On-the-Job Training Program
Find a Niche and Conquer
Arrival Systems was founded as Arrival Computers in June 2002 with a simple idea. They wanted to provide quality products and services to small businesses who couldn’t afford to hire fulltime in-house Information Technology (IT) professionals. At the time they only had six clients and worked out of the spare bedroom of co-founder and President C.J. Ezell’s house. Now one of Mobile’s fastest growing IT firms, the company has over two hundred business to business clients and occupies over fifteen hundred square feet of office space. Co-founder and Vice-President of Operations Layton Bosarge jokes, “C.J.’s wife has got her dining room table and her spare bedroom back now.”
By early 2004, Arrival Systems had several dental practices in the Mobile, AL area as clients and began to focus a large part of their business on serving the needs of that niche. In October 2004, the company signed an agreement with Kodak Dental Systems to serve as a Certified Network Solution Provider for Kodak’s clients in Alabama, and in April 2005, that agreement was amended to also include clients in the state of Florida. On July 5, 2005, Arrival Systems created a separate division, ASI Dental, to provide dedicated support and services to Arrival’s many dental clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as Louisiana.
One reason for this phenomenal growth is their commitment to technical education so that they can continually provide the highest level of customer service. A testament to Arrival’s technical expertise is that in 2004 they were the first company in Alabama to ever be certified as being declared competent in "Networking Infrastructure Solutions" by Microsoft. Arrival is also certified to work on Intel, Netgear Powershift, Symantec and Kodak Dental Systems. They are in process of developing and maintaining HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) certification and compliance.
The two friends and future business owners met while working as emergency management technicians or as EMT’s for over eight years. Prior to that, they had each worked in IT for several years. So when the two friends decided to start their own company, it was a natural to stick with what they knew and that was Information Technology. And once that decision was made, they made another smart decision and decided to focus on another market they knew and that was healthcare.
Ezell’s advice to other entrepreneurs is, “Don’t spread yourself too thin when starting out. Know your target customers. Focus on a core niche, a core market and decide where you want to take your company. Where do you want to be in one year, two years, three years, five years, etc.? Be flexible and change so that you can respond to the market, especially in technology.” Adds Bosarge, “I can’t stress enough that identifying a niche we knew something about was crucial to our company’s success. You’ve got to do that and then run with it.”
Ezell also stated, “You’ve got to know your limitations and know what you do best because that is what serves your business best. It’s where you are most productive. You’ve got to delegate the rest and hand it off to someone else who can do it better than you can. Sometimes that’s hard for people to do.” Ezell knows from experience. He’s competent at IT, but Bosarge is better at it. Bosarge is a competent salesperson, but it is where Ezell shines. So they divided duties up early on to conquer their share of the IT market. As President and CEO, Ezell manages two sales people and executive duties, while as Vice President of Operations, Bosarge manages five technicians and customer service. And it’s paid off. Arrival Systems has experienced triple digit growth for each year since they started the company—something they expect to continue.
The two businessmen believe just as strongly in the Mobile Works On-the-Job Training program. Ezell stated, “We won’t hire anyone else without going through the On-the-Job Training program first. It was every bit as easy as Joyce (job developer Joyce Browning) said it would be. I can’t imagine a business owner not wanting to do it. Anything you can do to recoup some of that training expense and put it back to your profit margin is a plus for your business. We’ll definitely use it again.” Adds Bosarge, “I don’t see why any business owner wouldn’t take advantage of the On-the-Job Training program—the pre-screening, a qualified candidate, the money going back to our bottom line—it’s the best deal around if you’re hiring.”
At Mobile Works, we are proud to have provided great service and delivered on our promise to Arrival Systems. Just like Arrival Systems does with all of their IT customers, which is how they are going to continue to conquer the IT world, one client at a time.