It wasn't long after we opened our retail store across the street from Santa Clara's Central Park that Stanford Business School professor Jim Collins published his book, Built to Last, which analyzed visionary American companies. We adopted his urging to ground a company in a strong company culture that guides its behavior and growth over time, and created our Four Commitments. Collins went on to publish more books on corporate management and entrepreneurship, and we have continued to learn from him, but his first book remains the most influential upon us. We have been dedicated to our Four Commitments for more than 30 years.
Our Four Commitments are:
- To Our Employees: we provide profit-sharing, insurance, and training.
- To Our Customers: we provide low prices with a wide selection, honest and sincere service.
- To Our Communities: we feel proud to be a part of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area and contribute to its economic growth and stability.
- To Our Industry: we feel lucky to be in the high-tech industry, and to play a role in technological innovation.
While the first and second commitment to our employees and customers are our starting points, to take care of our employees and provide them with continuing opportunities for career advancement and education is the core value of the Central family.
Most of our employees are young people who have just graduated from local universities or still working their way through school. We provide them with competitive salaries, full health benefits, and a share in profits. Because our employees are recent grads or current college students, education is their ultimate need. We are dedicated to designing training programs to develop their technical knowledge, and professional and social skills. We are lucky to be part of Silicon Valley's high-tech industry, so our goal with our young employees is to train them to become more advanced professionals who will help us grow or who will move on to more advanced, large tech companies. Many Central alumni are now at leading companies in Silicon Valley and we see this transition as part of fulfilling our third and fourth commitments, to our communities and industry.
Meanwhile, our service to our customers, who may be tech companies or their employees, we are dedicated to providing the lowest prices possible, with our people trained to work as efficiently as possible. Our staff is trained to be experts in the products we carry, so they can provide professional advice for our customers.
Our business is comprised of three main parts:
- We continue to provide computers, especially custom-built workstations and servers, to high-tech corporations, local governments, and schools.
- We manufacture a wide range of computer accessories and consumer electronics to bring high-quality, economical products to the everyday consumer.
- We emphasize good service, in-store and on-site repair and networking services, to supplement the insufficient service that is provided by big box stores and online retailers.