Say hello to Project Manager Kraig Pritchett, who joined the IBS team in 2000.
At Integrated Building Systems, Kraig oversees customers’ service requests and technology projects for structured cabling, phone systems, sound masking, point-of-sale systems, and more. He works with a diverse customer base, including senior living facilities, auto dealerships, libraries, nonprofits, paint manufacturers, and national restaurants.
To solve problems in a high-tech world, Kraig values the time-tested (and yes, low-tech) strategy of actually talking with customers. “Customer service is a lost art,” he explained. “Voicemail? It’s okay, but call me back. A personal call lets you know that somebody cares and will help you get a solution.”
Kraig grew up in Illiopolis, Illinois, a small farming community where he lived next door to his grandparents, who lived above the family’s funeral home business. (His grandparents also owned the local ambulance service, and two great-uncles operated the hardware store.) His grandmother, who operated Pritchett Brothers Funeral Home until 2006, taught Kraig the value of customer service and the importance of supporting local businesses.
“My grandmother taught me to put the customer first, whenever they need you,” Kraig said. “She showed me that it was important to pay attention to details, like how we set up chairs for a funeral, arranged the flowers, or cut the grass.”
Details were also important in a farming community where everyone reused, recycled, and refurbished everything possible, Kraig said. That’s why he enjoys the Earth Day Electronics Recycling Drive that IBS hosts every April: “It’s a good way to take care of our environment. Seeing old equipment come back to IBS also shows us that customers got long-term value from our solutions!”
PASSION FOR SERVICE
Today at IBS, Kraig takes pride in taking care of his customers. It’s a theme woven throughout his life—from helping at the family funeral home to studying therapeutic recreation at Eastern Illinois University where he worked with local kids, playing basketball, jacks, and dominos to increase their physical abilities. He later coached youth soccer for 10 years and volunteered for his son’s high school soccer program.
“Service is all about building relationships, and showing you care,” Kraig reflected.
NINTENDO LEAP INTO TECHNOLOGY
After college, Kraig took an administrative job with Mazda, where he also employed auto-mechanic skills learned in high school. When the sale of a van hinged on the dealership’s ability to install a first-edition Nintendo system, Kraig’s knack for technology saved the day.
Kraig taught himself to build and program early computers, initiating their use at a commercial printing company and his own screen-printing business. He decided to pursue technology full-time and learn more about computers, networking, and servers at Micro Gallery, a firm acquired by IBS in 2000.
A POSITIVE FACE
Four years ago, tired of uninspiring messages on Facebook, Kraig decided to become a positive face on social media. Every weekday since, he’s posted an inspirational quote to set the tone for his own day and, he hopes, to share an uplifting moment with his connections.
“Setting a positive intention is the first thing I do every day,” he said. “It’s important to me to start every day on the right note, and to carry that throughout my day.”
GET TO KNOW KRAIG
Kraig’s colleagues describe him as a devoted family man, sentimental, protective, and loyal. Learn a little more about Kraig:
- Hometown: Illiopolis, Illinois
- First job: Grew up working for the family business, Pritchett Brothers Funeral Home
- Surprise!: I have no first name, just the letter “J” with no period.
- Fantastic family: Brenda, his wife, and his son Spencer
- Best on the big screen: “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”
- Take me away: To the South Carolina coast
- Take me to eat: At the DK Diner
- Recommended read: The futuristic “Ready Player One”—also great to listen to with Audible
- Best way to spend the weekend: Watching European soccer
- Best advice: From his grandmother—“Learn how to do it yourself; nobody will do it for you” and “If you don’t know, ask.”
- Sweet-tooth fix: Black jelly beans