Despite recession, Centare Group expands

While many other companies are just trying to ride out the economic storm, Brookfield-based Centare Group‘s revenue has grown every year since its formation, including 2008.

The software development and technology consulting firm has expanded its services and almost doubled its office space.

“The growth has really stemmed from our additional service offerings. We have done a lot of this stuff for a while, but we haven’t really marketed a lot of these things so our customers would know,” said Edward Chaltry, managing partner and chief technology officer. “A lot of those services are done in office, and so essentially we just ran out of room.”

Centare Group has recently ramped up its services for IT strategy and optimization, user experience, interactive development, and Microsoft Office Sharepoint development and customization.

“Historically during the last few slowdowns, technology has played a higher role in assisting the recovery,” Chaltry said. “That still holds true today. So as a company we were very reactive when the bottom fell out.”

The company went through a period of restructuring, and redirection. It offered incentives to employees to become more productive and share leads, Chaltry said.

“Really the development of our success came from us realizing early last summer that the majority of our business was coming from existing clients,” president Dave Glyzewski said. “In October we re-organized the team in order to make sure some members were focused on maintaining the relationships we had with existing clients and others were more focused on new business.”

The company also cut specific budgets and was able to redirect some funds into sales and marketing, which helped the company get through the slowdown that the IT industry saw in December and early January, Glyzweski said.

“We really have a strong book of business going into the summer,” Chaltry said.

“We’ve just hired two new people to help continue our history of growth,” Glyzweski said. “We are a small firm that hires on a full time salary basis, so we really have to be careful about who we hire and when we hire.” he said

According to Glyzweski, a lot of other service IT companies will hire on a contract basis per job.

Centare has nearly 40 employees split between two office suites. The company recently acquired an additional 3,000-square-foot office suite adjacent to its existing office at 125 N. Executive Dr. in Brookfield and now has a little more than 6,000 square feet of office space

“The new owner of the building we are in was really proactive in reaching out to us, and offering us the new space,” Chaltry said. “We appreciate that, and the way they worked with us to really make the new space fit our needs really showed their commitment and desire to keep us here.”

The new suite features additional office space for Centare employees, but also features a state-of-the-art training facility and conference room, where the company can host client meetings, internal meetings, seminars, training sessions and user groups.

In addition to its increased marketing of additional services, Centare Group is also planning for an increase in business related to the federal stimulus package and the work associated with green IT initiatives, and government projects.

“We are fairly confident that some of that work will come our way,” Chaltry said. “We have a few proposals going out in a few weeks and have been proactively seeking out additional opportunities.”

“It has always been our vision to become the premier technology provider in southeast Wisconsin,” Glyzweski said. “We are doing things now that will position ourselves so that when the market rebounds, which we think it has started to, we can be the company that kind of leads the way.” 

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