Locally Headquartered Computer Manufacturing Company’s Calculated Risk Pays Off

After nearly two decades of being one of Greenville’s home grown computer sales and service stories, Computer Direct Outlet has shifted its business model to focus more on the manufacturing of high-end workstations, servers and gaming systems.

It was a calculated decision to ramp up production and marketing as part of a new business unit, Computer Direct Business.

“Computer Direct Outlet had always made great custom-built computers,” said Gary Underwood, the company’s owner.

“High performance computers are much more complex to design, build and maintain and therefore require greater experience and know how,” he said. “Our business division, Computer Direct Business, focuses on making sure that each business gets the server, professional workstation, computers and service that they want and need.”

Well-known in the Upstate for years, Computer Direct Outlet is garnering national accolades for its Volta line.

Recent editions of Cadalyst Magazine and Desktop Engineering Magazine offered glowing reviews of Computer Direct’s Volta Workstation. Cadalyst’s J.V. Bolkan categorized the Volta Pro as Highly Recommended, explaining that “every major component in the system is well balanced between high performance and price.”

Bolkan also wrote, “The Volta Pro from Computer Direct Outlet is an attractive system that includes high-end components for a good price. Computer Direct finishes the case with flat black paint and an elegant lightning bolt logo cut into the hinged front panel and backlit by blue LEDs.”

David Cohn of Desktop Engineering Magazine concluded the Volta Pro VP1 beat or tied every other single socket workstation that he had tested to date on 21 of 25 tests.

“The Volta Pro combines excellent components in a well-apportioned package offering great performance at a very attractive price,” he said.

For a state such as South Carolina that is targeting a tech industry more and more, a company such as Computer Direct Outlet and its Volta line is an example of how tech manufacturing can be a strong part of the business equation. Computer Direct is one of the few custom-builders of professional workstations on the East Coast with national recognition.

“Both CDO and our customers knew that we built great workstations and it is fantastic that these national reviews gets the word out about CDO being among the best of the best in our industry,” Underwood said.

All of the Voltas, which come in red or black, are made by CDO staff in about five to seven work days.  CDO works with each customer to understand their needs and design the perfect system, professionally choose the parts, hand-build each, perform extensive quality control testing and provide service for as long as they own it.

“While Computer Direct has long worked with a variety of businesses in numerous industries, the Volta line will help reach more graphic designers, engineers, architects, animators, video and film editors, day traders, product designers, and many more,” Underwood said.

The Volta is the tip of the proverbial manufacturing iceberg for Computer Direct, he said. The company has been developing a wooden Volta workstation for the past nine months that would allow high performance technology to look like a piece of beautiful furniture.) To date, there has been four prototypes and he expects the finished product to hit the market this fall.

In addition to the company’s dedication to its customers, they take their environmental responsibility very seriously.  They believe the longer a system performs as needed, the better off it is for the client, Underwood said.

They also believe by helping their customers know more about the systems they own and accompanying that with great service, they help keep more systems in use longer and lessen the amount of e-waste that is produced each year, he said.

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