The 2015 Best Small Firms to Work For: Systems Evolution, Inc

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7. Systems Evolution, Inc.

Headquarters: Cincinnati
Billable Consultants: 189
Client Industries Served: Healthcare, Financial Services, Insurance, CPG, Manufacturing, Automotive
Consulting Service Lines: IT

It’s five years as one of the Best Small Firms to Work For and counting for Systems Evolution, Inc. The biggest impact to be being one of the Best Small Firms to Work For, according to Bill Gallagher, CEO of SEI, is in the area of talent acquisition.

He says that SEI has had “several candidates come to work for the firm that found SEI via Consulting magazine, and a countless number of candidates that have commented on the designation as being a component in making the decision to apply to Systems Evolution.”

Aside from helping to bring in talent, Gallagher says it’s a “great honor” for the firm receive the Best Small Firms designation, and given that it is based on survey input from SEI’s consultants, “it is a testament that we are doing things right,” he says. “In addition, being designated as a Best Small Firm to Work For has a very positive impact on the morale of the company. Our consultants, services team and leadership alike, receive affirmation that they are part of a team that believes in our core values and guiding principles.”

Gallagher says business is booming and “our offices are thriving. We have a ton of demand and I don’t see that decreasing in the next year,” he says. “I am excited to add new team members to our various offices and expand our footprint to new markets. We have the pieces in place for continued prosperity and growth.”

And as the firm grows, one of the biggest challenges, Gallagher says, is ensuring SEI’s consultants are building strong relationships within their office and across the firm. “Attracting the best talent that can not only deliver excellence to the client, but also contribute to the business of SEI is a top priority,” he says. “Maintaining culture during growth is a top priority.”

So it stands to reason the firm excelled in the area of Culture on the survey. “For us, culture is more than a marketing buzzword. Culture is a reflection of our commitment to our EPIC (Excellence, Participation, Integrity, Collaboration) model, which is evident in who we hire and how we serve clients,” Gallagher says. “We believe it sets us apart in our ability to win the hearts and minds of our team and the loyalty of our clients.”

Gallagher says SEI’s culture is well defined and consistent throughout the company. One of the more important aspects of SEI’s business model, he says, is that the firm operates a very unique, employee ownership model—not a traditional ESOP, but a tangible ownership model that pays out dividends.

“While lucrative for the employee owners, I believe it supports our collaborative culture and ensures all oars are in the water. We empower our consultants to act and think like owners, and we reward them for what they contribute,” he says. “With a flat organizational model, our consultants are empowered with a servant leadership style that drives the collective success of our business.”

Q&A: How would you describe morale at the firm and why?

Bill Gallagher, CEO of Systems Evolution Inc., says: “The morale at Systems Evolution is extremely high. We all enjoy participating in a unique and substantial employee ownership program as well as the freedom and empowerment supported by open book management. This coupled with our commitment to provide a local consulting opportunity with a focus on work life balance fosters a high degree of professional and personal satisfaction among Systems Evolution employees.”

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