Cutting Room: Shebang insight


Shebang has been clever. It laid its foundation with its EPOS software innovation, Sellfone 3G, more than five years go, and has grown organically and steadily since, until its late surge last year when it secured the Tesco account from 20:20.

Now, it has genuine scale, and the kind of differentiated offering that will on occasion give unsteady incumbents a fright.

It has run in parallel with a straightforward dealership operation too, Go Mobile.

The Tesco win saw boss Iain Humphrey inclined to concentrate wholly on distribution, and he sold Go Mobile to JAG last year.

JAG’s failure to run Go Mobile profitably is down to a nasty mixture of economic decline, twitchy VAT men and the logistical headache of running a Midlands chain from Perranporth – or the Isle of Wight.

But Go Mobile has picked up again, under the watchful eye of Humphrey and his ‘wall’ board. And its original purpose, as testbed for its more innovative flights, has returned.

So Humphrey is pursuing a programme to eradicate the long-winded process of taking identity proofs from customers by integrating an automated verification with credit-checking company Equifax.

It is another clear indication Humphrey understands independent retail. Because he does, Shebang does. Which for a supplier of any kind is rare. Most are struggling to properly convince their customers they have gone beyond box shifting.