Centric founders Steve Swanson and Richard Wetzel, both formerly of JE Dunn Construction, said they started the company because they saw an opportunity to innovate a web-based, midsize firm that eliminated management layers in order to create a more responsive and efficient company. It appears they have done exactly that and it’s refreshing to see how their human side is reflected so well online.
Here are 5 things we love about what they are doing!
1. Centric definitely owns the P in Projects… literally. As soon as you hit the home page, it’s all about the P.. the people that make up the Centric Projects family. These are the people who will be working on your project so we think it’s great that they put their faces out there for the world to see. Remember, people do business with people, not companies, so it’s important to show us who we will be working with.
Not only did we find a big focus on the people inside of the company, we also found the website to be super useful, one of the most important aspects of a website in the first place. They have a whole section dedicated to opportunities for YOU to work with them. Yes, they encourage partnerships and even have a pre-qualification form on the site so you will already be in their system come time to bid on subcontract or materials provider projects. Very useful. Very human-centered…hmmm, very Centric.
2. All Centric’s business is done in the cloud. Centric Projects prides themselves on being one of a handful of U.S. contractors that operates “in the cloud,” trading PCs and servers for non-network iPads and desktop Macs. Centric says a Mac-based system costs about $20 a month, a savings of thousands of dollars in server and network-related costs competitors may incur.
So how do they do all their business in the cloud?
They’ve partnered with Dropbox! HELLO! How awesome is that?!! We LOVE LOVE LOVE Dropbox and use it for our company as well. From the outset of Centric Projects, their mantra has been that technology should make life simpler, not more complicated. And because as a startup, they were not burdened with legacy systems, including racks of servers, miles of cable and fiber, complicated mobile logins, and clunky hardware, they were able to build on that mantra from the very beginning. No desktops. No servers. No wires. They store all company data on secure and redundant Dropbox servers, which seamlessly sync with each of their 101 mobile devices.
And because Dropbox has worked so well for Centric Projects, Centric has become a valuable partner to Dropbox as well, providing beta testing feedback, case study analysis, and sales presentation support. In fact, Dropbox visited Kansas City not too long ago and featured them in this awesome commercial:
3. Centric cares about humans, not just projects. The P in Centric Projects also stands for philanthropy and it shows throughout the company’s online AND offline presence in the community. Centric’s people are highlighted on the website, not because of the coolness of their buildings, but because of how they treat their partners, fellow coworkers, and the organizations they support. They show support by showing up with enthusiasm, volunteering to serve on boards and committees, taking their team to a Royals playoff game (yes, they did that!), and in general, showing concern for their fellow humans, their employees and the greater community around them.
One thing we know for sure is that you cannot go online and be social when no one knows you offline. Being a part of a growing community is something that happens both on and offline and Centric Projects has done a great job combining the two.
4. Sharing is caring. Centric Projects is an EXCELLENT sharer of good things on Twitter! They are out and about in the community and they share other’s successes in droves. We love that they’ve jumped on social hashtags like #TransformationTuesday and showcase projects that well, have been transformed in Kansas City. The biggest thing we noticed is that they understand that social networks are not advertising billboards where it’s all about them. Instead, they choose to share all things that grow Kansas City, whether it includes them or not. THAT is social, and believe it or not, people notice that you noticed.
5. They embrace new technology like kids do. Thanks to a mix up at the Downtown Council’s annual luncheon, we were lucky enough to end up sitting at the Centric Projects table. As soon as we pulled the chair out, Richard Wetzel was there to greet us and introduce us to his team. We felt so welcome. All was great until they saw us pull out our laptops so we could live tweet the event. We were worried we were going to irritate them with the constant typing, but you know what? They totally embraced it! They were not afraid of it or irritated by our desire to spread the word online about Kansas City’s growth. They treated us like Royalty, really. It was so much fun.
We took the below group photo of them at the lunch and shared it on our networks to thank them for their hospitality. Guess what they did? Of course! They shared it because they are good humans who know that the “like” and “share” buttons also mean “I support you.” And we can certainly get behind that!
GREAT JOB, CENTRIC PROJECTS!
To learn more, visit Centric Projects website.
ABOUT THINKVIRAL’S “ACT HUMAN ONLINE” SHOWCASE
We are looking for companies who have outstanding engagement with their online audiences so we can highlight, and learn from, what they are doing well on our blog. We also want YOU to join in the search and nominate companies that you find to be acting the most human online (yes, you can nominate yourselves!). Please submit your nomination through our Act Human Online Nomination Form. We review all submissions at the end of the month and will choose a “winner” to showcase!
Kansas City Business Journal