Perfect balance

Distribution & Systems Management

When Keith Echols left his job at Microsoft in the 1990s to work for Web Runners Inc., he knew that with his entrepreneurial zeal, he could accomplish anything.

And his belief that his company could provide a better product at a lower price led to its first two customers, Visteon and Hewlett-Packard, helping it to build a strong foundation and brand recognition.

Today, Echols serves as executive vice president of the company, which now operates under the name w3r Consulting. The company — which started in Echols’ basement, moved to downtown Detroit and then relocated to Southfield — objectively views clients’ challenges and recommends a solution that meets both present and future needs. Echols and his team do this by using both infrastructure and integration services and support.

Throughout its history, w3r has transformed itself from a Web site design company to a core IT infrastructure services business. In an attempt to expand into the application sector, w3r Consulting acquired InfoServices Inc. in 1999. But it found that moved it away from its core competency of core IT infrastructure, and so Echols and his partner separated from the company in 2001.

Since then, the company has stayed true to the partners’ philosophy: “Do what you do well, nothing more and nothing less, and be the best at what you do.” Echols also is a firm believer that his employees are truly w3r’s greatest assets, and for that reason, he encourages them to practice work-life balance and offers activities for employees to reiterate this philosophy. The company rewards hard work with basketball and golf leagues, birthday cakes and anniversary gift cards.

Echols is also active in his community, serving as a chair in the Nardin Park Recovery Center drug replacement organization and getting involved in Life Directions, a youth mentoring program in Detroit.

How to reach: w3r Consulting, (248) 358-1002 or