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TMCNet:  Prospecting growth spurt leads Concept Services to move to larger offices in Granger

[February 01, 2013]

Prospecting growth spurt leads Concept Services to move to larger offices in Granger

Feb 01, 2013 (The Akron Beacon Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- As its niche business grew, Concept Services Ltd. two years ago expanded in Wadsworth so it could keep all its hires under one roof.

It didn't take long for the sales-lead outsourcing Medina County business to outgrow that more than 4,000-square-foot office.

Starting today, Concept Services employees get their first look at the company's new -- and much larger -- headquarters and offices in Akron Medina Corporate Park in Granger Township. All 38 employees will be working in the 9,000-square-foot complex off state Route 18, between Interstates 77 and 71.

"We now have plenty of room for new customers," said Greg Harsh, co-owner and vice president of sales. His brother Dan, who is president, founded the business in 2001. The brothers estimate that the company invested about $250,000 in new computers, cubicles, desks and other equipment at the new location, its largest single expenditure ever.

"The idea of moving was to allow us to have more growth," Greg said.

The new leased space has room for 53 people to make specialized sales calls. All told, the site, part of a 36,000-square-foot office building, can hold up to 75 employees. There are large rooms for meetings and for training.

"Everything now is designed for growth," Dan said.

The new location also is easily accessible from Cleveland, Akron and Canton, making job recruiting easier, the brothers said.

The business model involves doing prospecting, or cold calls, on behalf of clients around the United States and Canada; about 80 percent of clients are outside Ohio. The clients, who include trucking company Ryder, then follow up on the sales leads with their own staff.

"I am going to provide you new customers and you are going to close them," Greg said.

Concept Services also offers what is called "customer relationship management" or CRM services to its clients.

From 2010 to 2012, revenue doubled, said Dan, declining to provide specifics.

Concept Services' corporate culture -- it includes the need to be detail-oriented and process-driven -- enabled that kind of growth, he said.

Employees are expected to show up on time. Someone who reports to work at 8:01 a.m., for instance, will be told that he or she is late.

"It's not that we're being creepy," Dan said. The idea is employees need inner discipline, he said.

"It sounds harsh. People adapt to that. They like the structure," Greg said.

While there is job turnover, it is not a significant issue because of how Concept Services does its initial recruiting and screening for new hires, the brothers said. Many of their employees have been with them seven to nine years.

"Everybody is promoted from within," Dan said. "Those that adapt to the culture stick around." The employees provide services that are in increasing demand, Dan said. A lot of businesses do not like to make, or are not good at, the kind of prospecting sales calls that Concept Services provides, he said.

Many businesses find sales "is getting harder and harder," he said. "Companies are looking for ways to improve it. And I don't think that's going to change. The market is good for what we're doing now." Today's move-in day should prove fun for Concept Services' employees. When they show up, each employee will get a look at his or her new work space and get to unpack items from their old office.

Once the unpacking is done and they get to look around and find such places as restrooms and the kitchen/dining area, they get to go home for the rest of the day with full pay. They go back to work Monday.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or ___ (c)2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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