Category: Push the Sled, Company
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Family, Success and Global Shop Solutions
Family Owned – And Proud of It!
“Family owned and operated” are words you don’t hear much in the ERP industry anymore – unless you happen to do business with Global Shop Solutions. We’ve been family owned and operated since our inception 40 years ago, and we plan on staying that way.
In the early days of our industry were simpler times. Most ERP companies were family owned, but as the industry grew and competition increased, our competitors began to get bought, sold or acquired on a regular basis by larger companies or private equity investors. Today, it’s not uncommon for competitors to change ownership every couple of years. This strategy may pay off for the equity investors, but it rarely benefits the customers of those companies.
When equity investors acquire a company, their “end game” has nothing to do with adding value to customers. Rather than continually investing in the product, it’s all about selling the company to achieve the highest ROI possible. Once the investors make their money, they cash out and move on to the next best thing. So it’s not surprising that we see the same ERP companies changing ownership over and over again. It happens so often a popular ERP blog has been created to track it, called The ERP Graveyard. Want to know which company you won’t see on that blog? Global Shop Solutions.
At Global Shop Solutions, we have a very different end game. Rather than going public or selling to equity investors, our vision is to build a business for generations of our customers and our community. We aren’t looking to sell to the highest bidder, as we’re constantly seeking new ways to help our customers make quality parts and ship them on time at the lowest cost, and do it better than anyone else in the world.
Achieving our end game requires continual reinvestment in our business and our product. Queue our new state-of-the-art R&D technology center, home of 83 exceptionally trained R&D engineers (nearly one-third of our entire workforce), who are dedicated to constant improvement of our ERP product. While equity-owned ERP companies use their customers’ dollars to pay off debt or dividends, we invest our customers’ dollars in our people, our technology and our product.
Staying family owned also allows us to focus on what we do best – making ERP software for small- to medium-sized manufacturers. Meanwhile, most of our competitors have diversified into multiple product lines for multiple industries, such as housing, retail, hospitality, HR, distribution or warehousing. What product do your maintenance dollars go to?
We’re In It for the Long Term
Most importantly, we remain a family owned business because it allows us to deliver on our philosophy of offering a quality, customer-focused product with the highest level of customer service. Becoming a public or investment-controlled business would force us to adopt a short-term approach to managing the business. This does not always serve the best interests of our customers, and certainly does not align with our mission to deliver the best customer service in the industry.
Many of our customers are family-owned businesses, which helps us identify with them on a more personal and business level. It also enables us to create a work environment that attracts and retains the kind of employees we need to deliver the level of service our customers expect from us.
Our success as a family business depends on our ability to make our customers successful, and that requires a long-term perspective. No matter how often our competitors change ownership, maintaining a family ownership structure at Global Shop Solutions will always be an integral part of who we are and what we do. It is the focal point of how we simplify your manufacturing.
Push the Sled blog is written by Dusty Alexander, CEO of Global Shop Solutions, because no matter how good you get (at physical fitness, running a manufacturing business or being an ERP user) you can always work harder, get better, and be humble.