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Case Studies

At Patete, it’s IT management for everything but the kitchen sink

Steve Erenrich has made a career of dealing in variables.

As the President and CEO of Patete Kitchen and Bath Design Center, Erenrich has helped hundreds of families in Western Pennsylvania choose everything from fixtures to faucets to flooring in the process of renovating and remodeling the most important rooms in their homes.

“We do the best we can to help our clients narrow down their options,” Erenrich said with a grin.

And that’s an understatement. Patete has been remodeling Pittsburgh-area homes since 1960 with an ever-changing array of materials, designs and environments, all with an eye on creating the perfect kitchen or bathroom space. Variables? Seemingly endless. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, are shared with Patete clients every month.

So when it comes to managing the technology that drives his business, you can’t blame Erenrich for choosing the path of least resistance, a simplified approach with the fewest options.

Success Story: Driven by robust IT solutions, êlizur redefines the markets it serves

In healthcare — when every moment matters — any advantage in time or efficiency can be a lifesaver. It’s in this sphere where information technology becomes mission critical, playing a leading role in patient care and improved outcomes.

êlizur is among the world’s leading musculoskeletal solution providers. The Pittsburgh-based company supplies state-of-the-art orthopedic products and services to healthcare providers and their patients. Driven by a credentialed and licensed staff and technologically advanced products, êlizur improves patient outcomes with personalized musculoskeletal rehabilitation experiences throughout Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and West Virginia.

êlizur has experienced significant growth and success since its inception in 1993. But unlike in many industries, healthcare solution providers do not have the luxury of working methodically through challenges that growth spurts often bring.

Success Story: Gymkhana Gymnastics sticks its landing with FileMaker, Apple and CranstonIT

As competitive gymnasts for the University of Pittsburgh back in the 1970s, Elliott Sanft and Ed Swerdlow learned at an early age the importance of precision. They learned how one misstep can often unravel years of diligent training and preparation.

Today, as owners of Gymkhana Gymnastics, Sanft and Swerdlow count on that precision not only in their gymnastics instruction but in their technology environment, as well. Gymkhana offers gymnastics programs and competitive training in four Pittsburgh-area locations — Point Breeze at The Factory, Bethel Park, Monroeville/Plum and Wexford — and depends on its FileMaker database for on-point student evaluations, record-keeping and accounting across all four sites.

Success Story: Momentum Builders Builds Buildings, Not Apps


Why builders build buildings, not apps

As one of the industry’s leading building envelope contractors, Momentum Builders prides itself on solving problems. In fact, the team welcomes the engineering challenges that structural, roofing, siding or pre-engineered metal building opportunities often bring.

“We’ve developed a culture of service and problem solving,” declared Kyle Smith, Owner/Operator and Business Manager of Momentum Builders, based in Mercer, PA, for the past 35 years.

But information technology is an entirely different animal, and finding solutions to tech glitches and roadblocks can reduce even burly construction engineers to wimps.

Smith oversees administrative processes related to production, account management, sales and marketing, and ensures that all documentation appropriately flows to every part of the business. Momentum Builders operates on a small Apple
® network — Mac® workstations, notebooks and servers — an anomaly in the largely PC-based construction world.  

“Because of our long history with Apple, we now expect everything to just work and just work quickly,” Smith said.  “We depend on a smooth, glitch-free environment that is fast and flexible.”

All is good, all is calm.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Back in the early 90s, when Momentum Builders was about a decade old, the company needed a fresh look at technology to keep pace with business growth.  It needed an administrative portal that would connect the key processes of construction projects with each arm of the company — sales to estimating to production and back to sales.  It needed an entirely new database, as well as a new network and IT management tools.

All was not good, all was not calm.

Ownership at that time had a vision, but not a solution, The team connected with CranstonIT, an emerging IT services company that specialized in Apple and FileMaker technologies.  Momentum Builders sought CranstonIT because of its reputation to remediate the tasks at hand while planning, solving and projecting for future business growth.


Success Story: Breathe PA develops custom app in fight against lung disease


Breathe Pennsylvania, a non-profit organization that empowers individuals to breathe better and live healthier, was gasping on its outdated technology.

The company was relying on a PC-driven FileMaker database that had not been updated in more than 10 years, especially problematic for a team dependent on fresh contacts and new fundraising opportunities.

“The old database was essentially becoming a black hole,” explained Brittany Zuckerman, Director of Development and Communications for Breathe Pennsylvania.  “Our staff was having trouble producing accurate data, and even with a second database for fundraising we became frustrated we couldn’t leverage our new contacts."


Success Story: The Main Point moves to Mac

The Big Picture
The Main Point, a 30-year-old Pittsburgh consulting company, found itself solving everyone’s problems except its own. While successfully offering fresh finance and business strategies to family-owned small businesses, The Main Point team was struggling to move their IT operations from Windows to Mac. An environment of PCs running Windows was becoming ineffective at meeting client needs. The Main Point, with about 50 percent of its clients outside the Pittsburgh area, needed to switch to the Mac platform to keep pace.

The Challenge
After trying to transition from Windows to Mac and encountering one obstacle after another, The Main Point team needed outsourced help. They were searching for an IT support company that offered Apple product and macOS expertise, as well as a high level of client service. “We’re a small business and we rely on our information technology 1,000 percent,” explained Emily Melious, Managing Partner at The Main Point. “We don’t have an IT department and we can’t afford one. If we’re down, we’re down.” Melious needed to gain the benefit of IT capability and support but at a fraction of an in-house resource — a tall task. Read More...

Success Story: Scott Hare Law Office overrules IT Issues

Success Story: Scott Hare Law Office

The Big Picture
Scott Hare Law Office in Pittsburgh is dedicated to the highest standard of service for its clients. In an effort to maintain high productivity levels among its staff yet increase the degree of security around client information, the firm wanted to switch to a Mac-dedicated IT landscape. Knowing the potential pitfalls of migrating to a new computing network environment, Scott Hare, the CEO and founder, sought to outsource the project. Read More...

Success Story: ThoughtForm's thoughtful IT Solution

The Big Picture
ThoughtForm Design is a visual communication design consultancy firm located in Pittsburgh. When the company lost its internal IT manager in 2010, ThoughtForm Design began the search for an outside resource to modernize its IT infrastructure, provide ongoing user support and offer personal one-to-one attention. Read More...

Success Story: GasketsRock rocks FileMaker Custom App

The Big Picture
GasketsRock, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a manufacturing and installation company that develops commercial refrigerator gaskets of the highest OEM quality for hotels, casinos, restaurants and others. The company depends heavily on technology to streamline its business processes and improve its bottom line. In fact, technology enables GasketsRock to reduce the cost of supply chain management, product design and the overall manufacturing process. When the business experienced a surprise growth spurt, it needed to outsource an IT support company to help keep up with customer demand.

The Challenge
Job 1 was clear — GasketsRock needed to rebuild its database to modernize workflow and optimize scalability. The company was working with a database developer unable to keep pace with its growing business and evolving IT needs. Worse, its FileMaker database was experiencing numerous problems and wasn’t as scalable as needed. GasketsRock needed to make a change, according to Christopher Bladen, Director of Business Development. “We had issues trying to create an efficient process that would allow us to receive orders from across the country,” he said. “A process that would then convert those orders into a format that the factory could utilize for the manufacturing process.” Read More...