August 1, 2006
Contact: Chris Sandberg (562) 799-1555
Rancho Dominguez, CA – Sew What? Inc., innovative manufacturer of theatrical drapes and fabrics, has been named the national winner of the third annual Small-Business Excellence Award sponsored by Dell and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
The company, founded in 1992 by Australian-born Megan Duckett has grown from a tiny kitchen-and-garage operation to a multi-million dollar enterprise thanks to Ms Duckett’s take-no-prisoners approach to customer satisfaction. “When I see a problem, I just don’t back down. I find a way to overcome it and I use everybody I know to help me,” she said.
To that end, Ms Duckett has re-invented the business several times over, most recently with the ability to serve clients on a global level.
“We really take our innovator role seriously,” said Ms Duckett. “If we want to establish ourselves as a progressive leader in the world of show business, we have to assume a leadership position in our ability to serve the customer to extremes as well. Having the technological tools to make that possible is absolutely essential.”
The Dell/NFIB competition honors small businesses that “instill the spirit of innovation and apply information technology to improve customer experience” according to the NFIB. Sew What? Inc’s entry featured numerous examples of ways the company and its customers benefitted from a technological “extreme makeover.” This included setting up Internet tools that allow overseas customers to communicate with Sew What designers and follow their job progress in near-real time.
Sew What? cites its changeover from paper records of certification for fire-retardant fabrics to e-records as another example of their innovative use of technology toward serving their customers. Having all the documentation computerized allows producers to present an instant and complete paper trail for local fire inspectors. In addition, computerizing the entire work process from order intake through shipping means the ability to instantly access any part of the job and accommodate surprise changes from the customer on demand.
“We’re kind of iconoclasts,” said Ms Duckett. “Every time we find ways to improve ourselves and make the customer experience better, we go right at it. There are no sacred cows at Sew What? Inc.”
To qualify for the Small-Business Excellence Award, contestants must be a small business with 100 or fewer employees, be NFIB members, and show how they have used technology to drive a significant change or develop a competitive advantage in delivering superior customer value and experience. The winner was announced in June at the 2006 NFIB National Small-Business Summit in Washington, D.C.
Sew What? Inc., located in Rancho Dominguez, CA, is well-known for its dramatic theatrical drapes and fabrics used in major rock concerts, top fashion shows and other artistic staged venues. Recently their work was included on the 1000th cover of Rolling Stone magazine. For information, contact Sew What? Inc. at (310) 639-6000, or visit www.sewwhatinc.com.