When Jim Millican started a Cleveland-based IT business in 1994, it was simply a one-man operation that grew from word of mouth. Several years later, he decided to build out Ashton Technology Solutions with a team of experts. This included Travis Grundke as a field technician engineer who came onboard in 2002. That’s also around when Jim starting using the Entrepreneurial Operating System tools to hit the ground running. But without a coach, it wasn’t easy.
Travis reflects, “We’ve always had good internal accountability with the L10 meetings. Still, we needed reinforcement to help direct our energies and get us where we wanted to go. Kimberly uses a no-bull approach that keeps us focused on exactly what we need to do.”
Kimberly has been with Ashton for three years. In that time, she helped to refine their identity and direction to what their customers value. Now a 25-employee operation, Ashton is a Channel Futures MSP 501 Winner. This is the most comprehensive ranking of the top-performing managed services providers (MSPs) worldwide. Yet, they don’t classify themselves as a such.
Information technology companies are part of an overcrowded marketplace, so Ashton chooses to be different. Driven by client feedback, Ashton is a Business Technology Firm that focuses on successful outcomes rather than fixing day-to-day IT problems (though they do that too).
This has led Ashton to be more innovative and customer-centric in everything they do. With a focus on results, they restructured their delivery model to a more productive and collaborative environment. Simply put, they invest in their team to continually learn, eliminate bottlenecks, and produce lasting results. No one person holds all the knowledge, giving employees the tools to work independently.
Travis is a great example. Although his educational background is in international studies and economics, Travis self-taught information systems. He loves to learn, analyze, and solve problems so he started as a field technician. Because of Jim’s vision to have employees continually develop skills, Travis worked his way up to becoming Vice President of Operations in 2020.
Travis explains “Clients want and need solid business outcomes. So we train our engineers to handle most anything. This allows our employees to constantly be learning and growing. While at the same time, they are delivering effective business outcomes to clients at a much faster timeframe.”
Kimberly has helped Ashton Technology Solutions bring clarity to who they are and what they do. With a company culture and core values that puts the people first, Jim has built a company that is a testament to running EOS effectively. They solve issues before they become problems; have the right people in the right seats; and built a culture of accountability.