SaviLinx, Blease Finding Success with Local Business
Many Maine business leaders recall the Envisionet story several years ago as the company, founded by Heather Blease, made its mark as a Maine employment engine, growing from start-up to one of the State’s largest employers in the late 1990s with over 2,500 call center employees.
Blease is at it again, having established a new contact center business called SaviLinx last summer, headquartered at Brunswick Landing and in partnership with NexxLinx, a company that purchased Envisionet several years ago.
Now seven months after start-up when asked about the differences between the SaviLinx experience and Envisionet, Blease smiles and reflects that it is a very different world.
Although SaviLinx is a start-up business, its partnership with NexxLinx provides them with systems, processes and procedures that are far more sophisticated than the usual fledgling company.
“We are delivering a very refined service that took Envisionet several years to achieve,” Blease said.
Located within the former command center of the old Brunswick Naval Air Station, the infrastructure is perfect for a contact center operation. Not only is the building highly secure, it has full power back up and large redundant networks. The building was designed to continue to operate in the event of a nuclear catastrophe during the cold war.
The local Maine community has been instrumental in helping to launch the business. Although Envisionet made its mark with clients such as Microsoft and Dell, SaviLinx is focused on serving the Maine business community. For several years, companies have contracted offshore for customer and technical support. New trends show that these jobs and contracts coming back home. According to a 2013 survey by the Association Connecting Electronics Industries, 16 percent of the 92 U.S. high-tech firms interviewed said they already have returned a portion of their operations to North America in the past two years.
Several of the company’s new clients enjoy direct access to their SaviLinx team.
“We can work much more closely with our Maine clients and welcome them into our facility to work side by side with our team which is truly an extension of their team,” Blease said. “The ability to meet face-to-face with our clients on a moment’s notice is an extraordinary advantage.”
Blease feels fortunate that Maine business clients are willing to work with her start up business.
“Not only are they getting top notch service, but they are committed to keeping jobs in Maine,” she said. “Several of our new clients are moving their support services from ‘away’ and back to Maine. In essence, they are contributing to the growth of our local economy. I buy my vegetables from a local farm, frequent small, locally owned stores and contract with Maine business for our company support services. We need to purposefully keep these jobs in Maine.”
Eventually, SaviLinx has its eye on government contracts. Again Blease reiterates; “In 2011, the federal government contracted $104 billion to small businesses in the US. It is time that our federal tax dollars benefit the State of Maine. Why not us? Why not here in Brunswick, Maine?”
After seven months in business, SaviLinx currently employs 30 people and supports 12 clients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The SaviLinx facility can support approximately 500 employees.
The challenge: How long it will take SaviLinx to max out their facility?