Specializing In Storage Of Stuff

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - October 03, 2007
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System Center vice president Stephan Edwards
System Center vice president Stephan Edwards

Stephan Edwards grew up in the family organizing business, and now he’s bringing up another generation in the family business.

At the heart and soul of System Center are filing systems, office furniture and storage options for those who want to maximize their space.

Edwards, System Center vice president, summarizes the business as the storage of stuff.

“If you can’t find a file, especially in health care, it could be a life-and-death situation,” he explains. “That is taking it to the extreme.”

He should know, because the company was called upon by a hospital in Samoa to create a filing system that would be in order - absolute order.  The hospital had heard about an incident—at some other healthcare facility—in which a patient’s file was misplaced, and the patient died because he was given a medicine to which he was allergic.

System Center employees worked 26 hours straight putting in 16 workstations, 17 tables, 45 filing cabinets, 46 task chairs, and four private offices in the ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show for the Keiki O Ka Aina organization, which aired Sept. 30 on KITV.

The business was started in 1976 by his parents, Bill and Joyce Edwards, with the storage and filing of accounting papers. One thing led to another as they started selling the storage systems to hold the files, books, boxes and medical supplies. They expanded the business to provide space-saving and organizing systems for the military to hold its weapons.

Edwards, the youngest of three siblings, joined the firm full time in 1989 as installation manager, at a time when the firm was located on Queen Emma Street. Back then, his parents, grandmother and a receptionist made up the firm.

Edwards’ past jobs included cooking at a Mexican restaurant and working for a parasail company.

Sister Sandra works in sales as the education and museum market manager, brother Bryan is the operations manager. Dad’s retired now, and Mom comes in a couple times a week. Mom and Dad also help with grandparent duties as Edwards is a single father of three: Christian, 10, Austin, 8, and Sydney, 5.

First Hawaiian Bank, Queen’s hospital, the Shidler College of Business and Hickam Central Identification Laboratory are just a few of the company’s long list of clients.

That’s not all the Edwards ohana is up to. The family garage often ends up being a place where more stuff is stored. Boxes piled on more boxes, and some things are just stuck in the corner. So the family came up with a spinoff company that addresses both family and commercial garage organization problems - 1 Hot Garage. Special vinyl and plastic flooring is available in several colors that customers can install themselves. Need a place for golf shoes, golf bag, tennis rackets, bikes, rakes, brooms, leaf blower, shovels and gas cans? Shelving, cabinets and racks get items off the floor and stored where they can easily be reached. The family launched 1 Hot Garage in 2004, and they hope to eventually have a retail space for it.

With 14 employees in a 5,000-square-foot Kalihi office space, Edwards says he’s looking at expanding the company in the future.

For more information, call 847-0911 or log onto www.systemcenter.com or www.1hotgarage.com


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