My company was founded by my dad way back in 1983. I was just a kid then, begging for an Apple IIe so I could play games at home.
After enough pestering, dad finally obliged. He took us to the local Inacomp store, which was the place to get an Apple in town, and it was a mess. My parents waited for almost an hour and left. No one was even able to help them as the store was packed and the wait was so long. My parents saw folks putting down deposits on $3000 computers that they were not even going to see for 6 weeks because they were backordered. (and that’s $3,000 in 1983 dollars… adjust for inflation and the figure works out to over $7,000 today).
Instead of just taking that experience as just a frustrating couple hours and moving on, dad saw it as a golden opportunity. The economics of the situation were simple: demand for computers was soaring, and at the time in our town supply was thin.
So he opened up a computer store, and I got my first job in the backroom.
We noticed another fantastic opportunity when our customers kept complaining about the limited computer repair options in town, so we started servicing our computers in addition to selling them.
That was just the first of many changes we’ve made over the years. Taking a reactive approach with our repairs allowed us to rack up a lot of profits… but those profits came at the expense of our customers.
It was a win-lose situation: we were winning, and our clients were losing. The financial rewards we were reaping were great, but at what cost?
To transition to a more proactive, customer-centric model (of course, this wasn’t an entirely altruistic move: it’s always good for business to keep your clients happy), we introduced an all-you-can-eat style business model. We started providing all the on-site services our clients needed, plus access to a help desk line, for one monthly flat rate.
Despite being one of the older IT companies around, we also have proved to be one of the most adaptable to change in the industry. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen so many fads come and go over the 30+ years, but whatever it is we seem to be able to tell which new pieces of tech are actually worth investing in before our competitors are willing to commit.
For example, we were one of the first providers in the Detroit area to recognize just how big the cloud would become. We urged our clients to virtualize their servers before that was obvious advice to give, and they’ve been enjoying the competitive advantage of the cloud for years while many of their competitors didn’t migrate until recently.
Oh, and our help desk line is now open 24/7. Whether you need us at 2 PM or 2 AM, we’ll be there for you.
We’re always changing and always striving to help in any way possible, whether that means expanding our services or adopting new technology or whatever else. The level of commitment we afford to our clients is the only thing we’re not prepared to change.