Expanding Internet Access at a Materials Supply Company

wireless point to point case study

When Plaisted Companies needed to expand internet access to its landscape yard, Chief Operating Officer Mark Duitsman knew just the company to call. Now IT Connects had been Plaisted Companies’ managed IT partner for years, and Mark knew John and his crew could help them expand internet access to their new landscape yard building.

About Plaisted Companies

Located on 250 acres in Elk River, Minnesota, Plaisted Companies is a supplier of high-quality construction sands, soil, and maintenance products for golf courses, athletic fields, and other outdoor spaces. Plaisted Companies operates out of a large property in Elk River that includes a showroom and a landscape yard, where team members fulfill orders customers place at the showroom. The two buildings are approximately a quarter of a mile apart from each other.

Plaisted Companies’ IT Challenge

Salespeople had been running tickets with customer orders out to the landscape yard team on foot. Mark wanted to make this process more efficient by adding a ticket printer in the landscape yard. To accomplish this, the landscape yard needed an internet connection. However, the yard was too far away from the showroom to add it to the company’s internet infrastructure. Running cable or fiber out to the landscape yard was not logistically or financially feasible. That’s when Mark gave Now IT Connects a call.

Now IT Connects’ IT Solution

John and the Now IT Connects team came up with an innovative solution to Plaisted Companies’ internet infrastructure challenge. Instead of a wired connection, Now IT Connects would install a wireless point-to-point system. This affordable, scalable solution would provide an internet connection between the showroom and the landscape yard.

Once Mark and John decided to move forward with the wireless point-to-point system, installation took just a few hours. The Now IT Connects team had the landscape yard up and running within a day.

The Result

Now that it is connected to the internet, the landscape yard can receive tickets at the click of a button. The wireless point-to-point system has opened up other opportunities, too. Plaisted Companies is considering adding more workstations and a security camera network to the yard now that it has internet access.

“Our new wireless system works flawlessly,” explains Mark. “We saved money from not having to trench in fiber. We’ve already recommended Now IT Connects to other companies because they do a really great job for us.”


Case Study: Upgrading a Construction Company’s IT Infrastructure

upgrading construction company's IT infrastructure_now it connects

When Lakehead Constructors was moving not one but both of its locations, IT director Matt Dallam knew it was time to upgrade the company’s IT infrastructure from localized servers to cloud-based solutions. He knew the upgrade would make the company’s entire operation more efficient, but he didn’t realize just how much more time he’d be able to redirect to other projects.

About Lakehead Constructors

Based in Superior, Wisconsin, with an office in Aurora, Minnesota, Lakehead Constructors is a commercial construction company that got its start in 1916 building large-scale harbor facilities. Today, the Lakehead team completes large-scale commercial and industrial construction projects across the Upper Midwest. Since its staff is split between two locations and maintains a large field crew, the company relies on its IT infrastructure to keep its team connected and productive.

Lakehead Constructors’ IT Challenge

Matt knew that most of Lakehead Constructors’ IT infrastructure was reaching end-of-life, and some legacy hardware and software were well past that milestone. With the company’s impending moves at both of its locations, it was a great time to upgrade its localized IT infrastructure and move to cloud-based solutions that would require less hands-on maintenance and allow the company to scale.

Now IT Connects’ IT Solution

Matt contacted Now IT Connects for help moving their on-premises systems to the cloud. After reviewing Lakehead Constructors’ IT needs, the Now IT Connects team chose Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Exchange to host the company’s servers, email, and other applications. Older switches and routers got upgrades, and the Now IT Connects crew installed new firebox equipment as part of an improved cyber security plan.

The Result

Now that Lakehead Constructors’ system is cloud-based, the crew has an easier time working remotely. The improved IT infrastructure is easy to manage and maintain and offers much more peace of mind than the on-premises system did. Since the new system has been in place, Matt has spent less time on weekends managing the hardware, too.

“Since working with Now IT Connects, our system has been much better everywhere,” explains Matt. “It’s faster, it’s more secure, and I spend less time on infrastructure and network management.”


Case Study: An IT Partnership Nearly Two Decades Strong

When it was time to outsource some of the IT tasks he was handling himself, Seacole CFO John Bell turned to the person he knew could help: Now IT Connects founder John Koshiol. That was back in 2004. Since then, Seacole and Now IT Connects have formed a strong partnership, working together to install and maintain systems that keep the chemical distributor productive and secure.

About Seacole

Seacole is an ISO-certified chemical manufacturer and distributor based in Plymouth, Minnesota. The company’s headquarters houses its front office as well as its production and warehouse space. In addition to the industrial equipment on the production floor, Seacole maintains and manages 30 to 40 PCs and nearly a dozen servers, as well as other pieces of hardware.

Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work and the chemical products they stock, Seacole takes network security and reliability very seriously. The company cannot risk their systems going down at any point without a viable backup system and rapid recovery response.

Seacole’s IT Challenge

CFO John Bell is fluent in IT and cyber security systems and had managed the company’s IT and cyber security systems on his own until 2004. By that time, the ongoing management of Seacole’s IT systems had become a full-time job on their own, and he did not have an in-house IT team to delegate tasks to.

John Bell knew that Seacole’s IT demands would only grow, and it was time to find an outsourced partner. That’s when he called John Koshiol for help. John Koshiol was an experienced IT professional who had just started his own company, Now IT Connects.

Now IT Connects’ IT Solution

Since 2004, Seacole has relied on Now IT Connects to maintain and expand Seacole’s entire IT program. While John Bell still performs smaller day-to-day tasks, he relies on John Koshiol and the Now IT Connects team to do the heavy lifting to keep Seacole’s network secure and performing optimally.

Over the nearly two decades the companies have worked together, Now IT Connects has expanded the Seacole network from a single server in 2004 to nearly a dozen today. Now IT Connects supports Seacole’s staff devices and maintains the company’s cyber security systems. The Now IT Connects team installs hardware and software on the front end and maintains and manages devices and software on the back end to ensure every staff member is productive and secure. As Seacole’s technology needs grew and IT solutions evolved, Now IT Connects innovated and adapted its services to ensure Seacole’s IT solutions were always state-of-the-art, including automating system updates and other essential tasks.

Recently, John Bell created an IT committee at Seacole to continuously monitor and review the company’s systems and security. He asked John Koshiol to become a member of that committee so he can share his expertise. As a result of the committee’s work, Now IT Connects will update and expand Seacole’s seven-year-old wireless system so it can support more devices at a faster connection speed.

The Result

By outsourcing their IT needs to Now IT Connects, Seacole has been able to grow its business sustainably and securely. Recent audits by agencies that oversee Seacole’s operations have applauded the company’s top-notch IT program, which John Bell attributes to Now IT Connects.

“Without Now IT Connects, we wouldn’t be able to survive. Their support is that important,” explains John Bell. “We’re constantly working to improve our IT, and without Now IT Connects, none of that would be possible.”