Primary Business Activity: Information Technology Value Added Reseller and Consultant
Number of Employees (including owner): 65
How long have you been in business? “I started Technology Group Solutions, LLC. in August of 2005. There was a definite need for our business and I saw that need when I was working as an inside sales representative at a previous company. I had never started a business before Technology Group Solutions. There were a lot of growing pains, but with some help from my business contacts and other business owners, TGS quickly found its place in the Kansas City market.”
What is your business philosophy/mission statement? “Technology Group Solution’s (TGS) mission is to provide quality IT products and services focused on assisting organizations in leveraging Information Technology to enhance their “bottom line” and match IT strategy with the business direction. By understanding your business and providing technology solutions that help drive your business, TGS seeks to build a trusted relationship that will endure over time. Our core values of honesty and integrity are the basis of our relationship with our customer. TGS is dedicated to living up to our commitments and doing what we say we are going to do. We will always do our best, be sensitive to our customer needs, and instill in ourselves a sense of urgency to ensure that we remain responsive.”
ABOUT THE OWNER
Owner’s Name: Lenora Payne
What is your background? “I believe the core of our business revolves around building relationships. These exemplary relationships we build set us apart business from our competition. An example of this is our customer service. At TGS, we believe in having great customer service, the kind that far exceeds the service agreements of our competition.”
What inspired you to start your business? “I saw the need for a company like TGS. No one else was doing what I saw needed to be done. So, TGS was born. It was a simple decision when it came down to it. After working in the industry for 30 years, I knew that a company like TGS would be successful, and there is a reason that TGS has grown an average of 20% year-over-year.”
What do you like about doing business in Kansas? “I saw the need for a company like TGS. No one else was doing what I saw needed to be done. So, TGS was born. It was a simple decision when it came down to it. After working in the industry for 30 years, I knew that a company like TGS would be successful, and there is a reason that TGS has grown an average of 20% year-over-year.”
What sets your business apart from your competitors? “I believe the core of our business revolves around building relationships. These exemplary relationships we build set us apart business from our competition. An example of this is our customer service. At TGS, we believe in having great customer service, the kind that far exceeds the service agreements of our competition.”
How is your business involved in your community? “I am personally involved with numerous non-profit organizations. I dedicate a lot of my time to giving back, because I know it helped me when I was looking to start my business. It’s only right, now that I have the time, to give back to the community I hold so dearly. At TGS, we are committed to keeping our business within local markets. We even want to make sure that our invoices stay here in Kansas. This way, Kansas can receive the tax dollars from our business, and use that money to update infrastructure. Another example of TGS giving back to our community is our partnership with Centriq IT Career Training. Since TGS is in the IT sphere, we allow students at Centriq to come over to our Midwest Technology Center, once a month, to do a “day in the life of IT”. We have hired many Centriq IT graduates, because we see that they have the skills we look for in our Managed Services department. This also allows us to add more jobs to the Kansas community.”
QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION
Why should your business be included in the minority & women business spotlight? “Creating and maintaining relationships is key to creating a business. It has been my mission to help others create a path to success. I am delighted to be able to create the footpath for others to travel on. Everyone wants to grow their business, and receiving referrals is the best way to gain a new relationship with a customer.”
What was the biggest “win” in your business’ history? “Gaining our largest customer to date was a HUGE win for TGS. Now, we have been doing business with them for about 12 years and we both keep each other happy. Both of our businesses, working in partnership, allow us to each keep our lights on. We are able to provide a cradle-to-grave IT solution for their business, allowing them to focus on their core competency, while fulfilling their diversity requirements, at a competitive price.”
What’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned that you would share with other business owners? “Make sure that you focus on getting your business’s credit high. Once your credit is at a high and satisfactory level, make sure that it stays that way. This will improve your relationships with clients and create relationships with other businesses.”
Tell us an interesting and fun fact about your business. “We started a soccer team at TGS. I had no experience playing soccer but amused my friends and employees by joining. Long story short, in the first year of this soccer team we had multiple people end up with torn ligaments or get hurt (we even had a broken leg) because we were so competitive. Another thing they don’t tell you about starting a business is that companies will bring you free food, all the time. The TGS Family gets fed by vendors, on a regular basis. TGS is like an all-you-can eat buffet most days, with all the food in the back.”
Career Advantage has been owned and operated by a Lawrence, KS woman since its inception in 2003 and continues to be a valuable resource nearly twenty years later! In today’s tumultuous environment, I feel career services are necessary now more than ever. People are having to change jobs, often unexpectedly, and the competition is high. Engaging a career services professional to help prepare application materials and display one’s highest representation can expedite the job search process and help candidates make well-informed career decisions. This ultimately helps the Kansas workforce and economy, since we can assist people all across the state.
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