Since 1879, The C.A. Lawton Co. has manufactured large iron castings and machined components for commercial and industrial markets. Located in De Pere, Wisconsin, the family-owned manufacturer is currently under fifth-generation ownership and management. The company’s success is built on delivering quality gray and ductile iron castings from 500 to 15,000 pounds, as well as associated pattern tooling and machined components to meet customer requirements.
With the departure of its IT manager, The C.A. Lawton Co. faced a choice many businesses ultimately face—should it rehire or outsource? Recognizing that the way to move forward was to first determine its current position, the company called Wipfli for assistance.
Because The C.A. Lawton Co. was without sufficient on-site technology resources, Wipfli first provided initial support to stabilize the manufacturer’s IT environment and ensure uninterrupted operations. The firm then conducted an assessment that showed several shortcomings, weaknesses, and an overall mostly undocumented technology environment.
Using the findings, Wipfli developed a plan to upgrade and update the manufacturer’s technology environment incrementally. With a service agreement for outsourced services in place, the firm became part of the manufacturer’s IT team. Wipfli supplied the necessary staff in various roles, from Help Desk to Network Engineering, to meet the company’s technology needs. The firm monitored the manufacturer’s system 24/7 and performed preventive maintenance functions to further maximize up time.
Not only did the firm restructure The C.A. Lawton Co.’s IT operations, it also provided leadership and advisory services so the full outsourcing arrangement could serve as a temporary solution. Wipfli trained the manufacturer’s IT staff in an effort to establish increased in-house IT self-sufficiency. This included mentoring and grooming company talent to take on larger roles and responsibilities.
Armed with more information than it had ever previously had, The C.A. Lawton Co.’s leadership team could use Wipfli’s assessment to make prudent decisions on how best to prioritize its needs and invest to shore up its technology environment. Outsourcing to Wipfli allowed the manufacturer’s staff to address other critical business priorities instead of having to manage and resolve issues in the IT environment. It also gave the company peace of mind that its systems would not only be maintained, and vastly improved, but that operations would continue uninterrupted.
In addition, The C.A. Lawton Co. could choose to move confidently toward an increased use of its own in-house resources and building its talent pool while partnering with Wipfli’s outsourced services for higher level knowledge when necessary.