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Winter 2017
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CTDO Magazine

Service to Customers and Communities

Global Shop Solutions’ team building exercises, and other activities, support worthy causes.

There’s an old adage in business that states, “Take good care of your employees and they will take good care of your customers.” Since its inception in 1976, Global Shop Solutions—a family-owned producer of enterprise resource planning software—has embraced this as one of its most important core values.

To this day, company ownership, which includes several second-generation family members, including President and CEO Dusty Alexander, strives to create a closely knit workforce by treating all employees like family. Ask most Global Shop Solutions employees and they will tell you this family orientation was a key factor in their decision to sign on—and stay with—the company.

“I’ve always believed the way to build a business is by taking good care of your employees,” says Alexander. “Some of our people have worked with us for more than two decades, and we have very low turnover. Our customers love it because it gives them a chance to get to know the people who support them. Customers also like knowing they won’t talk to a different person every time they call in.”

Treating employees as part of the family helps attract the kind of person the company needs to deliver its exceptional customer service. It also supports another deeply held core value: service to the community. The company has a long history of supporting worthy causes, and the importance of giving back to the community is purposefully built into the company culture in many ways, including annual team building and training events.

In 2015, more than 40 members of the consulting team concluded their annual team building week by assembling and donating bicycles to Children’s Safe Harbor, a local nonprofit organization that provides services to abused children. The employees split into small groups, with each team putting together several bikes, which included BMX and mountain styles. The children were thrilled to receive the new bikes, and team members became more bonded from the experience.

“A bicycle can have a big impact on a child’s life,” says Casey Moes, consultant and project manager for Global Shop Solutions. “Building the bikes provided a fun team building exercise because each group had to work together to do something we had never done before. It enabled us to contribute to an organization that does much-needed work while enhancing our own professional development.”

Service that changes lives

More recently, employees lent a hand to two local nonprofits that help change the lives of people who need it most. The first, Hope’s Path, is a faith-based organization that works with foster youths to help them become independent adults. The second involved the Montgomery County Women’s Center (MCWC), which provides counseling, housing, and other services to women and children who have suffered physical or sexual abuse.

This time, nearly 100 employees from the customer services department concluded their annual team building training by improving the functionality and appearance of the facilities at both nonprofit organizations. This included organizing Hope Path’s library and food pantry, cleaning out the resource room, and hanging new blinds, while performing similar upgrades for MCWC.

“Global Shop Solutions is about loving, serving, and caring for the communities we live in,” says Nick Knight, director of customer services. “We typically work with organizations that make a real difference in people’s lives, and the MCWC and Hope’s Path projects truly represent the spirit of Global Shop Solutions. It’s a special honor to be a part of this company.”

Making dreams come true

Cancer is a terrible disease, but never more devastating than when it affects young children. Earlier this year, Global Shop Solutions partnered with Sunshine Spaces, a nonprofit that designs dream rooms for children with long-term or terminal illnesses, to sponsor a dream room makeover for Jessica and Frances Taylor, two sisters living in The Woodlands, Texas.

Jessica is currently undergoing treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. To turn her bedroom into a dream room, employees and community members raised more than $6,000. Then, these volunteers spent three days helping Sunshine Spaces give Jessica and Frances complete bedroom makeovers. Working together, they built new furniture, installed lights, painted a dollhouse, and decorated each room in a manner most kids can only dream about.

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It’s in their DNA

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For more than 40 years, Global Shop Solutions has supported many local charities and service projects, including youth sports programs, Toys for Tots, law enforcement, assistance ministries, and military veteran services. But never has their commitment to service shone through as it did in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

When the storm began wreaking devastation upon the Houston area, employees wasted no time in leading relief, cleanup, and recovery efforts after taking care of their own family first.

First, all employees were contacted to make sure they were safely sheltered and out of harm’s way. Next, the company arranged to put employees and their families who had to evacuate their homes into hotels. They also rented cars for the many who lost theirs in the floods so they would have transportation when the floodwaters receded.

When the worst of the storm had passed, employees began organizing cleanup crews. After cleaning up several co-workers’ homes that suffered extensive damage, the crews began reaching out to neighbors and others in their communities.

According to Knight, a leader in organizing the crews, assisting with the cleanup was both rewarding and heartbreaking. “It always feels good to lend a hand to people in need,” he says, “but you had to see the devastation to believe it. People work all their lives to own a home, and seeing them destroyed or seriously damaged pulls at your heart. Driving down a street with furniture, washing machines, cabinets, and piles of sheet rock in front yard after front yard is a sight I can’t forget.”

Alexander agrees that the company’s continuing legacy of service goes back to his father. “From day one, my father instilled a mindset of caring and sharing of our time and resources to help those in need,” he explains. “Over the years, it has become part of our company DNA. Service—to our customers and our communities—is not just something we do, it’s an integral part of who we are.

“By taking care of our employees, they naturally want to pass it forward by giving back to the community. Most of the time we don’t even have to ask. They take it upon themselves to initiate service projects and get involved. That’s the kind of people we want working at Global Shop Solutions.”

About Global Shop Solutions

For more than 40 years, Global Shop Solutions has provided manufacturers with a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system by manufacturers for manufacturers. The company is the largest fully family-owned ERP software company in the world with zero debt serving thousands of manufacturing customers in more than 25 countries by 225+ employees in seven offices around the world.

Are You Giving Back?

Giving back to our communities doesn’t just mean reaching into our wallets. Many nonprofits and community organizations can use the skill sets of talent development professionals. How do you define “giving back” and how do you think it affects your organization? What are you or your employees and organization doing to give back to the profession or society at large? CTDO would love to share your giving back story.

Contact Ann Parker, senior manager of the Association for Talent Development’s Senior Leaders & Executives Community of Practice, with your ideas and stories.

Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.

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About the Author
Adam Grabowski is the director of marketing for Global Shop Solutions.
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