Quorum Information Systems adding new hands for further growth

Posted on May 13, 2021 | Ashley Fitzpatrick | 0 Comments

More than 100 people are currently working for Quorum Information Systems in St. John’s and it’s expected the company will add a few more in short order. The new hires come after an injection of $500,000 in repayable federal funds, to aid in continued growth.

Quorum specializes in software and what is essentially an enterprise resource planning (ERP) product for vehicle dealerships, including – as the pitch goes – a one-stop office suite designed to replace the many, different platforms a given dealership may rely on to cover everything from accounting to inventory to sales (think along the lines of Microsoft Office being an umbrella bundling software like Excel, Word, Powerpoint).

Quorum started with a core concept and small team, but its product offerings and staff have grown both organically and through a series of more recent acquisitions.

“Having completed three acquisitions in the last four years, Quorum now delivers its products to over 1,100 North American automotive dealerships and 30 per cent of Canadian franchised dealerships have at least one Quorum product installed in their dealership,” noted president and CEO Maury Marks in a statement this week.

Curious dealerships typically start with a single product from the software suite, per company presentations, adding more as they see value coming through. Quorum’s acquisitions – including Alberta-based Autovance in 2017, offering a retail platform and New Brunswick-based DealerMine in 2018, with its customer service system – have added new options to support Quorum’s SaaS (software as a service) business.

“The automotive technology space is enormous,” chief financial officer Marilyn Bown told Atlantic Business Magazine of the potential for yet more acquisitions.

Bown and Marks have led merger and acquisition (M&A) work to date, investigating outside companies, their services and M&A potential. But with so many technology companies out there, they decided it was time to establish a tight team that could chase what is available and becoming available and explore M&A potential.

“We’re looking for those products that will fit well with what we offer,” Bown said.

The interest-free government loan comes through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s “regional economic growth through innovation” (REGI) program. It is expected to support three new positions, helping to make the new M&A team a reality.

Quorum Information Systems’ St. John’s office is fundamental to Quorum’s product development and customer support. Its parent company, Calgary-based Quorum Information Technologies, trades as QIS on the TSX Venture Exchange.

At the end of 2020, the parent company reported $30.9 million in total revenue, including $22.1 million from the SaaS business. It was a six per cent decrease in revenue year-over-year, but included a combined $1.8-million in discounts to dealerships, covering the period as the COVID pandemic led to waves of temporary shut downs to meet public health requirements.

In April 2021, Quorum Information Technologies reported a market cap of $92 million and enterprise value of $96 million. The company is due to release Q1 results after close on May 26, with an investor call to follow and details available on the company site. •

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