Santa Rosa computer hardware company finds a niche to court small businesses
Customer frustration over the phone with a Big Tech company has since been withheld for a long time and is universal.
A man in Sonoma County has turned that frustrating business venture into a lucrative business venture that is currently meeting the unmet needs of information technology providers across the country.
For David Cook, frustration occurred in a 2016 call with Dell trying to complete a computer order while working for TeamLogic IT, a Santa Rosa computer support and information technology services company for small businesses. did.
“In the middle of the call,” This is crazy. I need a better way to do this. “I clearly remember telling myself that this was the crazyest thing,” Cook said. “… I’m just trying to order a computer, and it’s like I was trying to land a ship on the moon.”
Cook’s heart is that large computer hardware providers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo aren’t meeting the needs of small businesses and are wasting headaches and time on the phone to order and repair. It’s a painstaking phone call.
Cook later left Team Logic and took a year off, but the idea of building a better technology mousetrap remained in his mind. So in 2017 he started his own company called Carbon Systems. The company sells computers to information technology support companies that serve small businesses.
In three years, Carbon Systems has grown to generate approximately $ 3 million in revenue with six employees. With the growing demand for his services across borders, Santa Rosa plans to open in Canada, where it will serve its clients.
“Big guys, they want to work with businesses. They want to trade $ 100,000. They don’t want to order $ 50,000 or $ 10,000. They want big ones.” Cook said.
Steve Hinch, a local tech veteran who owned the Team Logic business when Cook worked there, was impressed by his ex-colleagues’ continued focus on their original business plans while driving growth. Said that.
“I think he has the opportunity to grow his business quite a bit. He really just touched the boundaries of potential market opportunities,” said Hinch, and Carbon Systems eventually entered Europe. He said he was watching to do.
Carbon Systems does not manufacture the computers for sale, but the suppliers. According to Cook, this method was easier than buying in bulk from Dell or HP and reselling the hardware. Then you will encounter the same obstacles you encountered in Team Logic.
It was not easy for Cook to start his business. He was constantly looking for a hardware supplier. Originally from northern New York, he spent his money on ventures and didn’t have to borrow investors or bank loans, so he didn’t immediately put pressure on results.
“I was wearing shoelaces. It was like hand-to-mouth. When I ordered 10 computers, they were out of stock,” Cook says. “I grew it from there.”
Carbon Systems eventually partnered with Intel to buy and resell desktop products in bulk. Carbon has a small barebone computer called the Next Unit of Computing, known as the NUC. The unit is made in China and Cook’s company customizes computer hardware with support software for sale to clients. Carbon has a Santa Rosa warehouse where you can ship completed orders to your customers.
“I make it very easy for them to get a computer, get it to a customer, and where to replace it if there is a problem,” Cook said.
According to his customers, that customer service has been the key to Cook’s success so far.
Carbon Systems has a limited product line, which simplifies the purchase and repair of items and simplifies the entire purchasing process.
Santa Rosa’s hardware provider has three desktop versions and two laptop models, Praul said. Its narrow product menu makes it easy for Praul’s clients to order and saves at least 1,000 hours of work per year at his company. He compared the simplicity of ordering from Carbon Systems with the simplicity of In-N-Out Burger’s exclusive menu.
“Let’s say I’m selling an HP desktop and it could be out of that model in a week,” Praul said. “I have to choose from different models, so the next thing I know is that I got five different models of computers for my clients, which is five times more than using one. It’s complexity. “
Cook’s former employer is also currently doing business with him. Todd Tory, who took over the location of Team Logic in Santa Rosa after Hinch sold the business, said he appreciates Carbon Systems for its quick turnaround and good warranty policy.
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