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Tom Crowley, MBX

ABA11 Winner / How to Enter

Company: MBX, Wauconda, IL
Entry Submitted By: SS|PR
Company Description: MBX Systems specializes in the configuration, manufacturing and deployment of server appliances and optimized systems for software application developers and service providers. MBX combines turnkey hardware programs with value-added services including platform configuration, hardware branding, inventory management, global logistics, product support and system warranties.
Nomination Category: Management Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Executive of the Year - Computer Hardware

Nomination Title: Tom Crowley, CEO

    Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since January 1 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

        In 2010, as most companies struggled to climb out of the recession, server
appliance designer and manufacturer MBX Systems had a record year under the
guidance of founder/CEO Tom Crowley. It:
* More than doubled revenues;
* Boosted appliance manufacturing volume by 57%;
* Launched five new standard appliance platforms and additional custom models;
* Implemented new systems that improved manufacturing output and quality
* Maxed out its profit sharing plan;
* Awarded $1,000 bonuses to every employee; and
* Initiated plans to double its space for the second time in two years.

Ten years ago, Crowley had the vision to steer MBX into the server appliance
market when he recognized that enterprise software vendors needed a faster, more
customer-friendly alternative to delivering applications on CDs or as electronic
downloads. Today, that vision is paying off with:
* Information Week calling server appliances the TECH STORY OF THE YEAR
in 2010.
* MBX ranking as the world’s fastest-growing company dedicated
exclusively to this space.

As the driving force behind MBX’s expansion in 2010 and for 15 consecutive
growth years previously, Crowley guided key initiatives that yielded major
dividends. Accomplishments included:

        (1) 116% YEAR-OVER-YEAR GROWTH
Driven by increasing market demand, new customers dissatisfied with other
suppliers and a variety of strategic decisions championed by Crowley, the
company saw:
* A 96% increase in sales to existing customers
* NEW customers comprising 10% of sales
Among the key drivers was the adoption of a new “hunter/farmer” sales model that
involved dividing the sales staff into dedicated business development and sales
account teams. That helped MBX seal new deals in 2010 as well as establish a
rich pipeline for 2011.

Many of MBX’s new customers in 2010 came from vertical sectors that are not
traditional appliance markets, including data storage and embedded computing
applications. This was a direct result of research commissioned by MBX to
identify new market opportunities.

In 2010, MBX implemented new production, picking and tracking procedures that
helped increase manufacturing throughput. Improvements included:
* Shortening production timeframes by reducing the number of builders per
* Switching to a pick-on-demand system that reduces the work in progress and
frees up space for additional production capacity.
* Reducing time spent searching for work orders through better tracking

Apple iPads were deployed in the warehouse to replace a picking system based on
paper tickets and manual bar code scanning. The change resulted in a:
* 14% increase in orders picked per month
* 20% reduction in picking defects
* 30% time savings per picked order

QA was improved through strategies including a new inspection station for
checking physical assembly of each appliance, plus the replacement of written
build instructions with visual documents to facilitate correct assembly of each
hardware system. Results included:
* 41% decrease in system defects
* 42% decrease in workmanship defects

    List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, []:

        Article: How the iPad is Making Strides in the Enterprise World, MacLife,

        News Story: 25 More Head-Turning Security Products to See at RSA Conference
2011, CRN, 2/17/11;jsessionid=iE18iBUr6WinnqHs5rjPtA**.ecappj01?pgno=12

        Press Releases: New SYZMO Remote Monitoring for MBX-Built Server Appliances
Maximizes Application Uptime for Appliance-Based Software (and others)

        Video: MBX Systems – What We Do

        Photographs: MBX Systems – Appliance Branding

        Other Online Documents: MBX Systems – Letter From The CEO

    Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the nominee:

        Tom Crowley is the CEO of MBX Systems. He founded the company in 1995 as a mail-
order supplier of hard drives and later computer components. By 2003 he had
transitioned MBX to focus exclusively on the server appliance market, providing
software developers with the option to deliver their applications on hardware
optimized for their application for trouble-free customer deployment. He
previously had a successful business development career at Telecom Corporation.
Before entering the business world, he was a musician whose band, Idle Tears,
released an album on the MCA label and opened for the Beach Boys in 1984.