Case Studies

Kidwell: Technology for Tomorrow, Made Possible Today

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Once grounded in the electrical industry, Kidwell has grown over the course of 65 years by serving the technology needs for businesses of all shapes and size. A large, highly trained staff provides the Nebraska-based company’s clients with innovative, efficient solutions. Kidwell splits its services into two parts: electrical contracting and technology development.

Todd Long, vice president of Kidwell, has been with the company for five years. “The technology side of our business is growing faster than ever,” says Long.

In 1948 Don Kidwell opened the family-operated business, and the tradition stays alive. Chris Kidwell, Don’s son and president and CEO of Kidwell, followed in his father’s footsteps, purchasing the company in 1973 and maintaining family ownership. With the same entrepreneurial spirit as his father, Chris sought to expand the company into new markets. Chris observed the need for technological advancements in cabling, nurse call systems, physical security, access control, security cameras, audiovisual public space design and IT networking. He knew Kidwell was the company for the job.

Kidwell operates out of two locations in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., reaching the southeastern portion of the state and into Iowa. The company is also bettering itself, as the Kidwell corporate office in Lincoln recently moved to a new state-of-the-art office.

“We moved into a new building about five years ago,” says Long. “The new building showcases our future in technology with a centralized data center and displays throughout the facility.” Kidwell employs 110 certified, diverse staff members who work daily to generate new ideas.

Creative Solutions

Kidwell likes to brainstorm and imagine innovative solutions that save clients time and the environment. The company promises clients a decrease in energy use and expenses through smart controls, light harvesting and visualization. By utilizing more natural light, consolidating servers and installing auto-shut-off features, Kidwell can dramatically reduce customer energy consumption.

Kidwell is also a master when it comes to communication services. The professionals at Kidwell can install the latest tools, whether it’s a need for perfection in sound, such as in auditoriums or worship facilities or an efficient way to communicate quickly for schools or industrial settings. These services include digital signage, videoconference, visual presentations, sound systems and environmental room controls. Protecting client’s assets is another specialty at Kidwell, securing buildings from the inside out with IP access control, monitoring and clarity.

The company operates on a design, install, manage concept. Long says it’s about familiarizing clients with the product so it can work to their best advantage. “We help them understand what their data system is,” says Long. “We map it out, acquire hardware, provide installation, train users and supplement staff – or we can manage it entirely.” By acting as more than just an installer, rather as an overall design management company, Kidwell cares about each customer.

Practicing Partnerships

Martie Cordaro, vice president and general manager for the Omaha Storm Chasers minor league team, can’t thank Kidwell enough. “We’re in the business of baseball,” explains Cordaro. “We were looking for a partner, product and service to manage the high number of inbound and outbound calls on a daily basis.” According to Cordaro, the system needed to handle about 15 sales representatives making upward of 100 calls. That is over 1,500 calls a day.

The system needed to be utilized both on and off site, while being both user-friendly and efficient. Of course, the ShoreTel system Kidwell installed delivered. “We looked into about four other companies,” says Cordaro. “In the end it came down to service, people and a quality guarantee. Kidwell didn’t have to sell us on the system. The system sold itself and they sold us on their service and expertise.”

Kidwell’s praises hail from all perspectives. Steve Steinauer, IT manager for Lincoln Electrical Systems (LES), says the services Kidwell provided his company were invaluable. “We were running out of capacity,” says Steinauer. “We decided to start from scratch and build a new data center.”

Kidwell installed all of the electric, cooling systems, cabling, security cameras and an access control system for LES. “Kidwell helped us a lot with the cabling side of things,” explains Steinauer. “Everything is labeled and ordered properly, making it really easy to find the source of a problem. We’re really happy with the work they did.”

Although the company self-performs all of its work, key partnerships with major vendors make the business possible. Kidwell has well-developed relationships with HP, Dell, ShoreTel, Cisco and many other well-known and established companies.

Construction wise, Kidwell buys from all major supply houses in the area. Such companies provide necessary support for Kidwell, but the firm tries not to push any particular vendor on clients. “We try to be vendor agnostic,” explains Long. This trusted reputation is a result of quality work and has kept Kidwell in business for over six decades.

Long believes Kidwell’s future is bright with new prospects. “We’re getting into software development, applications, as well as hardware and continuing to spin up new businesses,” states Long. The company continues to deliver advanced technological solutions to clients while maintaining key partnerships, ensuring Kidwell continues satisfying Nebraska and Iowa.

Published on: April 19, 2013

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