New ECMSI ‘Pod’ is the First of Many
WARREN, Ohio – The opening of ECMSI’s satellite location here is the first step of a multiyear expansion plan that owner Ralph Blanco says will see the tech services provider more than double in size.
“My guess would be we’ll be at 80 to 100 people,” he says.
ECMSI employs 33 from its main office in Struthers and serves clients within a 60-mile radius of the location.
The new site at 4619 Mahoning Ave., which Blanco calls a “pod,” will allow the company to expand it’s footprint and provide better service to clients in the area, he says.
“There are some things we can’t fix remotely,” says Lauren Butka, marketing director for the company.
“It’s important for us to be able to be on-site within an hour. We don’t want our partners to lose productivity waiting for us to get there,” she says.
ECMSI offers IT services including managed IT, cloud services, security and web design.
Blanco says he plans to open a second pod in Cleveland by the end of the year, followed soon after by a third in Akron.
“And then we’re going to be going all the way to Cincinnati,” he says.
The goal is to cut a path from northeast Ohio to southwest Ohio by opening eight to 10 more pods over the next eight years.
“We’ve done very well in the Youngstown, tri-county market, and I think moving to other markets is going to be a great opportunity,” Blanco says.
Four employees are currently working at the Champion pod, but it can staff as many as 10.
Blanco estimates each pod will employ four to six workers, with room to grow to meet the demand of each location.
“It opens up the ability to be able to hire in other areas, get tech skills from other areas. We won’t be limited to our area here,” he says.
Blanco says the biggest challenge he foresees will be integrating the company culture into the new locations. His plan is for new hires to work six to eight weeks at a nearby, established pod so they can learn the culture before starting at the new pod.
“We still want to feel like a mom and pop shop at the end of the day.”
Pictured at top: Front center, Ralph and Yvonne Blanco; back, Mike Gallagher, Nate Bair, Dan Parson, Steve Johnson, Jerry Savo, Dave Galioto and Shane Nesbitt.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.