GRCS And EC Group​

A Case Study:
Problem – Plan – Results

Grand Rapids Computer Services began in 1978 when founder Bob Brown purchased a Radio Shack Model 1 computer to make programs for the family farm. Since then, GRCS has used many different programming languages and worked for customers all over the world, creating custom software for the produce industry.

The Problem:

Bob Brown runs his operations from a small office on the northwest side of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids isn’t void of software talent, but competing with larger, more “attractive” companies in the area meant that Bob couldn’t recruit the talent level he needed to join his small team.

“We needed to add development abilities here, so I was looking for a more experienced programmer. One answered the ad, and he was perfect, but when I contacted him to accept the job he finally says, ‘well I don’t want to work for a smaller company.’”
–Bob Brown, Founder

The Plan:

The very same day that Bob was rejected by another potential hire, he found a folder on his desk from EC Group. He got in contact, and started with our hiring process.
“There was a programmer that had been interviewed for somebody else that was basically almost the same resume as the guy I was trying to hire, and so we made the agreement and started out.”
EC Group was able to recruit the talent GRCS needed, and give the new developer a comfortable place to work with full HR support, and a dynamic company culture. But for Bob, it was also very important that he was able to maintain control over his product—not to lose control like he would to a different type of vendor.
“It’s not like a contractor thing where I’m just bringing them in for a project, I’m able to get the commitment that this person is here, and with me, and a part of my team.”

The Results:

Over the course of two years, Bob’s team grew from one to three full-time programmers. They mostly work in .NET, but are also trained in other technologies, such as MVC, ASP.NET, and SQL. The members of his team have the advantage of working in a common place with many other experienced developers.
“What I didn’t realize when I started with EC Group was that in getting a senior level developer, I was really getting more than that, because when she got stuck she would ask the other people in the office. So I was getting access to a whole big group of programmers even though I was only contracting for one.”