At the beginning of each year, Techport Thirteen management gathers to go over the company's goals for the coming year, and the rough plan on how we will achieve those goals. Such a discussion was held in January 2012, as it has been in previous years. However, our owner and President, Manish Patel, threw out an interesting discussion point to the group this time around... why does Techport Thirteen exist?
This caused a pause in the room as the team mulled over the seemingly innocent question. Why does Techport Thirteen exist? For that matter, why does any company exist?
There is the obvious answer of "to make money", and that might easily apply to a publically traded company, or to a company about to go public, as there are stock holder or financing obligations to be met. However, when you think of that answer in terms of a company that makes a majority of its revenue via consulting services, like Techport Thirteen, "to make money" shows no respect for your customers. For without your valuable customers, a services company ceases to exist.
So, a lively discussion began in the room. Voices spoke up echoing Techport Thirteen's mission statement "...to continue providing exceptional service to our existing clients along with servicing new clients in the Service Management, Asset Management, Alert Management and related arenas. Our plan is to continue our model of deliberate growth with highly skilled resources to continue our delivery of leading professional services and product offerings." Manish stopped everyone there... as the original question was not meant to show how well management had memorized the company collateral, but to try to get the team to truly think about why.
Silence came over the group.
Let's face it. Most of us could make a good living as independent contractors focusing on our skill sets and certifications, traveling as necessary, and keeping all profits for ourselves as individuals. There are plenty of contractors out there on CraigsList.com or in user groups that will gladly meet a clients' needs. Some of Techport's competitors even use these same contractors for their sub-contracting opportunities, passing through the paperwork and money, taking a skim along the way, but with minimal stake in the work and little responsibility for the outcome. It is certainly a way of doing business.
There are larger firms that always seem to have an eye on the bottom line. Their sales team comes across as pushy sometimes, often quarterly, and the billable hour and project overages, seem to be the focus and norm.
But why is Techport Thirteen structured the way it is then, with full-time, W2 consultants, with credible solution certifications, working as a small to mid-sized team across the US and Canada, helping "solve problems" for its clients? Why?
More discussion. And then, the group began to look inward.
One person spoke up... "We actually care about our clients." Manish nodded and said, "There you go."
Another person said, "We stick it out, from requirements to support, and we take pride in owning the deliverables." More nodding.
And the best comment of all... a Director said, "We are small, but intentionally so." Manish smiled. Then, the thoughts began to come together in what became a consensus.
Techport Thirteen is a low-level, professional, highly friendly IT services company, that wants to get in to the details with our clients; we are more concerned about our clients’ happiness than our competitors are, and our goal is to achieve repeat business; we are a small company today, but intentionally so.
Smiles were on all faces around the room.
Later, Manish would add to the statement from an employment standpoint. He wrote to the company employees, "Techport provides a fun, exciting, flexible, work environment; a place to allow each of us to continually grow and learn, and a means to provide a lifestyle for our families. As I write this, I am hopeful each of you feel the same." We do Manish... we certainly do.
As 2012 comes to a close, we at Techport Thirteen are reminded of our purpose. We are reminded that during this holiday time of the year when caring is encouraged to our fellow man, the same ideals can be translated to how a business cares for its clients and employees. And, we want you... our peers, our colleagues, our valued clients and our friends, to know why we exist. And that we embrace it fully.
With 2013 around the corner, we look forward to carrying our philosophy of business forward, and we hope you will join us on our quest during the new year.
From all the employees at Techport Thirteen, we wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!