— Apparently you
teach an old dog new tricks.
Several months after Circuit City’s former
tech bench division, Firedog, was
acquired in a bankruptcy auction, it is
staffed up and looking for customers.
The new owner, Singapore-based
technology services firm Flextronics,
has since rebuilt the business from the
ground up, said Firedog executive VP/
GM Jim Kircher.
The new Firedog has more or less the
same mission as its predecessor — consumer
home installs and service — but
has added a business-to-business component
and remote computer service,
“Firedog is [now] more robust and offers
a wider spectrum of services. We
will still hang a TV on your wall, but we
do lots of B to B,” he said.
Firedog, which is part of Flextronic’s
retail and technical services division,
has 5,000 employees to handle its
remote PC services and some of
its in-home work. While a few of the
staffers were brought back from the
old Firedog, the majority are newcomers.
The majority of the remote PC service
representatives work out of the
company’s Dallas office. Right now
Firedog can remotely access and
fix computer systems and mobile
devices, but it intends to expand to
other product areas, including home
security, home energy management
and major appliances, Kircher said.
The company also uses third-party
contractors for some of the latter
Currently, about 60 percent of
Firedog’s business is coming from
its traditional in-home work like
home-theater installation and home
computer network setup, but Kircher
expects the remote PC service and
B to B segments to grow quickly.
The company is promoting itself
via its website,
Firedog has partnered with a few
outside companies, like Verizon and
Microsoft, to handle certain customer
service fulfillment chores, and
it hopes to ink deals with additional
retailers, Kircher said.