National Wood Products is a distributor of lumber, sheet goods, architectural products and flooring, and other related materials based in Salt Lake City. Their business began with a few employees and a forklift, until partnering with a national conglomerate in 1984 and experiencing steady growth. They are currently one of the largest hardwood conglomerates in the United States. National Wood Products has branches in Denver, Salt Lake City, and southern and northern California.
They rely on technology to fuel their company and keep their customers satisfied; they employ over 300 people, have 197 workstations running daily, and process between 500–1000 orders a day. As a distributor, they have high inventory turns. They’re constantly purchasing, selling, and transacting with vendors and clients, resulting in what could be a logistical nightmare. Having an IT provider that understands how they operate and what their users need is a top priority for National Wood Products.
For the last 15 years, i.t.NOW has supported National Wood Products as their managed service provider. Joe Ricci, Director of Strategic Development at the distribution company, functions as a sort of intermediary between National Wood Products and i.t.NOW to keep the IT provider up to date with the distributor’s latest policies and procedures.
“They’re a really critical piece of infrastructure for our organization. In the absence of having a fully functioning, all-encompassing internal IT department, we’ve decided to outsource that because we sell and distribute forest products–we aren’t IT people,” Ricci commented. “There’s a level of insecurity in bringing somebody in-house, just from the standpoint of being able to properly manage and hold people accountable to the expectations that you have when you don’t really have a firm understanding of what really goes into the IT.”
Not having that internal presence has created a level of comfort for National Wood Products. They are confident that they are getting the best service from a team of experts, and they don’t have to spend valuable time wondering if they’re getting the IT support that they’re paying for. After 15 years of positive experiences with i.t.NOW, National Wood Products has no regrets about their decision to bring in third party support.
“It’s all about managed IT services. Imagine if we had an onsite IT director, a system administrator, a software person, a hardware person, technicians, and so on. All of the tech support that would be required to run a multimillion dollar enterprise is being managed by another company—by i.t.NOW,” Ricci explained.
i.t.NOW ensures that National Wood Products is constantly functioning. They manage relationships with software companies, maintain their cloud and servers, solve technical issues with both hardware and software, and more.
“They’re necessary for us. It’s one of those situations where if you don’t have the bandwidth or infrastructure to manage it internally, you’ve got to look outward. Fortunately for us, we’ve partnered with i.t.NOW. They’ve filled that void for us.”
“I’ve looked at the dollar amount it takes to bring in an entire team to manage your IT on a daily basis, and what we’ve saved by partnering with i.t.NOW instead of keeping a team in house is in the six figure range annually. It makes sense for us financially to bring in a company that has the capacity to address any and all of our issues, 24 hours a day.”