Deborah Johnson Wood
Grand Rapids-based OST
(Open Systems Technology) plans to nearly double its revenue from $34 million last year to $60 million by 2012 and add 25 jobs to make that happen.
OST is an information technology services company that provides services ranging from hardware sales to business process consulting in healthcare, manufacturing and finance.
President Dan Behm owes the expected growth to a major shift in geographic operations and the recent addition of an advisory board.
"We previously hired sales reps in Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Detroit and planned to have offices in every major city in the U.S.," Behm says. "Now we're only going to have two hubs – a corporate hub in Grand Rapids, a second hub in Minneapolis. We'll sell specialized solutions nationally and hire the people in Grand Rapids to service them. For example, security assessments. We hire all the sales reps here and our people here will do the assessments and security consulting; they'll go to the clients' sites, but a lot will be done remotely.
"This geographic shift is really a big change for us. It will keep the jobs here in Michigan, but allow us to sell into the rest of the country," he says.
The advisory board consists of two internationally known industry experts: Mac Reynolds, founder of ERL LLC,
and Frank J. Feraco, managing partner of Chicago-based Great Lakes Equity Partners
"The advisory board is a big part of the picture in helping to guide us," Behm says. "Changing the whole geographic expansion came from Frank Feraco. They really are helping us with ideas in terms of making big picture decisions."
OST employs 50, plus 51 contractors. The company hired two sales reps in January and will fill two technology positions in February. The remaining 21 positions will be mostly senior sales people and technical consultants.
Source: Dan Behm, OSTDeborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Have a development news tip for Rapid Growth? Contact us at [email protected].