Tuesday, December 15, 2015  05:00 AM
HiTouch Business Services Brings Portfolio of Services to Bear for American Addiction Centers Expansion

Success in any endeavor requires more than sheer willpower. It also demands experience, know-how, foresight, ability to see the big picture and, in many cases, the guiding hand of someone who has walked the path before.

American Addiction Centers (AAC), which provides innovative, comprehensive services for those struggling with alcohol and/or drug health issues, needed to be focused on doing what it does best: helping its clients find lasting freedom. But it had a separate need that also would take more than just resolve.

The quickly growing company, with eleven facilities across eight states, was set to move to a new main campus in Brentwood, Tenn. That included an upgrade that would increase capacity in the call center—without an interruption in business operations. AAC also needed improvements in furniture and design that would allow its nearly 300 employees to be as effective, efficient and inspired as possible while focusing on clients.

It found the answer within the comprehensive portfolio of HiTouch Business Services. AAC had first been introduced to HiTouch through its MyOfficeProducts unit, which regularly provided supplies. But when MyOfficeProducts account manager Brian Bostelman initially learned of the impending project, the conversation quickly broadened to the variety of services HiTouch could offer.

Space Planning and New Furniture
designWorks, the HiTouch workspace design and furniture division, was introduced to create an exciting new aesthetically pleasing space that meshed new furniture and fixtures with existing assets.

Starting at AAC’s prior facility, designWorks and MyOfficeProducts team members inventoried every item of existing furniture, fixtures, artwork and interior design elements, developing a plan to repurpose as much as possible in the new space, more than twice the size.

“By the time that process was complete, we knew the project at a very detailed level, and it empowered us to be able to keep asking the right questions at the right time,” said Cory Davis, MyOfficeProducts regional vice president. “That was very important in earning trust and in allowing us to keep moving the project forward.”    

For the new design, designWorks representatives met with individual department heads, learning how they worked and what they wanted for their team members; legal, finance, marketing and the 24-hour call center each had unique needs.

The new call center (above.)  Integration of new and existing furniture across multiple departments (below.)

“Understanding how important the employees are to American Addiction Centers, a key driver was to provide highly motivating and productive workspaces,” said designWorks designer Teri Bryan. 

designWorks head Dwayne Deal led a project team that included AAC representatives to Atlanta on a two-day showroom tour, evaluating needs-based solutions that met the client’s aesthetic preferences and considering the manufacturers that offered the very best life-cycle value, history and consistencies, intrinsic design elements, and total ROI for the budget.  Through multiple meetings and discussions, the team finalized selections that best suited the total workplace solution.

Bryan also made the trip to AmericasMart Atlanta and to the JSI Furniture showroom in Nashville, and viewed Allsteel call center solutions that were ultimately selected for inclusion. As for AAC’s existing furnishings, Bryan thoughtfully planned the entire new space, repurposing and using almost all of the client’s existing furniture and modular office units along with new furniture in each area.

Throughout the entire project, designWorks was engaged in construction meetings, meetings with the architect, and end-user meetings. Such engagement ensured that all parties were on the same page on every facet of the build out.

“Our commitment to this project I believe demonstrated to American Addiction management and staff, that we were embedded team members through completion to see that their expectations were met or exceeded at every level,” added Deal.

Relocation Services and Sustainable Move Solutions
The move could be handled through Rentacrate’s Sustainable Move Solutions comprising relocation planning and move services for the nearly 300 existing employees of AAC.  

Everything making the move was organized into numerically and color-coded reusable Rentacrate Pack-n-Stack crates and dollies or other specialty moving carts, and matched with coordinating floor plans, directional signage and endpoint signage marking every destination in the new facility for the easiest, most efficient move possible.

Information Technology Products and Support
When the discussion turned to technology needs, ITSimplify was there.

Given their forward thinking approach to IT initiatives, AAC’s move to a new headquarters opened opportunities to examine ways to advance their infrastructure and mission critical functionality and enhance levels of performance across multiple systems.  ITSimplify was originally considered as a competitive source for hardware providing Lenovo Mini Desktops, Monitors and other hardware, but the role broadened when ITSimplify's Vice President of Technology Jamie Gray and Vice President of Managed Services Andy Katz were able to help AAC in surfacing a number of important issues around very specific technical details relating to their Voice Over IP system and new VDI solution.  Deep diving the issues, ITSimplify was very thorough in providing clarifying answers.

"We approached it as if we were going to deploy it ourselves," stated Gray, "And our team built confidence and trust and prompted them to consider ITSimplify for help with the network architecture for the new facility as well."

ITSimplify provided technical support in the assessment and selection of CISCO core 4500 series processors and 3500 series access switches for the client's VSS technology.  ITSimplify provided the hardware, and Katz was tapped for extensive technical support relating to and after the deployment. 

“It was the kind of real world support that goes beyond the terminology found on data sheets and configuration guides,” added Katz, “it is where we add the greatest value for our clients.” 

ITSimplify worked closely with Cisco on registering the opportunity and leveraging discounts that afforded the customer tremendous savings and managed product delivery to coincide with very specific construction schedules at the new facility. 

Katz also provided support on certain critical issues working with the client to assure an uninterrupted call center changeover.  He added, “We hope for this type of relationship in our business where we are trusted to add real value and help our customers achieve their targeted outcomes.”

Additional Services
Ultimately, the project involved projection and state-of-the-art audio visual hardware and software for two training rooms; commercial and consumer-grade TVs for call center and customer engagement tracking with professional installation and wiring; Lenovo computers; Cisco network switches; high-end Lutron blinds; and sound masking for both billing and call center employees. There were also training room and break room furnishings including s a 14-foot custom company logoed shuffleboard table, pool table and Golden Tee Golf, as well as Sonic ice machines and even bathroom fixtures. All involved understood that the highly demanding work of addiction recovery must be balanced with an environment that instills comfort, balance and the opportunity for levity.

Training Center (above) with interactive projection system and custom game tables (below) in break rooms and stainless bath fixtures.

“Working with what was basically a one hundred day window for project completion, we knew the detailed work of space planning our entire new facility including a new call center, new furniture selection and installation, relocating our existing operations, repurposing much of our existing furniture and fixtures, and integrating significant new technologies into the project was going to take a lot of coordination as we completed construction on the new space.  HiTouch brought to the table the unique set of capabilities that we needed and eliminated the challenge of having numerous vendors.  But more importantly, they know how to integrate those capabilities to keep things on track, and their people have great expertise and real-world project experience that we demand from all of our partners. They delivered value in every area of the project,” said Jose Orozco, AAC’s VP of property development.

 “Bringing the entire company’s resources to bear on a single project as one team has been a great experience,” Bostelman said. “It’s why I joined HiTouch. We have a tremendous amount of knowledge and proficiency, as well as a commitment to getting it right.”  

John Helm, VP of strategic accounts for HiTouch Business Services, said that as the project continued to expand, direct lines of communication opened between the leadership of both companies, making the decision-making process “very effective.”

“We were able to move through the development and presentation of solutions to being able to execute them in a timely manner,” Helm said. “Because of the strength of our already-existing vendor relationships and the decision-making model, we accomplished a lot in a very tight, 100-day timeframe.”

AAC Chairman and Co-Founder Michael Cartwright, in his book “Believable Hope,” speaks of the importance of surrounding yourself with winners in order to find success. “HiTouch is a winner in its unique area,” Orozco said, “and that has allowed us to better help our clients win when facing their own challenges.”



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