Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) is a family-owned and operated company, focused on our family of exceptional employees. With this “people-first” approach, our employees have every chance to flourish and make their mark. Each month, we spotlight a different department within the company, from our manufacturing floor to our office buildings.
Information technology is the use of computers and telecommunications systems for storing, retrieving and sending information. From day-to-day operations to overall business process improvements, the information technology department at GFS is heavily involved in our own information technology and information systems (IS) activities. Let’s learn a little more about the IT department as a whole:
Department Name: Information Technology (IT & IS)
Number of employees: 10
Who they are: This group of fun, quirky individuals has a diverse set of personalities, with a main goal to help people. Helping others use technology or create tools that simplify or add value to their work life is what they enjoy most about their jobs. They are rewarded by the positive feedback they receive from the GFS user community.
What they are known for: Day-to-day, members of the team are responsible for:
- Responding to help desk tickets for internal support Installing hardware, including computers and other server activities
- Upgrading software
- Continuing to improve security measures, such as email, anti-virus and firewall
- Supporting and maintaining databases
- Developing and integrating program functionality
- Improving business processes and workflow through technology
How they make a difference: The IT group is responsible for sustaining GFS’ ERP system, which houses all customer orders and transactions, product information, pricing and inventory levels. On the IS side, the team is constantly programming and updating those programs to make them more efficient, creating applications that improve data accuracy and supporting internal business processes for quality.
Hidden Department Fact: More than half of the members of the IT department ride their bikes over their lunch break, including a longtime intern, Michael Tonn. Michael started as an intern in the IT department in 2011. Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with an information systems degree in May 2019, Michael will become full-time IT Support after nearly eight years as an intern.
Meet GFS Team Member: Westley Bennett, Applications Software Developer
With GFS since 2016, Westley facilitates software application development between programs and departments within the organization. He enjoys getting a chance to solve problems and make things better for the day-to-day operations at GFS.
“We are a service department, and our entire reason for being is to try to make the rest of the organization work as smoothly as possible,” Westley adds, “GFS’ core value of improvement is the centerpiece of our department.” When asked what he likes most about GFS, he said, “The fact that the company is filled with great people. I’ve never felt more comfortable at a company with how sincerely nice everyone is here.”
Outside of work, Westley has twin toddlers and loves tickling and chasing them around the house. Thanks to GFS’ previous matching HSA contribution program — a program that was unfortunately retired this year — he was able to afford LASIK surgery, which has enabled him to see clearly without the assistance of peripherals.
“Being in a place where you have an opportunity to work with a diverse range of people with different qualities and talents, and get to figure out how we can all best work together to resolve issues and improve our processes, is very rewarding,” Westley said.