eastwood is also taking part in a multi-city promotional tour that includes New York and Philadelphia. He first visited the Boston area in March 2015 as part of the Donegal County Council’s trade links initiative.

Gartan Technologies specialise in rostering solutions for the Emergency Services sector and they already work with some of the largest Fire Departments in Ireland, the UK, Australia and Northern Europe.

Baltimore-based Adashi Systems, will act as resellers for Gartan solutions in the USA and Canada. The partnership between the firms is the culmination of two years hard work to find what Malachi Eastwood describes as, ‘the perfect partner.’

“A business relationship is like any other relationship. The very best partnerships work when the participants share a similar view of the world, so to speak. Adashi are like us in that they’re a very customer focused organisation. The client is at the epicentre of everything they do. Our companies share the same values and we share a determination to innovate and to bring genuine value to the sector.”

Donegal firm Gartan, know all about the challenges of breaking into new overseas markets. They have worked in the UK since 2007 and in 2014 they moved into Australia. 

Most recently, they were awarded a contract by Copenhagen Fire Department which was their first breakthough into mainland Europe. 

There were challenges involved in breaking into all of those markets and the company took their experience of the last 10 years and applied it to their US project.

“The US market is massive. It’s so vast and it just wouldn’t have been practical for us to manage the sales, system deployment and support processes in the US in the same way we do in, say, the UK or Australia. Ironically, distance is not actually the main issue. When it comes to North America there are tens of thousands of Fire Departments and that’s what makes it truly unique. In the UK, for example, there are 70 departments.”

Gartan’s partnership with Adashi, is now set to help the Letterkenny firm gain a foothold in the North American market.

“We first met Adashi through a shared client in Sydney. They’re in the software development business and they’re in the Fire Department sector, too. They already have a big presence in North America. Our respective solutions complement each other very well and they will now leverage their position in the US and Canada to sell and support our solutions.”

The expansion into the USA and Canada is a timely one for Gartan who have been working with Fire Departments for over 20 years.

The company moved into the UK in 2007 and in 2013 began a programme of expansion to leverage their growing positive reputation within the sector. 

They started with Australia and then spent two years focusing on mainland Europe and the US. The timing of their latest expansions has coincided with Brexit and the importance of that has not gone unnoticed.

“We do a lot of business in the UK and there’s no doubt that Brexit will be a challenge. That said, our job is to build a robust, sustainable business and our partnership with Adashi means we’re now operating on three continents and in four separate currency areas. That, of course, reduces the risk of being overexposed to one marketplace but it also helps manage the impact of currency fluctuations.

In 2013 we appointed a Chief Operations Officer and that helped give us the space to start a strategic market expansion. We sat down with the staff that year, too, and explained our thinking behind the strategy. They immediately bought into it and that was even more crucial because you need a supportive team behind you to make any plan work and our guys have been fantastic,” Malachi Eastwood added.

Gartan has an office in Sydney which focuses on business development and client support in Australia and they plan to open a similar facility in the US. 

The company’s product development teams and the bulk of their support operation will continue to operate out of Letterkenny.