Skinny IT Hosts Inaugural Holly Jolly Toy Drive Benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas

Jennifer Powell

CMO of Installation & Service Technologies (IST)

Imagine being the parent of a child battling a life-threatening illness in the hospital. The holiday season is quickly approaching, and all you want is for your family to be able to celebrate together. You may want to give your child a gift for the holidays, but the medical bills piling up cause you to think otherwise.

At Skinny IT, we understand this situation is a reality for hundreds of families in our Dallas community. The holiday season is a joyful time where families should be able to spend quality time together free of stress. As a team, we wanted to help these families celebrate the season.

With this in mind, we decided to host the Holly Jolly Toy Drive benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas helps gives families with children in the hospital a place to stay that is both close to their child and rent-free. During the holiday season, the Ronald McDonald House gives toys to these kids so their families don’t have to worry about any additional expenses during the holiday season.

On December 1, we held our Holly Jolly Toy Drive and invited our fellow office park tenants, Frisco city officials and community members. Together, we donated toys, enjoyed food trucks and played games while listening to a live radio show broadcast from 1310 “The Ticket.”

We designated three large bins for the toys, and by the end of the event they were all overflowing. We planned on using an SUV to deliver the toys to the Ronald McDonald House, but had to improvise with a large truck instead!

It is an honor to know the toys donated will go on to help hundreds of children in Dallas celebrate the holiday season with their families. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our community as a team and look forward to continuing this initiative in 2017.

From our team to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Jennifer Powell

CMO of Installation & Service Technologies (IST)

After the market decline of 2008 and 2009, the retail industry has continued a slow but steady stream of growth. Today, we can finally see a thriving market with emerging retailers.

The National Retail Federation predicts continued growth in 2016 with an estimated 3.1 percent annual retail sales increase. And the trend is expected to continue throughout 2017 with retailers focused on opening additional stores in multiple markets.

With such rapid expansion, how should emerging retailers tackle the increased needs of IT infrastructure?

When opening a new location, the start-up checklist can seem endless. From hiring staff members and stocking product, to designing the space and ensuring all technology components work seamlessly, it is easy to feel overwhelmed or let details slip through the cracks.

Consider our two recommendations below to ensure IT stays current with the growth plan.

  1. Prioritize – Start big with a full list of potential IT needs and pare down to determine which are necessary for your growing business. Then, make an action plan and timeline for each buildout.
  • Database collection from customers
  • Surveillance cameras
  • Physical and cyber security system
  • Point-of-sale systems
  • Linked network of cash registers
  • Receipt printers
  • Wi-Fi access
  • Pricing guns
  • eCommerce site
  • Shipping software and hardware
  • Repeat touch points with customers
  1. Invite the Right People on the Bus – To keep a healthy growth pace, partner with one service provider to handle all IT needs. That’s one company, one contact and one integrated system ensuring all technical components work together.

Harry & David is an example of a rapidly growing franchise with complex IT needs in a retail setting. The company specializes in creating gourmet gift baskets suitable for any special occasion. Thousands of gift baskets are sent out each year and it takes a large IT database to keep track of their many sales.

The Harry & David headquarters in Medford, Oregon, contacted Skinny IT requesting the team to replace 125 computers that needed significant updates. Skinny IT was given three weeks to secure new units, update each machine, back up the data and ensure the 125 computers would be on the employees’ desks as if nothing had changed. Skinny IT sent three team members out to complete the task and within five days the job was done. Our team provided Harry & David with a low project cost, quick turnaround and ensured business continuity so they were able to continue running their business effectively with no loss of work.

If you’re in an emerging retail industry with aggressive growth plans for 2017, let us know if we can help strategize your IT needs.

Jennifer Powell

CMO of Installation & Service Technologies (IST)

A playmaker is someone who thoughtfully leads and inspires their team to accomplish the goals set before them with confidence. This is an in individual who has the drive, vision and heart to lead their team to success. At Skinny IT, our playmaker is the founder and CEO of our company, Sam Darwish.

Sam recently had the opportunity to appear on KAAM’s “PlayMakers Talk Show” where he was interviewed by the host of the radio show, Steve Klein. The show focuses on CEOs, entrepreneurs and executives who are passionate about making a difference in their community, industry and personal lives. Sam was invited to participate because of the impact Skinny IT is making for their clients. Under Sam’s leadership, Skinny IT has grown to be a global IT provider and has helped clients save millions of dollars.

During the interview, Sam had the opportunity to share Skinny IT’s origins, how the company serves its clients, what makes it different from other IT providers and Sam’s vision for the future.

To hear to Sam’s broadcasted interview on “PlayMakers Talk Show,” please listen here.

Jennifer Powell

CMO of Installation & Service Technologies (IST)

minnies-1Giving back to our community is an activity our team enjoys doing year-round. Each month, our team chooses a nonprofit organization to support with a service project or donation. With the holiday season coming up, we recognized that hunger is an issue that affects hundreds of families in our community and we wanted to do something to help.

In September, we volunteered at Minnie’s Food Pantry. Minnie’s is one of the largest food pantries in Collin County and, as a member of Feeding America®, the North Texas Food Bank and GuideStar, the food bank serves low income families. Hunger must continually be addressed in North Texas and Minnie’s works every day to be the “voice of the hungry.”

minnies-2Our team had the opportunity to help organize the food bank warehouse and prepare for the upcoming holiday season. We unloaded and sorted 400 pounds of food from eight pallets that will be used to give meals to local families for Thanksgiving.

To help the cause further, our team made a monetary donation, which will help provide an additional 600 meals to the families in our community. Additionally, we donated 10 wooden pallets for Minnie’s to use and reuse for food storage. Skinny IT has offered to be a resource for this need in the future.

We appreciate the opportunity to give back as a team and look forward to working with Minnie’s in the future! To learn more about Minnie’s Food Pantry and how you can help fight hunger, visit http://www.minniesfoodpantry.org/.

 

Jennifer Powell

CMO of Installation & Service Technologies (IST)

Finding the right IT provider can be a confusing and overwhelming process. There are hundreds of IT providers to choose from who all claim to do the same thing, but it can be difficult to know which one will work best with you. You may find yourself asking, why are some IT providers more expensive than others? Or what happens if I have a sudden technology issue that needs immediate attention? Will my IT provider be able to take care of that?

At Skinny IT, we want to help make the choice more streamlined. We believe our customers deserve the most cost-effective IT solutions and should settle for nothing less.

Because every business leverages technology today in order to be successful, it is essential to have an IT partner you can count on. We suggest considering the following five guidelines to use when choosing an IT partner:

  1. Open Communication – An IT provider should be available whenever you need them. If there’s a technology issue, your provider should be able to fix the problem immediately to ensure the business does not suffer. As an example, one of our clients was having issues with the Wi-Fi in 87 of their stores across the DFW metroplex. We worked through the night, for several nights, to reset the Wi-Fi network in all of their stores and ensure our client did not have to close their stores during the day. This is the type of open communication and availability you should expect.
  1. Industry Knowledge – It is also important that your IT provider has many years of industry knowledge and experience. You want someone working with you who understands and anticipates the IT needs of your company. An IT provider should be up-to-date on industry trends and have the ability to forecast up-and-coming technology solutions to keep your company both efficient and relevant.
  1. Proven Track Record – In the search for an IT provider, it is critical to partner with a company that has a proven track record. Before choosing a provider, check references and see who the company has worked with in the past to determine if they will be a good fit. Although tedious and time-consuming, investigating prior to signing a contract to confirm the provider is the right fit for your company will save time and money in the end. This will ensure long-term success for both your company and your IT provider.
  1. Ability to be a Partner – You need an IT provider that can be a true partner as your business grows. A partner should have the ability to adapt with the changing marketplace, as well as the ebbs and flows your company may experience. Look for a provider that will be loyal and expand with you as the company evolves.
  1. Holistic Solutions – Your IT partner should have the ability to provide solutions tailored to your specific needs. The company should evaluate the current state of your IT system and develop a customized plan to enhance it. One customer might only need Wi-Fi installed, whereas another may require an entirely new security system. Regardless of the situation, your IT provider should offer holistic solutions that meet your particular needs.

Not all providers are created equal, and not all will be a good fit for your business. When searching for your partner, remember to keep these five aspects in mind to ensure your IT provider can help your company operate efficiently.

Jennifer Powell

CMO of Installation & Service Technologies (IST)

The fall season brings a new school year for children across the country. Most parents get prepared by purchasing school supplies to help their children succeed in school. Unfortunately, many families in our community cannot afford to buy school supplies. It is also a well-known fact that many teachers pay to provide school supplies for kids that are underprivileged. Our team at Skinny IT recognized this issue, and decided we wanted to do something to help.

In August, we hosted a back-to-school supply drive benefiting Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Collin County. CASA of Collin County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve as guardians for children who have been removed from abusive or neglectful homes in the Collin County Area. For the past several years, it has also helped underprivileged children in Collin County by providing school supplies at the beginning of the school year.

As a team, we collected and filled a box overflowing with school supplies for the children of CASA. We also made a monetary donation to assist with CASA’s efforts throughout the year.

To learn more about CASA of Collin County or to make a donation, please visit http://casaofcollincounty.org/.

Jennifer Powell

CMO of Installation & Service Technologies (IST)

Businesses today can struggle without a robust IT platform. And it can be an arduous process to choose between the many IT companies that provide good services and solutions. So, how do you choose? What makes Skinny IT different and better?

It is difficult to pinpoint a specific reason why we’ve been successful, but we can prove how we’ve helped our customers exceed their goals while maintaining a reliable and cost-effective service.

We offer IT services and solutions without the headache.

Founded in 2010 by two experienced IT professionals, we have grown into a global IT solutions provider for more than 150 large-scale enterprises in industries as diverse as retail and converged solutions providers. We strive every day to be a “skinny” IT consultant that helps improve our clients’ business operations and overall productivity.

Feedback from our clients reinforces our experience, knowledge and creative solutions that solve IT problems. Here are a few of their stories.

Lush Cosmetics

A growing cosmetic company, Lush Cosmetics, was seeking an IT provider to help roll out 200 stores nationwide. We turned around an RFQ in a few days with a realistic bid and promise to begin working as soon as the contract was signed.

We were able to show our quick turnaround times by demonstrating services on one store and working overnight so the company did not lose any business. Lush Cosmetics was so impressed with our responsiveness, level of expertise and attention to detail that they hired us to work on the other 199 stores.

1-800 Flowers

1-800 Flowers had Wi-Fi network issues for its sub-company, Fannie Mae, in 87 retail locations across the Midwest. The company contacted us asking if we could go to each location to fix the connectivity issues in 48 hours. With some creative project management, we were able to meet the deadline and fix each store’s Wi-Fi functionality.

Fannie Mae and 1-800 Flowers praised our team for being able to provide the same superior level of service in a short time frame. Today, the 1-800 Flowers family of companies turn to us for all technology needs throughout the country.

SICOM Systems, Inc.

The digital signage software company that specializes in the quick service restaurant industry had always used several different companies in the past to deliver technological solutions to its clients in the U.S. and Canada. We stepped in to provide e-learning capabilities to all SICOM locations and developed a full course training program for technicians to perform IT jobs ahead of time and with superior quality.

SICOM lauded our team for expertly handling adversity and quickly resolving issues throughout the process. SICOM continues to hand over various parts of the business to us as our partnership grows.

We transform companies with customized solutions tailored to meet specific IT needs. Whether you need a complete IT overhaul or consulting expertise to optimize a few inefficiencies, we will handle the entire process. We develop recommendations, install hardware or software and provide ongoing maintenance and optimization.

On this blog, you will find tips to discover core IT solutions for every company, what to expect from any IT provider, how shifts in technology are affecting business, industry trends and more.

Join us on our journey to solve, simplify and scale the IT needs of your businesses today.

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