ECi Software Solutions was incorporated in 1999 in Delaware with the main office in Fairfax, Virginia, but like many that call Fort Worth home, it got here as quickly as possible.
“We acquired a business in Fort Worth in 2000 and shortly after that made Fort Worth, Texas, our corporate office,” says CEO Ron Books.
ECi Software Solutions is a global company specializing in technology and software solutions and services for entrepreneurs in the manufacturing, building and construction, field service, and distribution vertical markets.
The company, founded by John Sidgmore and Paula Jagemann, focuses on end-to-end technology solutions for small and medium businesses (SMBs) to enable them to compete, grow and profit.
ECi Software Solutions employs 950 worldwide and had $200 million in revenue in 2017.
Books responded to some questions from the Fort Worth Business Press:
What differentiates your company from others in a similar business?
I would say it is both our understanding of how to serve SMBs and our vertical-specific knowledge in the vertical markets in which we focus. Our software is purpose-built for these industries; our employees understand these niche markets and how businesses can be successful.
All businesses go through some tough times. What was your greatest challenge and how did you respond to it?
It is hard to not think of the 2008 economic downturn. We service SMBs, many of whom were fighting for their business lives. At that point, we realized we were not going to sell many new customers but still needed to grow our business. Therefore, we focused on selling what we call our value-add business applications – e-commerce, mobile – that helped us grow recurring revenue per customer while at the same time gave our SMB customers the tools to do more with fewer people.
The business climate is changing rapidly. What do you foresee as challenges?
I believe the biggest challenge is predictability and staying abreast of change. Business is always more successful when you can plan; however, that is very difficult if you don’t know what to expect. Lastly, and we are lucky because we have great people, it is difficult to keep up and understand every change and its impact on your business.
Right now, access to capital is abundant in the private equity world, but that also makes it challenging from a non-organic growth perspective. Acquisitions are very competitive, which in turn makes for higher overall valuations.
Technology labor is in demand right now, which can make it challenging. However, we believe if you have more flexibility around remote employees it expands the opportunity to fill positions with quality personnel.
In general, do you see the present business climate as challenging, uncertain or optimistic and why?
I believe there are plenty of opportunities to be successful, but it is also very competitive, at least in technology. However, the good news is, if you focus your business on your people and your customers, then you will continue to do well.
If you could make one and only one change in the present business climate, what would it be and why?
I believe business is global now and am not a fan of trying to limit that. It is OK to try and ensure success for our country, but we live in a global economy and must be careful when trying to limit that.
ECi Software Solutions
4400 Alliance Gateway Freeway, Fort Worth
Number of employees: 950 worldwide
– Paul K. Harral