January 4, 2017

Holston IT is laser-focused on increasing our efficiency and reducing our cost

Holston IT is laser-focused on increasing our efficiency and reducing our cost

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Jeff Sneed,
Gilley, McCready, & Sneed Insurance

“Holston IT increases our security and productivity!”

Large enough to handle any customer and small enough to give personal service: that’s the description of the Gilley McCready & Sneed team. Since 1930, they have given outstanding service to families and businesses throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. They represent a number of different insurance companies, and will compare coverage and prices to find the best possible value for your unique circumstances. They are a one-stop-shop for a full range of products, including home, renters, auto, business, life, health, and retirement plans. Gilley, McCready, & Sneed will treat you like a person, not a number. They’ll help you make wise purchasing choices and also help you file a claim when needed.

607 Holston Avenue
Bristol, TN

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by Jeff Sneed, President, Gilley, McCready, & Sneed Insurance

In early 2015, we wanted to change our IT management. This was due to two reasons. We had another IT support company; we were very comfortable with our favorite technician there and always requested him for any support needs. But, he took another job, so we no longer felt closely tied to that company. Additionally, we had internal changes in the responsibilities of our team members. Our new business manager had no desire to take care of a few small IT needs, as our previous manager had done. Two colleagues referred us to Holston IT, and it didn’t take long for us to see that a working with them would increase both our automation and security.

Like any small business, we have unique IT needs. One of ours is due to the fact that we don’t have a server onsite for our agency management system. It’s actually in Ohio. We needed to do anything we could to speed up the process of accessing that server and working from it. Holston IT recommended that we switch to a different internet provider and also upgrade some hardware. That cost us some money, but it was a very wise decision. We’re now able to give much faster service as a result.

We’ve had a number of other great ideas from Holston IT; their team is laser-focused on increasing our efficiency and reducing our cost. Andy suggested that we build into our budget, every year, the cost of replacing a couple of computers. This plan has been far easier to implement than waiting 5-6 years and making a huge purchase. We’ve also installed a second monitor for some of our key employees, which has improved their efficiency.

In our business, we transfer risk. We talk with people about their assets, their home, their cars, their ability to earn a living, etc. We determine their risks and then transfer those risks over to insurance companies. In a similar way, I really feel like we have transferred risk over to Holston IT. Our system has an enormous amount of sensitive data, which is a huge liability. Besides this need for security, we have a need to avoid network downtime—our cost, if we were to go down, would be tremendous. But we have an agreement with Holston IT, which has effectively taken those risks from us. So, now I don’t have to worry about it.

In this day and time, customers demand fast service. You cannot survive by asking your customers to wait—they want answers now. The investment we’ve made in our automation helps us give immediate and excellent service, which keeps our customers happy and our business growing.

Years ago I did not really see the need for IT support. But now I realize that it is part of doing business, like paying the light bill. You cannot risk downtime, and you must keep your sensitive data secure. But it’s not just an expense, it’s an investment too. Compared to 20 years ago, we handle much more premium volume with fewer service people. That’s due to leveraging the power of technology.

I would highly recommend Holston IT. If we have a need, they respond immediately. They’ve taken the worry and the risk away from us, freeing us to focus on taking care of our customers.

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