Parker Web: Our Web Guys Down The Hall
What’s the price of poor IT and Web support? For John Lowsky, owner of ARK Therapeutic Services, it’s a painful question to consider. For years, his company – a leading manufacturer of speech and occupational therapy products – struggled with frequent downtime and missed opportunities due to poor technology resources. Ark Therapeutic relies heavily on the Web, selling more than 250 products online.
“We had four or five IT guys before we finally met up with Darryl and Parker Web,” Lowsky explains. “We went through a lot of pain and crashes and stuff. And I used to spend a lot of time personally logging into our accounts and trying to fix things myself. When you’re running on the Web 24/7, you have to be up and running. You don’t make money if you’re down. You also create bad feelings with your customers. You lose business you don’t even know about.”
In frustration one day, Lowsky and his son went online and searched for a solution. Parker Web was one of the firms they found.
“Darryl Parker got on the phone and said, ‘I want to be your Web guy down the hall.’ After we hung up, my son said, ‘I got good vibes. If he can do half of what he says he can do, we don’t need to worry about our websites anymore.’”
After assessing Ark Therapeutic’s needs, Parker Web began working on a number of projects to fix and enhance the company’s website and e-commerce offerings. That included implementing Miva Merchant, a premier shopping cart system. Parker Web has several certified Miva Merchant Developers.
“Miva Merchant is a pretty powerful cart, but you need to know what you’re doing or you can get into trouble,” Lowsky says. “There is a lot of third party software, and the problem is that some of it is inexpensive and looks easy enough to buy and install. But when you run into a problem, good luck getting anyone to answer your call! All we got were people we could not understand on the phone, telling us to send email requests for support. I said, ‘You don’t understand – I need to be operating in 30 minutes.
“I can’t emphasize enough the bad experiences that we’ve had in other areas as well,” Lowsky continues.” One evening we were on the phone with another vendor – a hosting company – for three hours, waiting for someone to pick up the phone so I can say to the guy, “Listen, I have a fatal error. Our website’s down.” After 20 more minutes, we finally got the problem resolved.”
Parker Web has taken the support hassles away and is focused on increasing sales and improving back-office operations. Ark Therapeutic is implementing a module in Miva Merchant called Syncro, which captures online orders and streamlines the process of importing it into QuickBooks. “We had been getting this information by email before and inputting it manually,” Lowsky says. “This module puts it in there for us. From a manpower standpoint, it greatly reduces time and the possibility of errors.”
Parker Web is also helping the company significantly expand its percentage of online retail sales. “We do about 25 percent retail sales now and would like to grow that to 75 percent,” Lowsky says. “That’s what Darryl brings to the table.”
Lowsky finally sounds relieved that the days of endless phone calls and unreliable IT support are behind him.
“Darryl took all of that away,” he says. “It’s all gone. I haven’t gotten one of those bad customer email messages in I don’t know how long. These days, I have trouble remembering how to even log on to our site – that’s how little I go on it anymore.
“Now I use Darryl’s same line with other people now: ‘I want you to be my HR person down the hall,’” Lowsky continues. “That’s what Darryl is in terms of our IT support. He practices what he preaches. I always say, if you can start a company where you can find good, righteous, hard working people and marry them with good, righteous, hard working companies, you’d make a fortune. If I could get all my partners to work like Darryl, life would be easy. I just hope I’m not jinxing this thing telling you all of this!”