Quality service from the beginning
Harvey and Tamara McLendon bought the company that became Longleaf in 2007, from a sole proprietor who wanted to retire. Harvey did the IT support, while Tamara did the books. They inherited several clients, including a three-location veterinary practice. They hired their first employee soon thereafter – an experienced engineer – knowing that they needed to show their new clients that they were investing in high-level expertise.
Growth has been steady and purposeful, and mostly from client referrals. Those three veterinary practices were purchased by the owner of several others, and they were so impressed with Longleaf’s customer service and expertise, that they began to use it for all of their locations – now more than 200 sites.
The proof of the success of their approach is that Longleaf still services almost all of those original clients, including lawyers, doctors, financial services firms, and veterinarians. And most of those clients have referred other businesses to Longleaf, because we are:
- Trusted. We’re on the same page. We follow through. We solve business problems and create business opportunities through technology.
- Mature. We’ve seen and done it all, and we are generous in sharing our knowledge and expertise with others. Longleaf is well run and organized.
- Diligent in following best practices. We believe that there is a right way to do this work, and we stick to it. We don’t take short-cuts. When we solve a problem, we expect it to stay solved.
Harvey and Tamara now lead a team of engineers, support specialists, project managers, coordinators, and account managers. They hire the right people when they find them – people who are honest, engaged, hardworking, friendly, and technically adept – and train them in the Longleaf way of doing things.
Over time, Longleaf has moved away from a traditional “time and materials” basis and toward managed services arrangements, where the team is tasked with ongoing prevention and stability, instead of break/fix. Longleaf monitors the situation and is proactive, rather than waiting for the phone to ring with a problem. Its interests are aligned with its clients – smooth sailing for everyone is preferred – and service levels can be matched to each client’s specific needs.
It’s a smarter way of working – one that fits the Longleaf goal of preventing problems before they occur – and one of the many ways in which Longleaf strives to provide the best service to its clients.