CompuSmile case study Angie's List Super Service Award 2018 winner
at a glance
at a glance
direct client Z Company logo
indirect client
nature of work hardware, software, and Internet service purchase consultation and procurement; hardware, software, and networking setup; training; Microsoft Office services; web design and development; Internet research
role consultant
time frame 2001.07 - present
status ongoing
in a nutshell I served as an outsourced IT department for a small company that couldn't afford full-time technical staff.
  • Before my arrival, Z Company's "computer system" consisted of a 1985 Macintosh and an early '90s, DOS-based PC, both of which were quite outdated by today's standards. After assessing the company's business needs, I selected, ordered, and set up for them a brand new computer system consisting of the following elements:

    • three budget-priced Dell desktop PCs
    • one mid-level Dell laptop PC
    • Microsoft Office XP Small Business Edition for each PC
    • one mid-level scanner
    • two budget-priced personal laser printers
    • wireless networking equipment to connect everything together

    What's important to note is that I selected for Z Company computing equipment only for which they had a legitimate business need. Nothing more, and nothing less.

  • Since Z Company had yet to harness the power of the Internet, I procured and set up for them a low-cost, business-class DSL service to give them basic e-mailing and Web-surfing capabilities.

  • When I first met with Z Company, they were leasing a $20,000 color copier to print the labels for the bottles and drums of cleaning products they produce. After thoroughly researching the available alternatives, I signed my client up in Xerox's free color printers program for small businesses, obtained for them a free Xerox Phaser 860/DP color laser printer, and effectively reduced their color printing costs per month from $650 to $130, or more than $6,200 annually — a savings of 80%!

  • As part of the process of reducing Z Company's color printing costs, I redesigned their labels to make their use of color more effective. As a result, Z Company's labels now look much more professional, they establish a better brand and product line identity, and they elevate the aesthetics of their products above that of their competitors. (See the before-and-after comparison below!)

  • I'm currently in the process of helping Z Company migrate its accounting system from an early '90s, proprietary, DOS-based application to the multi-user QuickBooks Pro 2002 package. We conservatively estimate that the transition will save Z Company 500 to 1000 man-hours of administrative work annually, equivalent to $5,000 to $10,000 in salary costs.

  • I'm currently in the process of designing a basic web presence for Z Company. The site is still in its infancy, but it will soon blossom into a powerful means for further enhancing the company's image and attracting new business.

see it for yourself
see it for yourself

desktop publishing

One of the easiest ways to see the value I provided to Z Company is to compare a sample original product label to the new one I designed for them.

Click on the thumbnail images below to open their full-size versions in a new window.


click on image to display it full-size in a new window


click on image to display it full-size in a new window

(view side-by-side)

  • Name of product is buried in the text.
  • The name of the product is bold and easily-readable, tremendously improving brand and product recognition by customers.
  • Label's layout is haphazard.
  • Label's layout is well-structured, placing most-important text front-and-center, and pushing ancillary text to the side.
  • Large, uniform, magenta-colored boxes do not emphasize important label components.
  • Color is used judiciously to compartmentalize the label's components and draw attention to the most important parts.
  • Label sections such as CAUTION, SKIN PROTECTION, and EYE PROTECTION all run together, making them difficult to read and distinguish from one one another.
  • Label sections are separated into visible chunks, making each section easy to locate and read.
  • High-saturation of color increases ink costs per-label.
  • Moderate color saturation reduces per-label cost by 20%.
  • Print quality is poor, as the label is — at best — a second-generation photocopy.
  • Print quality is excellent, as the label is produced directly from a high-quality, low-cost color laser printer.
  • Label is not particularly pleasing to the eye.
  • Label pretty much kicks ass! Z Company's competitors drool in jealousy.
tools & technology
tools & technology
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Photoshop LE
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver
  • Macromedia Fireworks
  • Intuit QuickBooks Pro 2002


  • Windows ME
  • Windows XP, Home Edition
  • 802.11b wireless networking
  • Internet connection sharing
  • TCP/IP
  • desktop publishing
  • Macintosh-to-PC data conversion
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • OCR (optical character recognition)
don't take my word for it!
don't take my word for it!

"When I first met Scott, I had a good gut feeling about him. He seemed very knowledgeable and confident, but he was also honest and didn't make any promises he couldn't fulfill. Hiring Scott was the right thing for us to do, and he couldn't have come along at a better time. He's already saved us tons of money, and he's helping us revamp the way we do business."

Alan Zagurski
Z-Specialty Products, Inc. (aka "Z Company")


"Over the years, I've spent a lot of my time doing grunt-work that Scott is now helping us to eliminate through automation, making my job much more creative and enjoyable. The new technology we've been adding to our office has been a little overwhelming at first, but Scott's personalized tutoring-with-a-smile and bright optimism have helped me pick things up very quickly. He's fun to work with. :-)"

Jennifer Zagurski
The one who's really in charge
Z-Specialty Products, Inc.


"Scott is a great guy. He pets my tum-tum, gives me water when I'm thirsty, and tells me I look handsome in the bandanas my Mom makes me wear."

Jack Zagurski
Z-Specialty Products, Inc.



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