Case Study: GAVCO Furniture

Sustainable Furniture Manufacturer Leverages Technology to Grow Business

Manufacturing Company Boost Productivity with Managed IT Support

Challenge

Colin Martin, owner of GAVCO Furniture, a Kent, Washington office furniture manufacturer, contacted SWAT to determine how to grow his business even more than it already had.

GAVCO already was a successful American manufacturing company business by the time Martin contacted SWAT. It was started in 1984 in a barn with a single product: a student desk. Over the past 35+ years since, the business expanded to produce furniture across a full spectrum of business segments while consciously and continuously diminishing the impact of their business on the environment.

The SWAT team met with Martin to assess GAVCO's needs. As we do with all potential clients, we went through a series of checkpoints to secure, manage and protect their network. “We looked at the functionality of the business and its vulnerabilities and came up with an overview of what is involved in the whole process,” said Jason Hagens, SWAT Systems CEO.

Martin told SWAT what he wanted to accomplish and SWAT "put together a plan which said, here are the things you need to do to accomplish all those things. They offered a high level process after they evaluated what we had. They were really able to remove the fear and anxiety about complicated IT systems,” said Martin.

GAVCO is an environmentally conscious company which is acutely aware of the potential impact on our natural environment and the responsibility–and pride–in minimizing that impact. Their awareness stems partly from the privilege of working and living in a part of our country abundant in natural resources, but also from great respect for those resources.

 

GAVCO Sustainability

GAVCO’s office furniture is made from 100% Recyclable melamine particle board. They partner with like-minded, earth-friendly vendors and suppliers, and have adhered to one of the most stringent regulations to limit formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products before it was nationally required.

Our completely customizable products are available for schools, offices, medical facilities, hotels and more, at affordable prices.

Solution

SWAT analyzed GAVCO’s business system and IT infrastructure, and suggested solutions to integrate the systems through an Enterprise Resource Plan. Refining their infrastructure, backing up their data and integrating all software  (accounting, inventory, payroll, etc., ) into the ERP increased their cost effectiveness, their cyber security and enabled them to identify vulnerable issues. SWAT also helped them improve their backup and recovery plan and introduced them to the benefits of cloud migration.

Martin noted that SWATs quick response to problems which crop up in the manufacturing of the product are quickly resolved.

  1. MANAGED IT SUPPORT

    SWAT provided managed IT services to GAVCO, becoming their fully outsourced IT provider.

  2. PLANNING & FORECASTING

    SWAT engineers meet with the GAVCO leadership quarterly to identify future needs so they can be planned for and budgeted.

  3. BUSINESS CONTINUITY

    Data backup and recovery is a key part of business continuity. SWAT Systems helped GAVCO establish appropriate recovery point and recovery time objectives for each of their systems, then created and maintained an ongoing backup and recovery plan.

  4. CYBER SECURITY

    Through endpoint protection, proactive network monitoring and team trainings, SWAT Systems helped GAVCO close up their security gaps and stay ahead of threats.

Outcome

GAVCO has not only grown, it is thriving. “What I would consider more of a lifestyle business,” said Martin, “it is now a true business that’s got a trajectory for growth and for making really cool products and being a really great place to work.”

He added, “You want a partner that gets you. There’s a lot of companies out there that provide service. SWAT is a company that’s grown organically … they get where you’re going and they understand the urgency.”

“We see improvement in our machining, in our profitability as a result of our ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] that we’ve employed and how it interfaces with our accounting software.”

Today, SWAT continues to serve GAVCO, providing managed services and proactive IT support since 2015.

“When we have issues, catastrophic issues, where software is lost, it can bring our whole operation to a halt...the response from SWAT is very quick. That’s the kind of response, as a business owner, you need because you don’t have time to wait for a call back. [With SWAT], I can call anytime and get my issues addressed. They are consistently willing to be there any time and every time we need them.”

—Colin Martin, owner

More Case Studies:

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