“The only constant is change.”
Google that quote and you’ll find that it’s attributed to Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus.
In 1981, Neil Peart wrote it slightly differently in “Tom Sawyer”, stating that “he knows that changes aren’t permanent, but change is.”
Benjamin Disraeli, a 19th Century British politician, gets the credit for saying “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”
Regardless of who gets the attribution, be it ancient philosophers, British statesman, or modern rock drummer, the meaning still holds true. Change is inevitable.
This week, Gray Matter Systems underwent a major change itself – a positive one that marked a significant moment in the company’s long, successful history. The company that has called the Pittsburgh area home for nearly 20 years moved its corporate headquarters roughly 20 miles north on Interstate 79 to a state-of-the-art, modern, 120,000-square-foot office building in Warrendale, PA.
Gray Matter’s new home will be in one wing of the building, formerly owned by Medrad, Inc. The building itself is located in Innovation Ridge, a 223-acre advanced technology and office park just a few minutes from Cranberry Township.
“This move signifies an important next step in the progression of Gray Matter’s story,” Gray Matter Systems President and CEO James Gillespie said in a press release. “We’ve expanded our operations significantly in the United States and Canada in the past decade, but Pittsburgh has been our home since 1991.”
The original design of the office space allowed for 53 cubicles, a couple of offices, and two conference rooms, but the Gray Matter team modified the plan slightly. In the middle of the space, Gray Matter removed several cubicles to make way for a large, common gathering area, which will serve the team well when it comes to brainstorming sessions or the annual office Thanksgiving.
Another alteration from the original plan is the conversion of a conference room into a “Center of Excellence” which will house several workstations displaying working demos of the technology and solutions Gray Matter offers.
The move signifies an important next chapter in Gray Matter’s story – one that started in 1991 in Sewickley, PA., a walkable, suburban community located just north of Pittsburgh.
Sewickley was the perfect location for a growing company like Gray Matter. There was a Starbucks within walking distance, lots of great places like the Sharp Edge or B Gourmet to grab lunch, and the family-owned Safran’s Supermarket for a last-minute treat.
It wasn’t uncommon to see one of the Pittsburgh Penguins who called Sewickley home either– whether it was forward Sidney Crosby taking an early jog through the wooded neighborhoods or owner/legend Mario Lemieux strolling down Beaver Street.
While the company occupied several office spaces around Sewickley in its history, recent history found Gray Matter Systems operating out of two locations – a 2000-square-foot house on Thorn Street and an office space located in the Car Barn Shops building on Broad Street.
The house on Thorn Street served as a base of operations for Gray Matter’s accounting, inside sales, and marketing staff while our human resources, services, and executive staff occupied the Car Barn space.
The move to the new space in Warrendale marks the first time in the company’s recent history that Gray Matter’s corporate staff will all be located in the same space, which is perhaps the biggest benefit the company will realize as a result of the move.
“One of the best things about the new building is that while everyone has their own space, we also have a great place for brainstorming as a team. Now our innovative ideas will continue to grow as we work together, face-to-face,” Mandy Urey, Director of Human Resources and Operations, said.
White boards line nearly every cubicle in the largely open floor plan, inviting collaboration and brainstorming just about every corner of the office. The new conference rooms and the wide, centralized meeting space at the heart of the office wing are dens of creativity for the company– which prides itself on innovation and teamwork.
“The new facility allows our team members to easily exchange ideas and information in person and via our video conference center—this is what links us all together as we continue to strive for excellence,” John Benitz, Director of Professional Services, said.
By nature, Gray Matter Systems is a collaborative, team-oriented, dynamic bunch committed to solving problems and delivering ROI for its customers. The new office space provides the physical location for the team to make all of this happen.
The move seems like a natural next step in the company’s forward progression.
In June of 2013, Gray Matter expanded its operations into the Gulf Region of the United States. The expansion found Gray Matter opening an anchor office in Houston and expanded its territory to include Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Western Tennessee and Southeastern New Mexico.
“This expansion was a big step for Gray Matter Systems,” James Gillespie, CEO, Gray Matter Systems said. “It wasn’t just about offering the best industrial automation software and hardware. It’s also about our relentless pursuit of ROI for our customers, regardless of size or industry.”
Prior to moving into the Gulf Region, Gray Matter Systems expanded its operations to include all of Canada. Gray Matter has an anchor office in Mississauga, ON, just outside of Toronto, which serves as the base of operations for Canada.
As for now, the Gray Matter team is quickly settling into its familiar groove in the new space. The pace is picking up quickly though, and the office is filled with excitement for the future.
Meeting rooms are buzzing with activity. White boards are filled with ideas for improved systems. Powerpoint presentations display battle plans for solving big data problems on smart boards.
The location has certainly been upgraded but the one thing that hasn’t changed, the one constant, is Gray Matter’s commitment to doing some of the most important work on a daily basis – and having a great time doing it.