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May 8, 2017 Issue

CEOCFO MAGAZINE

 

Maryland IT Services and Consulting for Individuals, Small Businesses and Federal Agencies providing Design, Integration, Systems and Network Engineering, Computer Forensics and Repair

 

 

Roy White

President & Chief Executive Officer

 

Diverse Concepts, Inc

www.dciits.com

 

Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published - May 8, 2017

 

CEOCFO: Mr. White, what is the focus for Diverse Concepts today?

Mr. White: Our focus is mostly on IT services, commercial IT and federal IT services. We do everything from help desk and forensics, all the way down to network engineering, system engineering, staff augmentation and just about every aspect of IT support in between.

 

CEOCFO: Do you look for a particular mix between commercial and government or does it matter?

Mr. White: We want to try to even out our portfolio. We took a year where we focused on government. That has been very busy. Now we are focused on commercial, so we want to try to get it as close to 50/50 as possible.

 

CEOCFO: As you offer such a wide range of IT, how do you decide what projects to go after with the government or who to approach for your commercial services?

Mr. White: We look for our strong points and how we can provide quality and efficiency to our customers. Since we provide a very wide range of IT services, we want to make sure that we lead with quality, whether it be government or commercial. We want make sure we can provide the services that truly help the customer and not simply band-aid a problem.

 

CEOCFO: Do some people turn to Diverse Concepts because they understand even if you are working on a particular item, you might see something else and fix it for them or talk with them about it? Do people recognize that when they are considering hiring you?

Mr. White: They do in more cases than not. Many times when you have the wide range that we do, you can go in and you have several people with different levels of expertise. It is similar to where you say you want your carpet cleaned but you recognize that you need your hardwood resurfaced. We may come in and address your outdated computers and find that you are lacking on the security side of the house. It is extremely common for DCi to get return business based on initial interactions. If we come in for a small problem, we would rather fix everything at one time than bolt it all together. We really strive for that one-and-done approach to ensure that our customers’ needs are truly met.

 

CEOCFO: Do you work primarily locally in the Baltimore/DC area?

Mr. White: We are also open in Virginia and Texas.

 

CEOCFO: How did Texas get into the picture?

Mr. White: A customer requirement. We had a need to assist a customer in establishing a 24x7 help desk in a secondary location to ensure 100% availability in the event of technical or geographical emergencies. We are still very much engaged with this customer.
 

CEOCFO: Do customers like that you are physically near them even though a lot of work may be done remotely?

Mr. White: Yes. Supporting local and small businesses, the money comes full circle. We support small businesses on the commercial side, a lot of that comes into play because they recognize that we understand their problems and what small businesses go through. With that familiarity, we tend to know how to approach their problems because in many cases, we’ve lived those problems ourselves. We also make it a priority that if we are in the area, we actually stop by and to see if anyone needs support. While remote support is good, knowing that we are right around the corner in an emergency is a real comfort for some of our customers especially since not all problems can be supported remotely.

 

CEOCFO: Would you tell us about being recognized in the 2017 Future 50 awards?

Mr. White: It was a great experience and the reason why is because I received recognition from some of our peers. I was nominated by peers and employees a total of nine times. It is humbling to notice that people do recognize all the hard work that you put it in and especially so when your employees notice it. It’s also exciting when folks in the community recognize it. Many times as a CEO, our head is down and on the swivel. We are focused on getting certain things done, so we tend to forget about our own accomplishments.

 

CEOCFO: You were in the military for eight years. What did you learn that has helped you in the business world, what to do and what not to do?

Mr. White: I was in the Air Force for eight years, 1999 to late 2008. Lesson number 1: Being agile and understanding change. Anyone that has been in any branch of service knows that there could be change at any minute when it comes to the military, but we still give our best, regardless of the change of if we agree with it. Regardless, we adjust. Sometimes we don’t see the rationale for a small but painful change as individuals but understanding the big picture, which is my job as CEO, is necessary to understand the why. Seeing it from this side of the action and understanding why agility is important, gives me that much more respect for where I came from. Another big one is quality of service and understanding that I have to do my best. One of the Air Force core values is excellence in all we do. I try to drive my employees and everyone on my team to give their best even though they may not like how things are going to come out or what is going on, but we still give our best because it reflects on us as a person.

 

CEOCFO: How has Diverse Concepts changed under your leadership?

Mr. White: I would say that I had partners that had the same values and understanding as me, but I think a lot of my focus, drive and ambition has rubbed off on my partners and senior management. I think a lot of that is more focused on doing the best that we can and not just trying to fill the void or fill a slot. Everyone wants to be a part of what we do. One of the things that I learned from being a leader in the military as an NCO, is to try to make sure everyone understands the vision and that they are a part of that vision. With that being said, it has led to our success of bringing in more quality employees. We have had chances to grow DCi significantly larger than what we are, but we would have risked quality of our work and what we are trying to provide to our customers. To us, growth is good but it’s not the goal. Quality is the goal and everything else is secondary.

 

CEOCFO: Can you tell when you are talking with someone if they are right for the company?

Mr. White: In most cases, yes. In some cases, you get a person in for the interview and they are not really themselves, so I try to make them feel comfortable. When they are comfortable, you can tell, but if a person is not comfortable, it can be hard to read them because you are getting a “yes sir,” “no sir,” and they are trying to follow the guidelines just to get the job, but you can usually tell when they are comfortable.

 

CEOCFO: Are there concerns about the change in administration or do you just roll with it?

Mr. White: You kind of have to roll with it and I was having a conversation probably about ten minutes ago about this. Being a small business owner, you have to go with the flow. You can be political and have your political outlook on things and how you feel things should be but in all actuality, you have to put politics aside and shoot for what’s in your best interest, the company’s best interest, your family’s best interest. Yes, there is some uncertainty when dealing with any politician, change of party, or change of administration but things usually aren’t as cut and dry as the campaigns would suggest. You have that moment of uncertainty until you start to see what is going to help or benefit you in the long run. Then you adapt, overcome, and move on.

 

CEOCFO: Are you able to ramp up should a lot of business come your way? Do you have people on call and are you able to quickly put people into play?

Mr. White: Yes. The great thing about what we do is networking. There are many people that want to come work with us if the opportunity presents itself. Within my personal network, I am able to reach out and ask if you know anyone that is looking or anything like that. We work together in that realm. I have a group of 20-30 companies and we pass resumes around. If people are looking, you can ramp up pretty quickly. We also leverage the many colleges that are in the area. I do not see rapid ramp-up ever being a problem. We did very well in the last two years.

 

CEOCFO: How do you handle the challenge of keeping ahead of new technology when it changes so often or at least, seems to?

Mr. White: It seems to but it is more so about the ability to learn. As a company, we work with our employees to provide and promote professional development and training opportunities. Employees bring new technologies back or learn some new technique to help in their jobs. It really helps keep the employees energized. For example, we had one employee that wanted to do mobile forensics, he trained and then he taught some of our management team how to do it. Our employees are engaged, they take pride, and they own it. Unfortunately he recently accepted a position with a competitor but while he was here, he was responsible for our forensics lab and practice. Things like that give people the ability to grow and learn about new technologies and in turn, it sets them up for leadership opportunities overseeing the new technologies that they bring back to the company.

 

CEOCFO: What is ahead for Diverse Concepts?

Mr. White: We really want to diversify our contracts portfolio. We are mainly in one area of DoD right now but big change is coming. We plan to branch out within the federal government and are going to grow our commercial business. What won’t change is our focus on helping out small businesses. Right now, commercial revenue accounts for less than 8% of our gross. We are looking to continue driving our quality services and solutions out on the commercial side until we get a solid mix of government and non-government work.

 

CEOCFO: Why choose Diverse Concepts?

Mr. White: One word: Quality. We understand that you can get IT service from just about anywhere, but you can’t get our service anywhere by here. There is a big difference between going to a chain establishment or your neighborhood independent ice cream shop… you know the guy that does it because he loves it. You go back because of the way you are treated, valued, and cherished as a customer. We have long used the motto, “Do it once… and do it right!” We know that many folks view IT techs the same way they view their auto mechanic, in that they are afraid to get ripped off. We provide quality service, with a goal to restore faith in our industry. We know that if we provide quality service at affordable prices, our customers will continue come back and trust us with the systems that are at the very core of their business.


 

“To us, growth is good but it’s not the goal. Quality is the goal and everything else is secondary.”- Roy White


 

Diverse Concepts, Inc

www.dciits.com



Diverse Concepts, Inc

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