As Illinois Business Communications, Inc. (IBC) celebrates 30 years in business, founders Jesse and Patricia Krebasch reflect on the steady growth of their family owned and operated business. “We have stayed committed to providing a high level of exceptional customer service and quality craftsmanship over the years. We are known for our reliability and integrity by both customers and industry peers alike. People know they can trust us.”
Jesse’s business phone system installation expertise came from many years as a low voltage union electrician, working for Illinois Bell, Stromberg Carlson and General Dynamics. He encountered many interesting projects throughout his early career, including installing telephone cable at Woodfield Mall as it was being built in the early 1970’s.
An entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to be his own boss led Jesse and his wife to open their own telephone systems installations union shop in late 1986. One of his first wiring and installation projects was at Swift-Eckrich Meats in Oak Brook cabling for phones.
Originally called Illinois Business Telephone Systems, the name was changed in the 1990’s to encompass a broadened scope of services due to evolving technologies. Initially, the shop specialized in small phones systems and overhead paging but many new opportunities arose with advancing technologies.
After several years of installing business phone systems for Centel, Joe Krebasch was brought into his parents flourishing business. The shop continued to expand as daughter Sheri Meyerchick came on board in the late 1980’s. The shop continued to employ IBEW 134 C-card Electricians. Soon staff were Nortel certified in their key systems, voice mails and ACD. By 1992, daughter Karen Krebasch rounded out the family business. Shortly thereafter, IBC became an Authorized Ameritech Distributor, selling data products such as ISDN, T1 circuits, and 56/64k circuits. As the demand for wiring grew and spread across diverse business sectors, IBC found a niche wiring a great many schools throughout the area including Lake Zurich, Oak Park, Medinah, and Evanston.
One of their more memorable projects included setting up the Swift Butterball Turkey Talk Line every year. In advance of Thanksgiving, they installed 1A2Key phones with 25 pair cables for approximately 50 people to field questions about cooking their turkeys. One can just imagine the interesting questions they must have taken.
Understanding how phone system installations worked made it easy to transition into data system installations. Karen commented, “We’ve seen a lot of changes from the days of installing 25 pair cable. Technology advanced steadily from analog to digital as networks evolved. Coax cable daisy chained quickly evolved into Cat 3, 4, 5, 5e, 6 and fiber. Phones became thinner, lighter and small, as did wiring. It has been an interesting time to be in this industry.”
One of the busiest times was without a doubt during the explosion of Y2K projects. Business soared during this era, as record amounts of cabling was sold and installed to prevent the highly anticipated catastrophic breakdown of electricity and communications. “Many companies relied on us to discover their systems vulnerabilities,” recalled Karen. “Every imaginable business sought extensive wiring to prepare for widespread technological concerns in the new millennium.”
IBC currently specializes in voice and data network wiring, wireless, demark extensions, overhead paging, trenching and outside overhead services, as well as business phone system sales and related electrical services. Whether working in banks, hospitals, offices, plants, schools, nursing homes, on new construction sites, or a variety of other businesses, their attention to detail remains second to none.
After Jesse retired in 2002, IBC became a second generation, family owned and operated business. It has remained locally owned since its inception, three decades ago. What began as a home based business expanded to include a sales office in Oak Brook in the early 1990s. By 1996 IBC moved to larger office space in Wood Dale, and in 2000 IBC established its current Wood Dale location at 328 E. Irving Park Road. It has always been a woman-owned business.