SWC Featured in Local Newspaper
By Nick Vogel | The Doings Oak Brook
Bob Knott, president of a growing Oak Brook based company, says having an address in the village has its advantages.
“It’s very centrally located. From Oak Brook, you can get to anywhere,” Knott said in a recent interview. His company, SWC Technology Partners, provides information technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. With hundreds of customers in the Chicago area, being able to get in and out of the city is important, Knott said.
The unemployment rate in DuPage County has gone up from 6.4 percent to 7.4 percent in the month of February, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Currently, SWC has openings for five full-time employees.
According to the University of Illinois’ Flash Index – a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income – the state’s economy is continuing a downward decline that began in August of 2008. But, in the midst of this statewide decline, Knott said that in 2008, SWC grew by about 23 percent.
“I think we’ve got the right mix of the kind of innovation and services that are helping clients navigate the tough times,” said Knott. “When we do a good job, they view us as an extension.”
SWC typically hires professionals with several years of experience. “Traditionally, what we’ve found is most of our employees are from within the 88 corridor,” he said, using a colloquialism for I-88, the Reagan Memorial Tollway.
SWC attracts top talent because of its history. “I think we’ve done a nice job creating a nice career path. Anybody that comes in the door here can ultimately become the next president (of the company),” Knott said.
The fact that the company is hiring at all is a reflection of SWC’s growth, Knott said. “Ultimately, what happens is that our customers see success and they come back to us.”
The area’s top businesses are still doing well, Knott said. “They’re finding ways to move fast and adjust and kind of move with the market.” As for mid-market companies – the kind that SWC typically does work for –Knott has noticed several hints of economic turnaround. “What’s interesting is we’ve seen for the last four weeks an increase in the new opportunities we’ve identified.” Mid-market businesses have between 100 and 2,000 employees. Knott estimates that 8,000 to 10,000 companies in the Chicago area fit the mid-market profile.
In the past four weeks, Knott has noticed an increase in security and network infrastructure projects and information technology outsourcing, as well as business intelligence and workflow solutions.
SWC’s goal, Knott said, is to be the leading provider of information technology to the mid-market in Chicago. “And ultimately, in doing that, we’re going to continue to get our message out there and continue to show that we’re the best business partner for IT,” he said. This year the company won the Microsoft Compete to Win Award for the mid-west district.