Case Study

Upgrade and IT support service needed and all to fall within a static budget

Founded in 1972, Lockhart Chemical Company is a specialty chemical manufacturer with locations near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Flint, Michigan. In addition to its 60 employees, Lockhart is represented by a network of stocking distributors as well as direct marketing personnel serving the Metalworking and Coating markets worldwide.

The Challenge

Lockhart’s primary focus has always been its customers and supplying them with superior product and customer service. However, the Pennsylvania-based manufacturer was encountering recurring problems with its network that not only interfered with employee productivity, but its ability to respond to valued customers as well. At times, the company would be unable to print or access the server for hours at a time. Lockhart desperately needed to upgrade its software, but its antiquated hardware could not accommodate the upgrade. “Lockhart had reached a point where there was no longer a quick or long-lasting fix and it was time to upgrade,” says Linda Kuni, Nortec Account Executive.

Lockhart Chemical knew it needed to upgrade, but it also needed an IT support service to keep its systems running, secure, and up-to-date – and fall within a static budget. “Our priorities in evaluating solutions were finding the most recent version of all hardware and software for the most economical price,” says Deb Bentley, Corporate MIS Coordinator at Lockhart Chemical.

Lockhart had previously relied on VAI/Computerland to provide IT support, so when Nortec purchased VAI/Computerland in 2005, Lockhart retained Nortec and its IT maintenance and support services. Now with an urgent need for reliable systems with increased functionality, Lockhart turned to Nortec for its upgrade implementation.

The Solution

Lockhart’s priority was the immediate upgrade of its systems, but it needed increased functionality as well. “We were also looking for key features like remote accessibility, speed and security,” says Bentley. Nortec began by meeting with Lockhart’s management and staff to discuss the implementation plan, challenges and priorities. Nortec assessed the current systems’ capabilities and determined the best course of action for the upgrade, maintenance, security, and training. “We also offered assistance in communicating with Lockhart’s software vendor, eliminating Lockhart as the go-between and giving them more time to devote to their business,” said Kuni.

With a plan, deadlines, and timeline in place, Nortec completed the upgrade process in about three weeks, and within budget. The upgrade eliminated down time and server complications with Lockhart’s previous server, and the chemical company now has a reliable, stable and more efficient system that benefits all users.

The Benefits

Since its server upgrade earlier this year, Lockhart Chemical has experienced none of the downtime from unstable systems that it had in the past. “We had many configuration issues with printers and our ERP software. Nortec was able to rectify each and every problem,” says Bentley. “The system has reduced my administrative duties with increased stability and reliability.” And because all hardware and software is purchased and managed through Nortec, Lockhart’s staff has more time to do more important tasks. “Nortec made my job a great deal easier and greatly lowered my stress level,” says Bentley.

In addition, the monthly maintenance service Nortec provides monitors Lockhart’s network on a daily basis, helping them to budget and plan for upcoming projects. “Our technicians know Lockhart’s network inside and out,” says Kuni, giving Lockhart the continuity of service they require. “At any point in time, there will be someone at Nortec that can help them,” says Kuni.

For more information on Nortec, please contact us at georgeh@nortec.com.