“We don’t exist without our IT infrastructure, so it’s important to invest in IT service partnerships that work. I’m very comfortable with Kelley Connect, we both put effort into our relationship, so I can be honest and transparent. Which is great, because they help me manage what’s most important.” – Chad Laske, VP of Technology, Bellmont Cabinet Co.
It’s hard to keep party guests out of the kitchen. Maybe that’s why it’s the most popular room to remodel – or scrutinize when buying a new home – followed closely by bathrooms. Bellmont Cabinet Co. knows this interest well. The manufacturer produces thousands of European-styled, custom, frameless, kitchen and bathroom cabinets every day to meet this homeowner demand. The quality of their products drives desirability too.
“What’s unique is our four different product lines are custom-built onsite, shipped complete, and installed on location,” said Chad Laske, Vice-President of Technology. “It’s definitely curated. Nothing is flat-packed and assembled later”
Mr. Laske joined Bellmont Cabinet Co. one month after Kelley Connect was tasked with managing the manufacturer’s network from a performance, security, and licensing perspective. Which means the decision to partner with Kelley Connect was made without Mr. Laske, an understandable cause for concern soon alleviated by our operational common ground.
“In our first conversation, I told them I wanted a partner,” explained Mr. Laske. “Someone I can call, and they pick up, not some random call center with people who don’t know who we are. Which is funny, because it turns out Kelley Connect describes all of their client relationships as partnerships.”
That’s because we know trusting our IT solutions places our partners’ success in our hands. A responsibility we don’t take lightly, so we’re on the phone, online, or onsite, arm-in-arm, solving problems. The only way to deliver results.
“We were both new, but we had work to do,” said Mr. Laske. “Mainly modernize our technology and grow our stack for high performance. That meant replacing our outdated, brittle host servers, upgrading cybersecurity, and investing in backups, as a start. But we did it together, and now we have the robust performance architecture we didn’t have two years ago.”
Having real, transparent conversations is what helps our partners the most. If it’s not weekly scheduled calls to check off backlog items, perform routine maintenance, or forecast hardware needs, it might be an emergency response to thwart new security threats. Whatever it is, we’re there, because taking our partners where they want to go is a team effort.
“We have learned to rely on each other,” concluded Mr. Laske.
“Kelley Connect is always watching, so we don’t have to dedicate brain capacity to server maintenance, cybersecurity, or networking. They’re our IT eyes and ears, which gives us the freedom to work on our business, not in our business,” – Tim Pritchett, Chief of Operations, Quantum Innovations.
Be knowledge givers. Be servants. Be disruptive. Be fun. Be experts. The five core purposes that guide every aspect of Quantum Innovations’ manufacturing operations.
“We’re very particular about those five b’s. We use them to frame internal and external comms, and they must be present in our vendor relationships. In fact, alignment with our purposes is vital, especially with IT partners like Kelley Connect,” said Mr. Pritchett.
We get it. Manufacturing has lots of moving parts, and so does IT. Our partners need secure data, devices that play nice, working websites, redundant everything, and much more. Because their operations – and core purposes – are at stake.
Quantum Innovations supports the ophthalmic industry – the labs where ophthalmologists and optometrists send our precious eyewear prescriptions – with a mantra of service-first solution delivery, which is as important as their thin-film technology itself.
“Providing the recipe for ultraviolet, anti-reflective, and other eyewear coatings, supporting the tech side, and problem solving for the labs, that’s what we do,” said Mr. Pritchett. “But how we serve is as important as the solutions we provide.”
Which explains why we get along so well. At Kelley Connect our IT experts back knowledge with service and support. Our own recipe for the world’s most precious business commodity: Trust.
“In the early days with just 15 employees, we needed Kelley Connect’s IT subject matter experts for servers, hardware, networking, support, and maintenance,” explained Mr. Pritchett. “Now we have over 85 employees and we’re still growing. The complexity comes quickly, but we trust Kelley Connect, so we don’t have to worry about the hazards.”
Hazards they rely on us to tackle, like cyber attacks. When the first threat emerged a few years back, Quantum Innovations called Kelley Connect to navigate the moment in real time.
“We fell victim to phishing, and Kelley Connect shored up our vulnerabilities. Now with expansion, remote workers, and more locations, they’re proactive with quarterly security tests. We get to see who passed. When leadership doesn’t, we give them a good ribbing,” laughed Mr. Pritchett.
We deliver expertise, service, and support across all IT domains, so partners like Quantum Innovations know we have their back as needs evolve. Like when success means some internal-IT team mentorship is in order.
“As Quantum has grown, we have hired a full-time IT staff member,” said Mr. Pritchett. “Not only did Kelley Connect help us during the early stages of our interviewing prep and process, but they continue to be an important partner, working closely with Simon, our newly hired IT support person.”
We double down on our commitment to Quantum Innovations – and all of our partners – so they can focus on their business now, and in the future.
“The greatest benefit of our partnership besides freedom to manage day-to-day operations is our point of contact and regular cadence for dialogue. We can ask Kelley Connect what they see now, what 6-12 months out look like, and how can we prepare for that, which feels pretty good,” concluded Mr. Pritchett.
It turns out paper cuts are an impediment to achieving big business dreams. Just ask Pacific Bells – one of the country’s largest Taco Bell franchisees with more than 250 restaurants across nine states, humbly founded in 1986 with a single store in Tualatin, Oregon.
“We’re always looking to grow. To innovate and enhance everything we’re doing through better systems,” said Rachna Thibodeaux, Senior AP Specialist with Pacific Bells.
Systems that Kelley Connect knows are vital to transform our partners’ business dreams into reality. Systems like the unsung hero of our business process automation services: accounts payable (AP) automation.
We frequently hear about the pain points of manual AP processes, and Pacific Bells’ story is no different. Walking armfuls of paper receipts across departments and rifling through awkward file cabinets not only stole time, but also undermined Pacific Bells’ dual-faceted mission – expand their quick-service restaurant portfolio, and create growth opportunities for dedicated employees.
“In the old days receipts required a signature from the purchaser, then department approval, then a shuffle back to accounting for payment. It was very manual, boring, slow, and awful. We could do without the paper cuts.”
As luck would have it, Ms. Thibodeaux joined Pacific Bells as a project manager three years ago, just as Kelley Connect assessed the situation and recommended the latest in cloud-based AP automation solutions: DocuWare.
“With DocuWare it’s all digitized,” explained Ms. Thibodeaux. “AP reviews coding and makes sure it’s accurate, and 99% of it is. Now I spend maybe 10 minutes of my day on processing. Before it was all day.”
Now all day is devoted to those mission-critical activities that spur growth for both the business and its valuable team members.
As much as we love helping partners like Pacific Bells save time and money – and gain freedom to focus on the future they dream of – we know our service offerings are only as good as the support we provide when those (inevitable) bumps in the road shake things up.
“It’s really about the relationship with Kelley Connect,” said Ms. Thibodeaux. “The transition to DocuWare was smooth. But when something comes up now, I can hop on a call with Kelley Connect and share screens, or just create a ticket and they go out of their way to support me.”
That’s because we believe the little details – like being there for our partners – leads to their success, and ours.
“We’re not two businesses doing business, it’s more than that because Kelley Connect never stops trying to do their best,” concludes Ms. Thibodeaux.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. HealthPoint is more than a medical clinic. The Western Washington-based nonprofit provides healthcare spanning medical and dental services, nutrition counseling, insurance education, treatment for opioid use disorders, and integrative medicine (and that’s not everything) for the underinsured or not insured.
Which also means the newly arrived, the undocumented, and refugees.
“Removing barriers is our mission,” said Ms. Schouteren. “We’re a safe harbor, but also here for locals. We believe everyone deserves care, from immigrants to the locals, with their first job making ends meet. We operate on a sliding scale.”
HealthPoint’s 20-year partnership with Kelley Connect is best described as strategic – and vital to navigating the inherent complexity of these important operations.
“They understand our business and how to support our needs. We have 19 different clinics across King County serving diverse populations. Each clinic is different, so it’s nice they can come in and say, ‘This is the right fit for you. And this can adjust and grow with you,’” explained Ms. Schouteren.
Back to the stakes. The right mailing solutions mean the most vulnerable receive critical medical history, referrals, follow-up care instructions, test results (including life-saving fecal immunochemical tests for colon cancer screening), and everything else that impacts their health and well-being – often translated into their native language. So to make sure they deliver to their patient base of over 100,000 people, we deliver.
“We’ve worked with companies with the completely opposite business model. They didn’t operate well, and when their solutions don’t work and aren’t fixed, we struggle and lose productivity. Kelley Connect sets up the right solutions, then troubleshoots any problems over the phone. If it’s the machine itself, a technician comes and inspects. Kelley also comes on-site to retrain staff with a product expert when needed,” explained Ms. Schouteren.
Which means HealthPoint can continue sending 20,000 pieces of key health information across locations every week to improve and sometimes save the lives of people with few resources at their disposal. In other words, we do our job, so our partners can focus on theirs.
“We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary. We started in a small house. Now we’re the direct connection between thousands of people and their health and well-being. With Kelley Connect, it’s definitely a partnership. If we aren’t succeeding, they aren’t,” concluded Ms. Schouteren.
Learn more about how Kelley Connect can support your Mail and Shipping solutions.
One of the first coworkers Eric Seitz met when he joined Missoula County in 2016 was a postage meter that had lost a step. Together they were responsible for all outgoing letters, flats, and parcels for the county government – to the tune of about 1500 pieces a day. He found his mechanical partner wasn’t keeping up.
“A big part of the county government is the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Health Department, that means license plates and medication from the clinics,” said Mr. Seitz. “So we can’t be slow, and we can’t be down for long.”
Shipping and mailing processes aren’t exactly seen as the heroes of business operations. But Kelley Connect understood Missoula County’s residents’ receipt of vital information and services came down to pieces-per-second and reliability, or as we like to think about it, equipment that works well, and works when it’s supposed to.
Mr. Seitz needed a partner with fresh legs in order to get what the citizens of Missoula County needed most, on time.
“Kelley Connect’s new sales guy just came by to say ‘hi.’ Then he looked at our situation and said we could do better and save money. He showed us what the Pitney Bowes P1550 could do, and the cost savings, and ultimately won the bid,” explained Mr. Seitz.
The result? Quite a few surprises. We knew we could properly onboard his new comrade in arms through installation and manual and virtual training – then fix anything that went wrong with prompt troubleshooting. It was the financial and emotional benefits of empowerment that added some spice to the sauce.
“The control is back in our hands,” confided Mr. Seitz. “Before, we outsourced a lot of bulk mail, to the tune of $6,000 to $10,000 a month. Now it’s all done in house, doesn’t cost any additional time, and is off the expense sheet. And that’s a stress reliever.”
A win for the well-being and health of the residents of Missoula County, a win for Mr. Seitz, and a win for budgets composed of taxpayer dollars.
“This is one of those jobs that people don’t think about,” confides Mr. Seitz. “But in the end, it’s very important. We’re not a department that takes a day off, because the mail has to run, just like flipping on a light.”
When the nation’s first civil air ambulance company is flying from point Alpha to point Bravo trying to save a life, cybersecurity shouldn’t be top of mind. We help make sure it stays that way.
Sheila Clough took over as CEO of Mercy Flights a little more than a year ago. As she was assessing the company from 10,000 feet, she saw trends we see a lot. When companies put their head down and do business, time can go by and new vulnerabilities can go undetected in the day to day, even for their existing IT partners. That’s the polite way of saying it. ‘It kept me up at night,’ gets to it a little quicker.
“We did a quick assessment of opportunities for our success, and our technology was fairly limited,” Ms. Clough said. “Cybersecurity made me extremely concerned. It’s easy for attackers to be able to get into our important, confidential information. “We’re a healthcare organization,” she continued. “One attack can cripple our ability to service our patients.”
The constant change of the way people work today added an extra dimension of challenges.
“Remote workers add a layer of vulnerability,” Ms. Clough said. “Onsite, our network could cover security fairly quickly. We asked Kelley Connect to help with those preventions and practices everywhere.“
As with all our partners, we were able to quickly run diagnostics to analyze immediate threats and vulnerabilities created by gaps in their security. With the added layer of HIPAA and patient privacy, Mercy Flights is just one of a number of growing businesses where cybersecurity infrastructure can be nearly as important as the business itself.
Though cybersecurity work is never done, we’re well on our way to accomplishing our mission. “People put their trust in Mercy Flights,” added Ms. Clough. “We rely on partners like Kelley Connect to allow us to have the trust and assurance in IT so we can focus on our mission: Taking care of patients.”
When it comes to healthcare partners serving patients, Kelley Connect’s job is to play part time weather anchor- we look at patterns and do some IT forecasting based on our knowledge, insight, and experience. This ensures the IT works when it’s supposed to so providers and patients aren’t left in the dark.
In the case of Women’s Health Center of Southern Oregon, any secure connectivity issues due to system-related barriers would, at best, distract from their mission: Providing comprehensive, compassionate care that helps each woman achieve her best self.
A few years back, this medium-sized but growing OB/GYN clinic faced the exciting yet not-always-fun task of building, and moving into, a new facility. Ms. Redfern knew the timing was right to redesign all things IT, from hardware and server infrastructure to tech support and robust phone and security platforms, in the interest of serving patients both faster and more consistently. It was a task beyond the reach of their pre-existing, two-person IT provider.
“We’re not large enough for internal IT, but with our growth we needed more range than two people could provide,” said Ms. Redfern.
Enter Kelley Connect. With the comfort, health and safety of their patients on the line, we knew our role was to deliver a post-move IT world where everything from networking and wireless to hardware and cybersecurity met the needs of providers and staff, and kept on humming, so they could focus on what mattered most: Providing care.
“Operations is so important, we have people running around with tablets, so we have to count on Kelley Connect for both router and device selection,” Ms. Redfern said. “We needed the latest and greatest, and they delivered, and keep up on it.”
Today, Women’s Health Center of Southern Oregon is settled into its new facility. Their efforts also earned the prestigious Safety Certification in Outpatient Practice Excellence (SCOPE) award – one of only two OB/GYN practices with SCOPE awards in the state. But there’s more work to be done.
“One of the other things that I appreciate is we get together with Kelley Connect to write a roadmap for what’s to come. In IT, you never go a year without needing to replace, refresh, or upgrade,” said Ms. Redfern.
When it comes to secure connectivity and cybersecurity in IT, we can’t predict the future. But Kelley Connect can build and maintain an infrastructure where every stakeholder can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact successfully. That allows us to have those proactive conversations about what the next best move is to deliver on the promise of bettering patients’ lives.
“We’re physician-owned,” said Ms. Redfern. “It’s nice to be able to go to shareholders and say, ‘this is what next year looks like to upgrade our routers, etc.’ And say, ‘this is what to expect.’”
That’s one of the things we are all about. Making sure our partners have a manageable and predictable plan for IT, so we they can focus on the health and wellness of those they serve.