Techworks expects to double business in 2004

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:28 pm

Techworks expects to double business in 2004

By David Niles, SBT Editor

Wauwatosa-based techworks LLC, which has already seen dramatic growth since its founding at the end of 2001, expects to double its Milwaukee market business in 2004 and expand into the Madison market and, possibly, elsewhere in the Midwest. Canada is also on the expansion list for the coming years.
"To us, it’s an unlimited market," said Shawn Longtine, a vice president and a principal of the company, located in the technology incubator of the Milwaukee County Research Park. "Our business plan says we’ll triple in size next year."
Longtine is helping company founder and CEO Don Muehlbauer meet that aggressive business plan.
Muehlbauer, who had earlier been with Ameritech and then was one of the two principles of the former Juneau Partners firm, which built custom software packages for businesses, launched techworks with 10 customers. The company now has 130 customers throughout the US – customers who use techworks’ automated monitoring programs for information technology systems and who use its virtual technicians and other IT services, including project management.
The monitoring tools are applications that techworks runs from its Wauwatosa data center or that it loads onto a client’s network. The applications allow techworks to monitor the client’s equipment, software and network to find problems before they impact business operations.
With businesses trying to get more life out of computer equipment these days, the services are in greater demand, Muehlbauer says, noting the five-year life expectancy many business now expect from a PC, versus the two to three years of the past.
The technology monitoring services are sold on a subscription basis, which brings in a regular flow of revenue for the company – a flow not common in project-based IT consulting firms, says Muehlbauer.
"We’re not the traditional IT consulting business," he says. "We don’t want to be solely project-oriented. We are high-volume, low margin."
The high-volume approach includes a focus on small and medium-size companies which, as a percentage of all companies, are in the vast majority. There’s an awful lot of business to be had from companies that have anywhere from a few to a couple of hundred computers. At Juneau Partners, Muehlbauer said he saw something else he liked in the small and mid-size market.
"I looked at our smaller customers and saw much more loyal and trusting relationships," he said. "Further, they had a much greater ability to make fast decisions."
Those relationships at techworks are maintained even though most of what it does is not done at a client’s facility.
Techworks reached $1.4 million in business so far this year – its first year exceeding $1 million in sales. Muehlbauer and Longtine say the company should far exceed that amount in 2004.
The growth has put techworks in a hiring mode. It has 17 employees and it hiring about one new person per month, Longtine said, with those hires all having multiple certifications. "We’re hiring while others are letting go," he added.

Dec. 12, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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