Headquartered in Brighton, Michigan, Lowry Solutions provides enterprise mobility solutions such as RFID (Radio-frequency identification) services, barcode, and wireless networking services, as well as AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture) technology for diverse application challenges in a wide range of industries. (Enterprise mobility management is the set of people, processes, and technology focused on managing mobile devices, wireless networks, and other mobile computing services in a business context. Its goal is to determine if and how available mobile IT ((Information Technology)) should be integrated with work processes and objectives, and how to support workers when they are using these devices in the workplaces.)
The company, originally called Lowry and Associates was founded in 1974, by Richard Lowry, as a manufacturer’s rep firm selling Intel products, such as single board computers, memory cards, power supplies, and microprocessor development systems that were used, in those days, for test and measurement applications in R&D and manufacturing environments. “As part of the evolution of the business, along with the computers, we began providing computer peripheral equipment, including impact and line printers,” says Sean Lowry, current company President and grandson of its founder.
“One of our customers in the grocery industry in the early ‘80s asked if we could help them print bar codes with those printers,” Lowry continues. “And, as the story goes, we said, ‘Sure. What’s a bar code?’” And that was our first introduction into this AIDC industry.” (A barcode is an optical, machine-readable, representation of data. The first commercial appearance of a Universal Product Code ((UPC)) a barcode symbology, took place in 1974, at Marsh’s Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, on a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum. Today, barcodes have become ubiquitous in stores around the world.)
“And, as bar code standards and requirements were becoming more and more prevalent, my father, who had taken over the business, slowly and surely migrated our full attention to the AIDC business, and we were established as a nationwide reseller of all the predominant bar code equipment and manufacturers,” says Lowry. “Today, all of those bar code manufacturers have essentially consolidated into Zebra Technologies, a division of Honeywell, and we are global partners with them.”
Over the last four decades, the company continued to evolve, and eventually changed its name from Lowry and Associates, to Lowry Computer Products, and finally to Lowry Solutions, Inc., in 2014. In addition to reselling hardware, the company’s network of technicians provided nationwide services and ongoing support for the hardware it sold and installed.
“Over the last ten to twelve years, the company has been much more focused in being a turnkey solutions provider,” Lowry declares. “Not just providing that hardware and/or break-fix service, but actually expanding more into software solutions, professional services, and engineering, as well – asset tracking, work-in-process visibility, upfront planning from a design perspective, system architecture services, repair services, technical support services, post-implementation, quality control, operational workflow consulting – a total, turn-key solutions provider.”
Today, the company’s customers include manufacturing firms with their associated warehouse and distribution units, transportation and logistics enterprises, and government. “Mostly the Department of Defense,” Lowry says. “The remainder of our business is in the healthcare and retail sector.” Lowry Solutions has approximately 110 employees. It serves clients throughout the U.S. and Canada, and is hoping to extend its network of global distribution and service. “We work with many Fortune 100 customers,” says Lowry, “and they want consistency. They don’t want to deal with five or ten or fifteen different Zebra barcode partners around the globe; they want to work with one that has proven itself to have a scalable model, but also the ability to provide things like an online portal for business intelligence.”
So, Lowry says that the company is also investing heavily in a user-facing, customer-facing, online portal that is new to the industry. “And within that portal, we’re tying together all of our services. As one of our customers put it, they want the ‘Amazon experience.’ So, we’re trying to create that through technology and online platforms. We also have a small handful of customers that are approaching us to alter our model to more of the traditional IT model that the HPs and IBMs of the world provide in things like devices and service. That model is starting, just barely, to parade its way into our AIDC space and as we see that, we’re trying to make sure we’re on the forefront of that. When it is right for our customers’ business, we’re beginning to transition to more and more of a managed service provider.”
Since 1974, Lowry Solutions, Inc. has helped its customers make informed business decisions and become more competitive in the marketplace, by providing the most innovative barcode, RFID, biometrics, enterprise mobility, asset management, and inventory control solutions that reduce operational costs, heighten productivity, and improve process efficiency in an array of vertical markets. In addition, its enterprise mobility solutions empower the mobile worker through real-time communication and data access solutions. “We are in, what is now, a mature industry,” Lowry states. “Many companies use our technology, today, in their supply chains. We are continuing to drive future innovation, both-technology-wise, as well as the services that we offer – and not just in North America, but in global regions, as well.”
AT A GLANCE:
WHO: Lowry Solutions, Inc.
WHAT: A provider of enterprise mobility solutions
WHERE: Brighton, Michigan
Printronix – www.printronix.com