“It’s been an interesting 23 years”, says OnDeck co-owner Naomi Carmichael.

Starting out a retail store serving the consumer and small business markets, OnDeck’s initial success was down to the different approach they brought to the computer business. “At the time OnDeck was started, there seemed to be this sort of ‘elitist’ attitude from many of the existing  computer retailers’ says Steve Carmichael, original founder along with his father, Don. ‘It was a kind of ‘well, we know everything, as a customer you know nothing, and we’ll just baffle you with all the jargon’. We set out very consciously to try and talk to customers in plain language and help them make informed decisions.

And that philosophy is very much alive today. “While everybody’s technical literacy has gone up since 1993”, says Naomi, “we still strive to help our clients make the best decisions and get the most value for their dollar”. Today, those clients are mostly small businesses and practicing professionals. OnDeck made the move away from the general consumer business back when the big-box stores arrived in town. “We knew that market was a race to the bottom in terms of price and profitability” Naomi says. “We decided then to commit to the small business owner and leverage our expertise and manufacturer relationships to their benefit. We invest a lot in ongoing training and certification so we can provide better fixes faster”. That commitment also led to OnDeck once being recognized by Computer Dealer News as one of the Top 100 Solution Providers in Canada.

OnDeck Systems is based in Courtenay and serves businesses from Port McNeill to Victoria to Port Alberni, for more information on OnDeck Systems see www.ondecksystems.ca or call 250.334.0638.

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