May 18, 2016

0% Downtime and Reliable Backups

0% Downtime and Reliable Backups

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Mark Goodman,
Goodman Jewelers

“Holston IT is hassle-free: our data is secure, and our computers just work!”

From Roanoke to Knoxville, only four bench jewelers are also Graduate Gemologists and CAD Designers. One of those people is right here: Mark Goodman has been
creating exquisite custom designs for over 20 years. He and his team specialize in custom designs that have a different look and feel than mass-produced jewelry.

Goodman Jewelers hosts a beautiful showroom with ready-to-wear items, as well as a craftsman area where you can watch their team work on custom creations. They can meet all of your jewelry needs, including ring sizing, settings, repairs, watch batteries, and more.

For four years, they’ve earned a place on the Top Wedding Vendors in Virginia List. Diamonds from melee size up to 2.00 carats are their specialty.

108 East Main Street,
Abingdon, VA

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by Mark Goodman, Gemologist; Owner, Goodman Jewelers

Not too long ago, 85% or more of our sales were from our showroom. That has dropped to 40%; and over the next 5 years I expect it will drop to 15%. In 1980, there were 30,000 independent jewelry stores in the USA. That has dropped to 22,000, and over the next five years we expect it will drop to 14,000. Small purchases and standard, popular purchases have moved online.

When the market changes, we have to change: that is both the challenge and the beauty of being an entrepreneur. To respond to this market shift, I invested hundreds of hours learning CAD, and we purchased a 3-D printer. We redesigned our business to focus on custom work. This investment ena-bles us let our clients fully participate in the design process. We have 7 dif-ferent diamond qualities and 11 different metal options. We create wax models, so that clients can try them on and give us further feedback before we finalize the design that’s just what they want.

Besides my bench, my hammer, and my desk, our data is the most valua-ble asset we have. Of course we would never sell that data to anyone; it is valuable because of the future opportunities it provides to us. Right now I am working on 5 projects that are each a version of “please make a match-ing band for the one I purchased x years ago.” We have 30,000 records of customer purchases; each contains detailed notes and photographs which I must consult to create a matching item. I have no idea when one of them will call and ask me to design complementary jewelry for a piece purchased 8 years ago—but I want to be ready! Thanks to Holston IT, I know that I am always ready: this data is immediately available and fully backed up.

Holston IT stands out from our previous IT provider for two reasons. First, their technicians are superior. Whichever one of them comes, we know we are getting a friendly, competent person who can fix it fast. Sec-ond, they simply take away all of our IT stress. Before working with Hol-ston IT, I was the one who had to monitor our network and make sure our vendor was getting things done—that was their business model: for me to be the checkpoint. Holston IT works differently: they monitor everything, taking all the hassle out of IT and freeing my time to focus on my business.

So many aspects of our day-to-day work are dependent on technology. Emailing, for example, has enabled us to serve far-away clients whom we may never meet. Fast computers and reliable backups are critical components to our business. Thanks to our partnership with Holston IT, we are never down, they fix any technical problems lightning-fast, and we can focus on providing superior, beautiful creations to our clients.

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