Eight years ago, the media was rife with tales of fraud, theft and generally unscrupulous behaviour in the home improvement industry. Recognising this, Simon Rosamond decided to build his own business, constructed on the principle of enabling consumers to select a service provider who has been pre-screened and monitored on every project performed. Thus, 1 Call ASAP was born. With 1 Call, customers have access to a national database of contractors in over 100 categories of home improvement, all of whom have proven track records, clean credit status and recent trade-related references. Simon points out that 1 Call services thousands of clients each month, following up from quotation punctuality to project completion. In this manner, he says, they are assured that only the best contractors remain on its panel, representing the 1 Call brand. In light of its core focus, the company regularly works with property maintenance companies, letting agents and insurance groups, and has the largest database of home improvement and maintenance contractors in South Africa. Moreover, he adds, since 1 Call blanket covers its contractors with an all-risk policy, it has good reason to ensure that it exercises the most stringent contractor joining criteria. Asked about the keys to success, he suggests that apart from its stringent joining criteria, the company is constantly evolving its customised Web-based administrative site, in order to maximise staff efficiency. But this is just the tip of the iceberg – within the next three years, he aims to see a call centre that has approximately 14 agents grow to one of 70 consultants, dealing with 15 000 consumer enquiries per month. Simon certainly believes this goal is attainable, mainly because his people are passionate about what they do, and his company stands for quality in what remains an otherwise unregulated market sector.