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Ask the Expert

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Local solutions for worldwide companies

Posted: June 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Owner John Duncan, left, oversees a project with back-end programmer Karl Pierce, middle, and designer and integrator Alfredo Torres at eSolutions storefront in Saugus.

 

ESolutions, a Web-design company with a storefront, opened in Saugus nearly 10 years ago.

The company works with businesses across the country, but it has a very strong customer base locally, according to owner John Duncan.

Offering customized Web-based services, eSolutions has partnered with many local companies to provide commerce solutions for their businesses.

Customized solutions
A local aerospace company needed a system that would allow three-way communication between the owners of an aircraft, the plane’s operators and the manufacturers and supplies, Duncan said.

“We built a system that allows the aircraft owners to order parts and check on their orders, and the aerospace company to track the progress of those orders through the manufacturers,” Duncan said.

Awarded the 2011 Best of Santa Clarita Award in the Web Site Development category by the U.S. Commerce
Association for the third year in a row, eSolutions has also built customized software for the owner of a local Sprint cellphone store.

“(ESolutions) built an online database for our customers,” said Al Lairson, owner of the Sprint store on Bouquet Canyon. “It’s a pretty robust system, and includes a point-of-sale system.”

With a belief that the software product would be beneficial to other independent-franchise owners, Lairson created the company IntelliQ Data to sell the product eSolutions built. Together, the two business owners continue to develop the product.

Expansion
While business is still soft in a lot of business sectors, Duncan said some companies are doing well. Some companies were cutting back and others were moving forward as if the economic downturn had not affected them at all.

“We’re fortunate because we work with so many different biz sectors,” said Duncan.

ESolutions has grown by building a strong customer base and purchasing other companies along the way.

It bought SCVNET, one of the first Internet-service providers in the Santa Clarita Valley, in the mid-2000s, and then purchased Grapevine as the nation began to sink into the Great Recession in 2007.

“It did create a little bit of a touch-and-go situation for a little while,” said Duncan. “But we ended up strong, and are continuing to look for new opportunities to expand.”

Expert advice
Anyone can set up a website using many of the national services that sell prepackaged websites. So much of the competition is price-driven, but customized solutions aren’t available from the national services.

What sets eSolutions apart is the custom designs and service it provides, Duncan said.

“We know each one of our companies and customize platforms or solutions for them.”

ESolutions is really for people who want some expertise to come along with their Web hosting. The company was working with a food company who was appearing on a television program.

“We helped them prepare for the onslaught of website visits they would get,” Duncan said.

The first time the company appeared on-air, it wasn’t prepared — the number of visitors rushing to its site took down the server for 10-15 minutes.

Storefront
Having a storefront is the best business move the company ever made, according to its owner. Although having a retail store adds overhead costs, Duncan feels it brings visibility and credibility to the business.

“I would say, everything being equal, every business would prefer to sit down face-to-face with their development company to discuss ideas and ask for advice,” said Duncan.

ESolutions is located at 22810 Soledad Canyon Road, just east of Bouquet Canyon Road, near Chi Chi’s. Customers can reach the company by visiting the store, calling (661) 253-9750, or visiting online at www.esolutions.net

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