30 in Their Thirties: Steven Bardocz // 36
President and CEO, Savance, Commerce Township
EMPLOYEES: 20 REVENUE: $1.2 million EDUCATION: Kettering University
The seed for Savance was planted in Steve Bardocz’s head while he was working at a wholesale electrical distributor as a co-op student at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University). The company had a paper-based system for taking orders, quoting prices, and checking inventory. When a quality audit exposed mistakes, Bardocz seized the moment. “All of this seemed ludicrous,” he says. “The engineer in me recognized opportunities to improve that process to make the job more efficient.” Bardocz started Savance in 1998, a year before he graduated, with the idea that technology could be used to save businesses time and money. The company today has 3,000 customers, some of which have over 8,000 individual users. “Our very first product was a Windows-based ordering and quoting system for the company where I was a co-op,” he says. “It gave instant feedback on price and availability, and freed up data entry people for more value-added tasks.” Using the same technological architecture, Bardocz later created EIOBoard, which can track the whereabouts of employees or conduct a roll call in an emergency; Datamiser, a plant floor data collection system that records production variables to pinpoint problem areas; and Savance Health which monitors patient visits, physician schedules, and medical assets. “I am driven by solving problems and helping people,” Bardocz says. “Work, to me, is not work."