Forsythe Solutions Group may not be a household name, but its reputation as an IT powerhouse in the B2B arena is huge. Headquartered in Skokie, Ill., Forsythe specializes in helping large organizations solve business problems through technology. From needs assessment to system design and equipment procurement, it offers customers all the services and expertise necessary to build and support their IT infrastructure throughout the technology lifecycle.
Forsythe was founded in 1971 by two partners "with $200 in capital and a telephone on a dining room table as an office," its website relates. Their initial thrust, selling used IBM mainframes, rapidly expanded into leasing other manufacturers' hardware and peripherals. While many similar operations in the early computer days fell by the wayside, Forsythe continued to supplement its offerings, adding new technologies and advisory and implementation capabilities to become a full-service provider. As the employee-owned company celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it also lays claim to a sterling performance record: $1.1 billion in revenue and 40 consecutive years of profitability.
The key to this success, according to Regional Sales Manager Bryan Bollman, is the company's comprehensive approach. "We take extraordinary strides to understand the business context of how customers are trying to use technology," Bollman explains. Strong partnerships with premier IT manufacturers around the world - "every major name in the industry" - enable Forsythe to offer independent, multi-vendor perspectives that address unique business challenges.
Those challenges can run the gamut from the data center to the retail floor, as exemplified by company's customer base, a veritable Who's Who of business luminaries. Here in northern California the roster includes Wells Fargo, Safeway, Adobe, the Gap, National Semiconductor, and Salesforce.com, among others. The list is about to grow longer, as the local branch, at 3875 Hopyard Road, beefs up its sales and technical staff. Since taking over the territory a few months ago, Bollman has already made two new hires and expects to make two more, bringing the total office population to 11.
Asked if Forsythe's presence is especially strong in any particular segment, Bollman replies, "I can probably name 10 accounts in every single vertical market that are customers of ours."
One of the reasons for this broad appeal is the flexibility inherent in the company's business model, which emphasizes making the best use of client resources. "We can help businesses undergoing explosive growth as well as those who are facing cutbacks," Bollman continues. "In this environment, leasing has become very attractive again, so customers who have cash flow challenges can use expense rather than capital budgets for their technology spend."
The company's focus on delivering value shows up in the longevity of its customer relationships. "The average customer has been with us for eight years. That's pretty much unheard of in our business," he comments. To earn that tenure, "we constantly have to do the right thing. Otherwise, they won't use us, it's that simple." For more information, visit www.forsythe.com .
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