Scott City Company Wins ‘Excellence in Business Award’

The University of Missouri’s Business Development Program recently recognized Technology and Networking, Inc. of Scott City, Mo., with the “2004 Celebration of Excellence in Business Award.”

The award was presented at the University of Missouri Business Development Program’s annual meeting Feb. 9 in Jefferson City, Mo.

Technology and Networking, Inc., is a client of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southeast Missouri State University. Southeast holds a contract from the University of Missouri for its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program.

Larry Cooper, SBDC business specialist at Southeast, nominated the company for the award in late 2003. The awards are presented by the Business Development Program annually to recognize outstanding achievement in business management throughout the state.

“This award means a lot to us,” said owner Jason Eftink. “Like most business owners, our business is an extension of our character. We respect our customers and employees, honor our commitments, and are very successful at staying a step or two ahead of the competition. At the end of the day, hopefully, we have made a little better life for our community, employees and all of our families. We don’t do it for an award, but we certainly appreciate our efforts being noticed.”

Technology and Networking, Inc., located at 610 Second Street East in Scott City, is a customer relations and computer networking provider. Owners are Jason Eftink, Danny Vinyard, Shawn Eftink and Michelle Vinyard. Technology and Networking specializes in computer networking solutions, including 24/7 critical device monitoring, network security, FCC and GLBA compliance assistance and structured network cabling. The company, which is six and a half years old, has nine employees and offers specialized services focused on edge technology, configuration and security such as firewalls, routers and switches.

Owner Jason Eftink sought assistance from the SBDC after being referred there by another SBDC client in 1998, Cooper said.

Initially, Eftink requested assistance with financial analysis, packaging and forecasting, market research, development of a marketing plan and direct mail marketing.

Since 2000, the company began actively exploring state and federal procurement opportunities, Cooper said. Eftink requested information on doing business with the government. He also sought advice on a new business plan.

Small business owners often report that conducting business with the government is a process fraught with paperwork and problems, Cooper said. In Eftink’s case, one slight problem did arise regarding the return of some equipment and slow payment of an invoice. With Cooper’s help, the problem was resolved, and the agency processed payment in a timely fashion.

As a result of the SBDC’s assistance, Technology and Networking has identified new markets, refined the company’s planning and marketing skills, qualified as an SBA 8a client and succeeded in selling products and services to the federal government. The company has transformed itself from a firm with a commercial-only customer base to one with a 30 percent government sales portfolio. Procurement sales the last two years were $500,000 and $500,000 already is awarded for 2004. The rest is history as Technology And Networking has become a successful government contractor.

Currently they do work for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the Defense Enterprise Computing Center (DECC) and the Air Combat Command. From a small office in Scott City, they dispatch engineers around the country to work with the world’s largest customers.

“Jason (Eftink) is a manager who is ever pressing the managerial knowledge frontier,” Cooper said. “His entrepreneurial management approach and diligence are to be commended.”

In 2003, a Dun & Bradstreet Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation independent survey ranked Technology and Networking as one of the top information technology service providers in customer satisfaction. The rating was based on survey feedback from past customers. Also last year, the company was awarded a five-year schedule from the federal government’s General Services Administration, enabling Technology and Networking to offer its comprehensive portfolio of technology support services to government civilian and Department of Defense agencies.

In addition, Technology and Networking completed final certification requirements last fall with Cisco Systems Inc. to become the only Cisco Premier Partner with a VPN/Security specialization within a 100-mile radius. Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

For more information on the services of the Small Business Development Center, call (573) 986-6084. For more information on Technology and Networking, visit http://www.tanonline.com or call (573) 264-4052 or toll-free (888) 826-6654.