Strategic Growth: Louisville Geek
Growth within Investment Answers has always been a very organic, natural evolution. We realized expanding our headquarters was inevitable, and we had patiently saved and searched for quite a few years, looking for the right location, time and supporting team before we moved into our new office in Bailey Office Park at 4205 Springhurst Blvd.
Change is never easy, so having a strong supporting team is important during times of change. When we serve our clients, we strive to provide Quality in Service, Goods and Staff, and that’s how we measure success in our team. We don’t expect perfection from our internal and external teams—we expect integrity, dependable quality and service in times of need.
One of our partners who strongly lives out our core values is Louisville Geek. They were certainly the first vendor that we contacted when we foresaw our expansion and upcoming move.
We knew Bobby Bailey, one of the Louisville Geek’s founders, from college. We started our professional relationship with Louisville Geek several year ago, when it came time to upgrade our Information Technology (IT) department. We called Bobby because Louisville Geek is a locally-owned IT company and we knew they would have the resources available to support us as we continued to thrive and grow.
Bob and Katie Bailey
Bobby referred us to another of the company’s founders, Erik Eckel, to serve as our lead Project Manager. Erik is a great guy who knows everyone, and he’s a fantastic storyteller, usually including some type of a flight metaphor.
Erik Eckel, MCSE, our Project Manager
It would be difficult to propose a situation to Erik in the IT field that he hasn’t encountered before. He’s an insightful member of our team, and we’re blessed to be able to rely on his expertise. Erik developed the IT systems for our original office and our new headquarters. His professional writings were also the foundation for our IT Best Practices policies while we were building our own Team Training Manuals.
One of the things that we really appreciate about Louisville Geek was that they prioritized being available if and when we have any technology challenges—or if we had goals for growth in our Technology and Security departments. Jack Wallen is the tech that usually remotes into our computer during such challenges.
I remember a few years back we were on the road and found ourselves with a new PowerPoint presentation and a broken USB port. Jack was able to remote into our computers and find a timely solution before a large presentation. When the presentation went off without a hitch, we certainly were grateful we had chosen Louisville Geek as our IT support.
Of course, Jack isn’t the only tech that has worked with us. There have been many long days over the years, with one of their techs lobbying on the phone for hours with phone and cable vendors. We’ve had the two Joes of Louisville Geek, Joe Conrad and Joe Sloan, each smooshed in our old, tiny filing/tech room, getting us back up and running after horrible storms had knocked out the power.
Chris Niçaise, our System Administrator, was also hazed into Investment Answers after a bad storm a few years back, when he rescued us from Internet purgatory while wedged between two filing cabinets. When you think about the ice storms and tornadoes our region has suffered in the past five years, you can see why having a top-notch IT department is so important.
In fact, one of the major pieces of advice I give as an Operations leader in our industry is to have a great IT department—and to treat them well. Your IT team is an enormous front-line defense for your company. They’re also a force that moves your company forward. It has always been very easy for me, as Chief Operations Officer, to introduce new tech systems because Louisville Geek prioritizes finding solutions and teaching the proper usage of equipment. For example, they’ve helped us build a virtual, mobile office so we’re always accessible to our clients, even if we’re on the road.
Our technology needs have grown over the years, from a relatively straightforward network to a much more sophisticated system. Louisville Geek has been with us every step of the way, from minor fixes to major projects like our new phone system install.
As we moved into the new office, I was surprised to find that Louisville Geek would be a huge part of the install for our cabling, pre-drywall. It never occurred to me how intricately phones are tied into technology systems now.
Another Louisville Geek founder, Jeff Emonz, is our lead Systems Engineer. Jeff was an integral part of our phone planning process and pre-drywall installation. Jeff and Erik helped me find another fantastic, locally-owned vendor, Unified Technologies, to get us high-quality, dependable phone equipment with ongoing, high-quality service. (Read our Unified Technologies blog post here to hear more about how Jeff and Erik used networking and referrals to help us find a phone system solution.)
Derek Warfield, our Infrastructure Engineer, installed all of the cabling for internet and phones for the entire 2,200-sq-ft office.
Selecting a phone system and planning the installation was a huge project which is part of the foundation for all of our future satellite offices. I think anyone who is familiar with how I run Operations knows that I tend to be overly analytical, tedious in my research, thorough in my questions and analyses and trusting when my team moves forward.
That’s why having a strong team is so important to me as a team leader. Once I make a final decision for our infrastructure, I find that I don’t have to second guess my team because I am absolutely confident in the plan we have chosen and in the quality of its implementation. I think that in the planning stages, it’s also important to have realistic expectations for the end result and the longevity of the technology—and to be flexible enough to learn the technology and allow it to work for you.
Throughout our growth and expansion over the years, we have used Louisville Geek as an asset for our company. We appreciate the advances they have made for us and the opportunities they will bring us in the future through new technologies and their quality of support. We feel extremely confident that we have a strong infrastructure and supporting team which we can rely on as we continue to grow.
We highly recommend them for your company. You’re building a long-term relationship with your IT department, so choose wisely and treat them well.
You can contact Louisville Geek at www.LouisvilleGeek.com.