Global Shop Solutions, a leading developer of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. Founded in 1976 by Dick Alexander, the family-owned business has grown from a small software developer to a global enterprise with five separate divisions in the U.S, Mexico, U.K, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand. A recognized industry leader, Global Shop Solutions currently serves thousands of discrete manufacturers in more than 25 countries and is known worldwide for making their ERP software customers’ most valuable asset. The company credits this outcome to product quality, customer service, and family-business values.
“I want to salute my father, who founded this company 45 years ago and still comes into work every day,” says Dusty Alexander, President and CEO of Global Shop Solutions. “He built this company by listening to our customers, developing the software based on their needs, creating a work environment where employees can grow and thrive, and delivering the highest level of customer service. Forty-five years later, these fundamental values continue to guide the business in everything we do.”
“I also admire the years of hard work and persistence my father and mother put into building a successful business,” says Alexander. “They made a lot sacrifices and went through a lot of growing pains most young companies experience. Both of my parents put their hearts into getting this company to where it is today, and I’m proud to continue the legacy they built along with my sister Erika Klein (VP of R&D) and brothers-in-law Barry Klein (CFO) and Jayland Keeney (Director of HR).”
A Culture of Customer Service and Family Ownership
Founder Dick Alexander remained committed to family ownership of the business – no easy task in an industry where ERP software companies are bought, sold, merged, or acquired on a regular basis. To this day his vision of family ownership for generations to come remains alive and well within the organization.
“We take pride in 45 years of family ownership, and we plan on keeping it that way,” says Alexander. “Years ago we successfully transitioned from first- to second-generation ownership, an evolution that many family-owned businesses struggle to achieve. In addition to myself, second-generation family members now occupy many key functional and departmental leadership roles in the company, including Research & Development, Finance, and Human Resources.”
Alexander credits the family ownership structure for much of the company’s long-term business success.
“Unlike most companies, our goal is not to maximize shareholder value,” says Alexander. “Instead, we focus on making sure our customers and employees are successful and happy. We want this value to radiate through all aspects of the business to ensure Global Shop Solutions is a long-term partner and employer.”
“Our success as a business depends on our ability to meet the needs of our customers in a rapidly changing industry, and that requires a long-term perspective,” he adds. “Our focus on the long term serves the best interests of the customer and aligns with our mission to deliver the best customer service in the industry.”
Our People Make the Difference
Global Shop Solutions may be a technology company, but it’s the people that make it special. Since joining the company 31 years ago as the sixth full-time employee, Alexander has seen the business grow to more than 300 employees. The company has nearly 100 employees that have stayed with the company for over 10 years and dozens over 20 years.
“We have some of the longest-tenured employees in the industry and that drives our expertise and thought leadership,” says Alexander. “Employees constantly bring new ideas to improve our software. When customers need something done, they find a way to do it. And they serve as role models and mentors for other employees. I get calls, emails and texts every day from customers saying how happy they are with our software and service. I’m proud of our team for sharing the vision of making Global Shop Solutions our customers’ most valuable asset.”
Not surprisingly, Alexander sees Global Shop Solutions as more of a people business than a technology company.
“Developing ERP software is what we do, but our mission is to simplify manufacturing and help make our customers more successful,” he concludes. “What makes Global Shop Solutions special to me is the relationships we have with the people who use our software. Many of them also run family-owned businesses, and they feel like friends rather than customers. Striving to be their trusted partner keeps us looking ahead to see what we need to do and where we need to go to help them succeed. It’s also part of what makes this job so enjoyable and rewarding.”