Flint Hills Group recently celebrated its five year anniversary. Looking back, Dave Cunningham, CEO and Founder, reminisced about the company’s beginnings. Having worked in corporate America for thirty years, Dave recognized the signals that a massive layoff was on the horizon with his employer at the time, NetApp. The data storage sales at NetApp had suffered as the growth of cloud computing exploded in 2016. The world was shifting to the cloud and he was going to need to pivot to take advantage of this disruptive change in technology. When NetApp laid off a huge chunk of their engineering team in Wichita along with shutting down a large sister office in Boulder, the time was ripe for a new business opportunity and Flint Hills Group was formed. The Wichita Eagle news even covered the story in January 2016, “Laid-off computer engineer tries turning lemon into lemonade.”
One of the advantages of the layoffs was the sizable layoff packages and benefits employees received which gave them breathing room and allowed Flint Hills Group to bring seventeen people on board and not have to have immediate work for them on day one. No huge bank loan was needed. No venture capital group was required to fund Flint Hills Group. The company started with $3,000 in the bank and met in Cunningham’s basement for weekly team meetings. Flint Hills Group knew there was a market for US based software development and were committed to providing a quality solution at a lower cost.
The original Flint Hills Group focused on four core values:
Innovative Low-Cost Solutions
Collaboration and Teamwork
Best Value for US Based Consulting and Contracting
These values remain unchanged 5 years later. The Flint Hills Group model of remote work was a huge benefit when the pandemic hit. Today, 45 employees & contractors in 7 states have generated over 1M in revenue annually and are growing rapidly. Flint Hills Group is on pace to double it’s growth by 2022.
Flint Hills Group may have started with Cunningham’s vision and idea but the growth and success has been a total team effort. Everyone in Flint Hills Group understands that they are a key part of the company and can drive change and improvement. This was a welcome shift from large corporations where politics exist and people are taken out when they challenge the status quo. Cunningham wanted to make sure all those things he disliked about his years in Corporate America were not present or at least minimalized with Flint Hills Group. So far, that plan has driven the growth of the company and employee satisfaction within Flint Hills Group. “We all get to do very interesting work, we get to work directly with customers, we get great pay, we celebrate projects when they finish and we have the ability to influence the company we work for,” said Cunningham to members of Flint Hills Team the recent 5-year anniversary party.
Flint Hills Group has completed over 60 software projects for over 50 US customers from California to New Hampshire. Mobile apps, cloud hosted software solutions, embedded firmware, data base and data conversions along with IoT solutions are just some of the areas Flint Hills Group has focused on. All developers are US-based and are highly experienced with technical degrees. The company is well positioned for continued growth nationally in an economy where software is the core of many businesses. FHG proprietary processes drive quick and innovative solutions with the customer involved every step of the way.