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Business Atlanta published two articles about ASSI
from an article in
December 1989 Business Atlanta Magazine
With a nearly imperceptible sleight of hand, Vic Williams can make roofs, walls, doors and windows appear and disappear in a fraction of a second. While a client sits comfortably, Williams offers a 360-degree tour of a building, a room, a bridge and even a teapot. No, he is not a magicianm but a masterful manipulator of some very high technology - an advanced CAD (Computer-aided Design) system in full color.
What kept architects and draftmen at work for hours, now can be done with the flick of a mouse, and Williams has built a business on this capability. With his wife, Joyce Roberts, who joined the 4 year old firm almost two years ago, Williams owns and operates Architectural Support Services, which pro vides design, drafting and space planning for architectural firms, facility managers and real estate developers. In addition, the company performs custom CAD programming, sales and support, and CAD software training.
The business, with revenues expected to surpass $250,000 this year and twice that in 1990, would not have been possible five years ago, Williams says, because the technology was not affordable, sophisticated or fast enough to support a company.
"This is a young field, and we have accumulated a lot of knowledge by being in it a long time," Williams says. "Long, of course, is a relative term."
A graduate of Georgia Tech's School of Architecture, Williams customizes standard CAD programs and has a veritable library of proprietary software. Although CAD systems are a growing trend in the architectural profession, they have yet to become standard equipment in many firms.
Designing with CAD is a whole different mindset. But to Williams, CAD is a tool. Give an artist a better brush, and he will paint a better picture, he says. Williams admits to being enchanted with the technical details and accuracy CAD makes possible.
Although business has expanded rapidly, the couple is building the company slowly. "We've done it on a shoestring, starting with $2,000, and have only grown the firm as business could support it," Roberts says. Both worked a long time without salary, living on savings while nursing the business along. "My mother always said not to go into debt," she adds. "I guess we both took that advice to heart."
And then in the January 1994 Issue of Business Atlanta, The Class of '89 - A progress report on 24 Up and Coming companies we profiled five years ago:
Computer-aided drafting (CAD) was little known in 1989, Williams says, but most architectural clients now demand it. ASSI's $250,000 revenues of 1989 have doubled every year and the strength of CAD technology enabled ASSI to ride out the recession while continuing to grow.
The biggest challenge for the company, Williams says, was to shift from an autocratic managerial style of a small company to a self-directed work-team philosophy of an expanding company.
Along with CAD for architecture, ASSI offers patent drawing and photogrammetry using digital imaging to transform a curved aerial photograph into a flat map. Williams says CAD technology still is underutilized in Atlanta and has much more potential than the local market recognizes.
377 Richardson Road, SE - Suite 1 - Calhoun, GA 30701 - ph: 770.886.6156