Today was what we call a big, freaking deal at Innovative. And for all the RIGHT reasons. First off, it was our very first, post-COVID in-person, all-hands company meeting. 🙌That means real-life friends and company-sponsored breakfast goodies 🍩 that tasted way better than whatever day-old muffins we’ve scrounged up in our kitchens the past year and a half. Secondly, our chief Innovator, Jason, announced not one, not two, but FIVE internal staff promotions! ❗ That’s right – this little two-person computer shop that started 20 years ago now how as a full-fledged management team of home-grown leaders. Pretty cool, huh? 😎
Innovative, The Community Foundation of Washington County and Family Healthcare of Hagerstown partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County (BGCWC) on a $122,355 technology overhaul at the BGCWC's four locations. The project will give the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County the necessary tools to work from home and more efficiently share digital information between locations; give the kids they serve reliable access to online learning and virtual activities; and maintain network security, information privacy, and children's online safety.
Copiers. You don’t want to think about what a headache they can be. They’re big. They’re expensive. And you don’t have to tell me how finicky they can be – I once worked in a basement where the copier jammed when it rained.
Working from home, some people love it, some people hate it, most of us have a love-hate relationship with it. On the one hand, you can roll out of bed and start your day. You can focus on your actual job without the distractions of your boss peering over your shoulder, that new employee’s constant questions, or Joe in accounting’s yacht rock playlist. No hard feelings, Joe – I too have the emergency Hall & Oates helpline on speed dial (call 719-26-OATES – you won’t regret it).
It feels like the list of potential cyberthreats to your business are never-ending. You put the basic safeguards in place: firewalls, password policies, anti-virus protections, and so on. Beyond that, your cyber risks are in the hands of fate. Sure, anything is possible, but other priorities need your time and attention. We get it. You're inundated with requests for resources. IT requests, specifically cybersecurity requests, always seem to play on your fears and come with a worst-case scenario story of a business just like yours that lost it all in an attack. As a leader, you're focused on growth and moving forward. You can't get hung up in every what-if scenario, or you'd never get anywhere. Making fear-based decisions makes you feel stagnant, like you're investing in maintaining the status quo when you'd prefer to invest in moving forward. You know cybersecurity is important, but so is everything that comes across your desk, and there are only so many resources to go around.
Family, education, and community are the primary themes of the legacy the Mellott family is building through their 100-year-old family business. But what exactly is Mellott Company? Mellott Company crushes it. No, really. That's what they do. Headquartered in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, Mellott builds, sells, and services rock crushing equipment worldwide. So...what does that mean? Look at your concrete sidewalk. That concrete started as giant rocks mined from a quarry and crushed down into gravel. That gravel, when mixed with some other ingredients, turns into your concrete sidewalk. In a nutshell, Mellott Company engineers, builds, repairs, and maintains the equipment that turns rocks into gravel. Cool, right? Even cooler, when you talk to Mellott Company employees, you're likely to hear more about training, education, and personal and professional development than you are about concrete and rocks. That's precisely what happened when I sat down to chat with Mellott's Chief Financial Officer, Mike Sappenfield.
It seems like some company is always trying to push you toward a new cybersecurity solution that your business just has to have to protect against data breaches and cyberattacks. You’ve already invested in cyber liability insurance, backup and disaster recovery solutions, anti-virus programs, and firewalls. At this point, it feels like new security products serve no other purpose than to profit from your worst fears of a cyberattack or data breach destroying your business. You’re right to avoid the snake oil salesman claiming his latest and greatest cybersecurity solution is everything you’ll ever need to protect your business from [ransomware, virus, or insert cyberthreat flavor of the month here]. That doesn’t change the fact that cyberthreats are very real and can cause severe damage to your business.
What do you think of when you think of an HVAC company? Quirky culture, modern technology, and participative leadership may not be the first things that come to mind. But those are the characteristics of McIntire HVAC that stood out after sitting down for coffee with Shelley McIntire, Owner/President/Heart of the Company, and Sarah Elwood, Creative Director. Bill McIntire, Co-Owner/Founder/Estimator, joined us in spirit while he was busy getting his crew up to speed for their morning job assignments (sorry, Bill, we'll make the next one a happy hour when you can join us 🍺).
Your business isn’t just like anyone else’s. So, why would you work with vendors who claim to help everyone? You’re not everyone. You have specific things you’re trying to accomplish. You might be expanding into a different market, researching new products and services, or preparing to downsize as you approach retirement. Your service providers must align with where you’re trying to go. They must help you get closer to that goal. Otherwise, what are you paying them for? Innovative is a managed service provider. We handle everything in your business that plugs into a network jack (or has a wireless connection) – that’s your servers, computers, phones, printers, and copiers. By that description, it sounds like most any business could be a great Innovative customer. But here’s the not-so-secret secret, anyone with some basic tech skills can install and troubleshoot computers, servers, phones, printers, and copiers (i.e., technology). Innovative’s value comes from helping businesses communicate better and generate more useful information (i.e., money-making information) with their technology. Long story short, it doesn’t make sense for you to hire us if technology can’t make a positive impact on your business and profitability.
Shopping for a laptop back in March was the virtual equivalent of battling other shoppers for the last Cabbage Patch Kid doll on Black Friday in the 80s. Laptop inventory was low to nonexistent, and if you did find one, you couldn’t be too picky about specs. You only had one choice for which you likely paid more than you anticipated.