Splitting Up

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:37 pm

Later this month a Milwaukee-based mobile device consulting company will split its assets and customer base to form two independently operating companies.

Chad Olson and Jason Kayzar have been co-owners of Milwaukee-based MC2 since its launch in 2000. MC2, located at 1106 S. First St., provides mobile phone service packages for businesses and retail clients as a distributor of Reston, Va.-based Sprint Nextel Corp., Chicago-based U.S. Cellular Corp. and Waterloo, Canada-based Research In Motion Ltd., creators of BlackBerry.

Kayzar will remain the owner of MC2 focusing on Sprint Nextel customers while Olson will open two U.S. Cellular locations under the name Consulting On Wireless, or COW com.

Olson’s first store will open in the next three months in a retail center near the corner of Greenfield Avenue and Moorland Road in Brookfield, Olson said. A second store to be located on 43rd Street near the former Froedtert Malt property is currently being developed and is set to open in spring 2007.

“It will be a paradigm shift to our original business plan from a strong business-to-business mix to a more retail focused company,” Olson said.

Olson’s stores will be branded as U.S. Cellular stores and focus 70 percent on retail with 30 percent of the store dedicated to business-to-business, he said.

The storefront will offer services almost directly opposite of MC2, which focuses 70 to 75 percent of its space on business-to-business, Kayzar said.

Olson plans to hire 15 employees. One employee from MC2 will leave to work for Olson at COW com, Kayzar said. Currently, MC2 has four employees.

MC2 also plans open a second location within the next year, and, combined, the two businesses and three stores will add at least 50 employee positions to the Milwaukee area.

Kayzar’s second store will have more of a retail customer focus, he said.

“I learned a lot in the business with MC2,” Olson said. “When we started we had six carriers signed on and served as a one stop shop (for mobile communications). We were doing well, but just doing well. We felt we were falling short of what we really could be if we had more of a focus.”

A combination of mobile carrier company mergers and personal preferences caused MC2 to dwindle service providers down to Sprint Nextel and U.S. Cellular, Kayzar said.

“We evolved into a professional company where we know the market now and we developed processes, procedures and partnerships,” Kayzar said.

The decision to go their separate ways was based on the need for a specialty market for each carrier, Kayzar said.  

“Over time we evolved to a less is more mentality,” Olson said. “Ultimately we looked at our success and felt that for our families and employees, we are better off internally and with external customers by being an expert in one product.”

Olson and Kayzar split assets and cash to end their legal partnership, Kayzar said.

“In conjunction with (the agreement), MC2 gave up the rights and distribution of U.S. Cellular and COW com will take the customer base and distribution rights,” Olson said.

“It was an amicable split,” Kayzar said.

Selling for multiple carriers allowed MC2 to collectively have a good month, but when sales were broken down to each individual carrier, MC2 was coming in on average or less in sales, which was not the company’s full potential, Olson said.

With Olson’s business-to-business experience with MC2 and his knowledge of data-oriented mobile devices from working with companies like BlackBerry, Olson said he plans to be the dominant dealer in the Milwaukee area for U.S. Cellular.

“U.S. Cellular believes this market has the best consumer offering in the marketplace for people who live and use phones in the Midwest,” Olson said.

Olson plans to take advantage of the data offering that he can supply, which is in its infancy with U.S. Cellular compared to other carriers, he said.

“When Chad leaves there will be a void to fill but it was a good business decision and for the long term it was for the best,” Kayzar said. “We are all about growing business in Milwaukee, growing jobs in Milwaukee and growing revenue for us and for our employees.”

Olson and Kayzar have a partnership deal based on morality, they said. They will refer clients to each other if it is what the client is looking for. They will also continue a networking relationship but have no monetary ties, Kayzar said.

“People can go anywhere today and buy a cell phone. MC2 and COW Com are about service,” Kayzar said. “The pricing is the same but customers are getting a knowledge base and the staff generally cares about the customer and wants to see the customer come back year after year.”

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