Client: Laredo Paint & Decorating
Business: Home Improvement
Principal: Tom Addison
Phone: (956) 723-5544
Location: Laredo, TX
Years in Business: Since 1928
Years as S.O.N. Client: 1
S.O.N. Services: Remote IT support
Laredo Paint & Decorating is an ALLPRO Member with five stores. A family run business, Laredo Paint has a rich history of serving clients for almost 80 years. Their stores are located in Laredo and San Antonio, Texas.
Tom Addison shared with us that Laredo Paint relied upon Southwestern Bell’s leased digital lines to connect their stores prior to partnering with Small Office Networks (S.O.N.). There were consistent outages and communication problems. This meant Tom had to initiate “trouble calls” to the telephone company every time there were problems communicating between his stores.
Tom’s biggest problem with the old self-support model was the “downtime of the leased digital lines.” He continued on to say that they were the “weakest link that gave us the most grief.” When there was an outage, “Their repair center (Southwestern Bell) was pretty good when contacted but someone had to make the contact and track the progress.”
Tom knew there must be a better way to keep his stores connected. He contracted with S.O.N. to provide remote I.T. services with managed connectivity between his stores. “The conversion was hectic at first, “ said Tom, “but lately it’s running a lot better, a lot better.” He concluded that, “Leon (S.O.N.’s President) is doing a big juggling act with five companies.”
The biggest benefits for Laredo Paint were related to core business functions. Tom explained, “You keep our network up, you keep our stores in communication with the host. That’s why we bought it…so you would keep us up and running”
Tom saw other immediate benefits from the new service. “Internet on the desktop which we did not have before” was a business enhancer. “We use it a lot for reference work and ALLPRO pricing,” Tom said. Laredo Paint does not have to maintain printed catalogs any longer. Tom said the “cost and time” benefits from not maintaining catalogs have been significant. “We can now take advantage of ALLPRO deals and know of pricing changes immediately.”
Tom went on to explain that another big benefit for him was, “The ability to be off-site and be in-touch with my business.” During ALLPRO’s recent Arizona event Tom was able to log-on to his office systems remotely. “I wasn’t there but was able to function as if I was there.” He continued on to state, “That’s just a big asset! I use VPN every day from home and on the weekends.”
S.O.N.’s remote access also allowed Laredo Paint to authorize connectivity to their system for their remote bookkeeper located in Virginia. This highly secure service allows Laredo Paint to choose the best resources available to them anywhere, regardless of that person’s location, time zone, or store hours of operation.
S.O.N. also established a VoIP telephony configuration for Laredo Paint eliminating their long distance telephone bill. This was a big cost savings.
We are also constantly looking for new technology to enhance Laredo Paint’s operations. S.O.N. recently demonstrated our Internet based surveillance system that will allow Tom to keep an eye on all his stores from anywhere in the world. Other clients have used this service to monitor operations and reduce “shrinkage.”
When asked to sum up S.O.N.’s service in a single phrase Tom said, “You keep our business up and running.”