Capstone Consulting

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November 14, 2016 Issue



IT Solutions, Services and IT Staffing Provider offering Cloud Computing, Business Process Automation and Software Development and Integration for Businesses in the US, Romania and India



Jim Richards



Capstone Consulting

(402) 881-8454


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published - November 14, 2016


CEOCFO: Mr. Richards, according to your site Capstone was founded on integrity. What is the focus today?

Mr. Richards: The focus of our company is to provide integrity via IT solutions to a wide variety of clients. Our focus continues as we provide those IT services and solutions, to provide them with integrity and trust and to build a partnership. Our focus is on our trademarked term, “Servant Partner”. What I mean by that is we share the risk and rewards with our clients and partners. We make a relationship as effective and efficient as possible. That is our focus.


CEOCFO: How does integrity translate in day-to-day interactions?

Mr. Richards: Integrity interacts day-today by walking the walk and talking the talk. The way we portray that is we all know that we are not perfect and we continue to strive to get better. We say what we are going to do and then do it. When we make mistakes, we go back and immediately and bring it to correct as soon as possible. We let our clients know that we thought through the item.  As soon as we realize there is an issue with lack of integrity or delivery, we raise it to our clients.


CEOCFO: Who is turning to you for services?

Mr. Richards: The companies that are turning to us are those who struggling to deliver business value to their clients due to either people, processing or technology issues. They may have lack of automation issues. We help from process perspective, how they develop software, how they do their business, looking for efficiencies and automation opportunities. We keep our clients with the just the right level of technology that suits their business value and not necessarily the latest, coolest technology but the right technology.


CEOCFO: You work in multiple industries. How do you understand enough about the quirkiness of an individual industry so that you can provide a best in class solution, when there are many differences?

Mr. Richards: We have a couple specialties and verticals. When we are coming into a brand-new industry, first we say upfront that we do not know about the industry – they do. We are quick learners of their processes and use of technology. We use our expertise in IT and understanding business process to provide the best technology solution for our clients.


CEOCFO: Would you give us an example?

Mr. Richards: Where we didn’t have experience we actually lived a week in the life with their business. We talked with the business, end users and technical teams, which helped us get the requirements from what the solution needed to do. We actually went out in the field and walked the walk of, in this case, an agri-business company. We actually wanted to see how they processed cattle, see how they buy and sell cattle and buy feed. We got a good feel of the real business from actually not talking to the IT team but the business people.


CEOCFO: What is your global reach?

Mr. Richards: Our customers are national. For our delivery mechanism we have resources in the US, Romania and India.


CEOCFO: What types of projects do you prefer if given a choice?

Mr. Richards: We often get projects that may have been tried by other firms or internally before and were not successful. Our preference is to be working with the business solving a problem and are looking for a key partner such as us to come in and understand what they are doing quickly and deliver a Business Process or IT solution.


CEOCFO: How do you ease the trepidation about any new implementation as well as the actual process?
Mr. Richards:
I will give you an example. We had a client who had a hard situation. They were going to be taking their IT solution from their former parent company. The company wanted to build that brand-new IT system without any IT resources. They came to talk to us and we assessed what they needed to do with the day-in-the-life approach as I mentioned before. When we proposed our solution they came back and gave us the quote of “We read on the internet that most IT projects are ten times the cost and time of what they originally planned.” We looked at that and said, well that is industry average and we are better than that. What we said was we would deliver pieces as we went, small chunks of that solution so they could start to see that solution coming together and they could realize business value immediately. We finished that project much at a 1.2X not 10X, so very close to the original budget and timeline. The client hired us on for another two or three projects. The strong delivery helped with relived the trepidation and delivering a little piece at a time in a very collaborative delivery process.


CEOCFO: What do you find companies tend to overlook?

Mr. Richards: Often people think they need an IT developer to come in solve the problem. They want just technical skills sets to come in and deliver those services. What we find people sometimes overlook is need for leading that team and to make sure it delivers well.


CEOCFO: Do you work with your clients on an ongoing basis, for instance, if they need an upgrade?

Mr. Richards: When we deliver solutions, we will deliver a service we have the option for support. This is a way of managing their risk after we are gone. We also do a large amount of training and knowledge transfer before the solution goes back into the client’s hands. We ensure they are up and running and know how to manage the system and so on. We also are available in the future for enhancements and upgrades. We have been in business for seventeen years, by  people calling us back. Our oldest running system now is about fourteen years old and we have helped upgrade it twice. The majority of it is still running the way we wrote it fourteen years ago. Right now we are looking at another upgrade and they are asking us to look at it again. That ongoing support, that good relationship that we leave with our clients, they know they can call us back and we will work with them.


CEOCFO: With so much new technology, how do you stay on top and not get distracted?

Mr. Richards: We like to say “we try to stay one-and-a-half steps ahead of our clients, but no more.” You have seen Pokemon-Go come out and change the way people do gaming within weeks. Most our or clients are established businesses. There is a lot of new technology and we spend time in researching new technology for our clients. That seems to be effective and we can keep our consultants sharp, keep them growing and providing value.


CEOCFO: How do people find Capstone?

Mr. Richards: Generally, we are relationship driven and word-of-mouth driven. In our seventeen years of business we have had some really good clients and as those clients expand and as those people move on, people call us up and we continue to provide value. About two years ago, we became a value-added reseller in a couple of areas including Cloud Computing and Business Process Automation. This opens the door for indirect channels to help us get the word out about Capstone. About three years ago, we stepped into the federal and state arenas. That is another way that we have grown our expertise.


CEOCFO: Was it difficult to get used to the ways of government with their contractors?

Mr. Richards: The amount of prep work for federal contracts and set-up is quite a bit larger than the commercial side. The amount of information you need to document and support is at a much at a greater level as well. The sales cycle is longer. We’ve found when win, the federal and state clients like our processes because we are much more commercial focused and we have that commercial flavor.


CEOCFO: I know business is going well as you were recognized on the Inc 5000 List. What is next for Capstone?

Mr. Richards: We consider our culture one of our biggest assets so we continue how to grow the culture of bringing the family-friendly, Christian-based business. That has done well for us in the past so we continue to look at how we make the environment better for our people and how to keep our people growing and learning not only in technology but leadership. We trying to expand our geographical reach from a sales perspective. We are Midwest based right now. We are looking to expand to the EU and have a company office in Timișoara Romania. We are looking next year for EU sales, and grow our corporate culture there as well.


CEOCFO: Why choose Capstone Consulting?

Mr. Richards: We have been in business for over seventeen years by delivering real business value. We are a Servant Partner, which means integrity and delivery by being a servant to our clients. We are good at relationships and like to build long-term relationships with both our employees and our clients.


“We are a Servant Partner, which means integrity and delivery by being a servant to our clients.”- Jim Richards


Capstone Consulting

(402) 881-8454



Natalie Peterson

(402) 881-8454







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