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48 Hours to Launch: How Harrison Ford of Clear Lake Beat the Clock with Help from a Friend

time sensitive TV and Internet settings

Forty-eight hours before Harrison Ford opened its doors, the network wasn’t working. 

No Internet. 

No phone service. 

No connection.

Not Your Average Saturday

“It was 5:30, and we spent much of the day trying to figure this out so we could open our doors,” said owner Chad Harrison.  

Opening the doors of a car dealership is a challenging feat. From dealing with complex transitions to earning the trust of a new community to managing various accounts and credit applications, the journey to get to the starting line is fraught with obstacles. 

Harrison had a team of IT specialists ready to connect his operations, phones, offices, and more to the Internet, and they needed help. 

His dealership promoted the opening date. The Clear Lake community knew when the doors would open. And Harrison was fighting time. He did what any business person in his situation would do. He called a friend. 

“Brad. Is there any kind of help you can provide,” he asked CL Tel Plant Manager Brad Emerson. 

Just a Phone Call Away

Emerson received the text Saturday evening. 

“After our conversation, I knew Chad had a team anxiously waiting to complete a job, and he just needed his network up and running,” said Emerson. “Now!”

I’ve worked with other phone and Internet companies in our other locations, and I’ve never had the service that CL Tel has given me.”

Chad Harrison

According to a survey conducted by Small Business Trends, 30% of small businesses reported losing revenue due to Internet outages, with 37% stating that they could not serve customers during the outage. The study also found that businesses lost an average of $1,200.00 per day due to Internet outages, with some companies losing up to $10,000.00 per day. While this wasn’t an outage, his company was concerned about opening its doors without the Internet. 

Without the Internet, the network is unreliable. And one of the most critical pieces of equipment for the dealership – an Internet-connected phone – is impacted by the network. It’s more than just plugging a phone into the wall. 

“We had to change all the phone numbers and convert them to the new owners so their calls would reach their offices,” said Harrison. He emphasized that a properly functioning phone system was another priority in a growing list of 12th-hour needs. 

Meanwhile, Emerson researched records, made a few calls, accessed the system, and returned Harrison’s call to share the next steps. 

Lessons Learned

Months before the opening date, Harrison worked with Ford corporate to ensure a smooth transition. For example, he said the amount of mail from the prior vendor that can continue to pour in months after moving out is surprising. The sooner a business works with the mail service – and corporate in his case – the better off they’ll be in receiving essential mail from the post office. 

Number portability is an often overlooked requirement. You’re taking an existing phone number and transferring it to another provider. Porting numbers from one business to another can be frustrating due to the numerous challenges arising during the process. Some of the most common issues that can cause frustration include delays in the porting process, technical glitches or errors that prevent the phone number from functioning correctly, and problems with verifying ownership of the phone number.

Various factors can cause delays in the porting process, including paperwork errors, miscommunication between carriers, or technical issues. This can lead to significant downtime for the business, impacting customer service, sales, and overall productivity. 

Good Kid. Great City.

“We wanted to earn a lot of trust in Clear Lake,” he said. 

Harrison has been in the community a long time, growing up here and graduating from Clear Lake High School in 1991. “We have a great brand name. We support local charities and events. Clear Lake is our hometown.” Harrison, along with his brother Brian and their business partner Dustin Petersen, owned Harrison Truck Centers, a family-owned business that has served the Clear Lake community for 23 years. 

One of his keys to success is taking care of customers and employees. “Take care of your employees and they’ll go above and beyond to take care of your customers.” 

That’s a phrase that CL Tel’s Emerson lives by. In less than an hour after speaking with Harrison on a Saturday, Emerson found a solution. He found the port information, reviewed the records with the IT team, and helped them activate the network – just in time to unwind on a Saturday night. 

“I’ve worked with other phone and Internet companies in our other locations, and I’ve never had the service that CL Tel has given me,” said Harrison. “It was a huge lift that we didn’t have to wait until the next day for help.” 

And with 24 hours to spare, Harrison and his team focused on other items, opening their doors confidently that Monday with a strong start. 

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