A legacy created, a future defined

The team at ACS have been inspiring businesses across Northampton and beyond for over 30 years. As workplace behaviour evolves and adapts to the challenges of the future; so too does ACS.

After nearly three decades at the helm, Joint Managing Partner; John Harley is ready to step into his new role as Chairman and hand over the reins to Jon Thorpe, who has been working closely with John since its inception.

John’s dedication to the business community and insightful approach to changes in technology has paved the way for a wealth of business leaders to follow in his footsteps.

Michael Harley; Workplace Director, and Stephen Harley; Pre-Sales Director are continuing their father’s legacy by taking Board positions. Joining them will be fellow ACS dream-team member, Chief Information and Security Officer; Mark Andrews.

With over 40 years ACS experience between them, there is no doubt that the business will flourish, continuing to embrace digital transformation.

The executive team have been diligently working over the last year to prepare the business for a smooth transition, given that Interiors Director, Gordon Howe will also be stepping down at the end of the year.

With the future secure, we look back at the legacy. A former typewriter technician, John was quick to understand the power of the word processor. In ’95, ACS was born through John Harley and Jon Thorpe’s vision to adapt to the coming technology revolution. They are both incredibly proud to still deal with some of those original customers, which includes Kettering General Hospital.

Since then, ACS have gone from strength to strength and have continued to foster incredible working relationships; for example, after Northampton suffered from flash flooding in April ’98, John (not afraid to get his hands dirty) went door-to-door across the area, to help businesses get back up on their feet and many of those customers are still working with ACS 20 years on.

“ACS has a particular DNA, it’s not my DNA though… It’s the environment, it’s the people that create it and make it what it is. They will be what I miss most; the people, my extended family”

Over the last 25 years, John has clearly invested his heart and soul into ACS and this is apparent in what he believes are ACS’ major turning points. From employing their first external staff as well as making a profit in their first year to purchasing ACS House in 2000 or saying goodbye to their first retiring employee. The vibrant nature of the business is a continuous source of joy for its leadership team; leading fresh faces and watching them mature into career driven professionals who, over the last quarter-century, have banded together to build a business that has been profitable every year since it launched.

It is obvious that John will leave a clear legacy that will be upheld by his executive team.

“I’ve seen the fax machine come and go and the dawn of virtual reality.

Who knows where the next 25 years will take us!”