Founded in rural Colorado, Second-61 is a technology infrastructure, security and solution services firm. The team delivers fractional to fully outsourced IT services, security, procedural and technology organizational consulting, and managed solutions to drive performance and help its clients thrive.
After moving back home to rural Colorado and witnessing the dip in the local economy, Chris Koehn saw the need to support youth development in the community and founded Second-61. He realized that multitudes of rural communities continuously produce graduating classes of high potential young adults each year, sending them away to college, where they’d go on to do great things, but in other places. Their hometowns didn’t have as many organic opportunities to support the futures of these budding young adults.
Providing IT services, Second-61 benefits from the top talent that matriculates from local schools. Hence, Chris decided to partner with the school systems and colleges in the region to bring in young professionals to address the challenges in market opportunity. This allows local students to intern or work and discover their likes, dislikes, and what they want to accomplish professionally. Early on, Second-61 was recognized as a top workforce development program in Colorado and received the DHS NSA stamps of approval for workforce development.
Growth & Efficiency: The Perfect Duo
Second-61 works across federal and commercial industries and executes on many key contracts for critical Federal agency missions. Because of the unique requirements of these types of government contracts, Second-61 must be as buttoned up and efficient as possible, starting with their accounting system of record.
“Leading the vision for the organization, we were looking towards what’s next, and growth was a big part of it,” shared Chris Koehn, founder of Second-61. The accounting team was using QuickBooks Enterprise and tried to bolt on various tools, but that didn’t work. “QuickBooks Enterprise is more of a data entry system with logic for small business in the backend, and that is not the type of enterprise capabilities we require for government contracting,” Chris said. The team did a lot of extra work to maintain compliance and functional accounting within a system not designed to meet the industry's requirements.
“As a former accountant, I expect my system to have the rigid control processes that Deltek is known for in a comprehensive solution to streamline processes, and the other solutions we explored in the market really lacked,” stated Chris.
While Second-61 was looking to replace QuickBooks with a new solution, they started implementation with another enterprise accounting system. However, they had to halt the implementation midway through due to some of the inadequacies of the system. “For a small business to spend a lot of time and money, then pull the plug is a big deal,” shared Chris. “That tells you how hard the other system failed us.”
Second-61 has big plans to double its headcount over the upcoming year, expand into other rural communities, and extend its international reach. To accomplish those goals, their organization must be efficient and lean. “By moving to Deltek Costpoint, performing accounting tasks will take less time, and we won't need as much manpower as what we needed in other systems,” mentioned Chris. “We are going to benefit greatly from the standardization and the regimented processes in the hard controls of the system that cohesively work together. We also use Deltek’s GovWin IQ platform, so the integration to Costpoint will also save our team time and improve effectiveness.”
Improving efficiency and streamlining internal processes supports growth, and often the best time to start is now. Chris said, “Just because you have always filled out your expense reports in triplicate with a red pen and sent it from one coast to the other doesn’t mean that’s the best practice.” It’s important to keep perspective on improving your business if you want to grow; part of that responsibility falls on evolving your practices. This can be easier during the conversion process when you’re under the hood analyzing all aspects of your business.
The Power of Wisdom & Expertise
Expertise, wisdom, advice, and partnership are critical attributes when selecting a software vendor and investing in an ERP solution. It’s critical to a successful implementation and business plan to source a vendor offering years of industry wisdom and knowledge, providing suggestions and peace of mind. That’s precisely what Second-61 needed after a failed implementation. Second-61 chose Deltek because of its reimagined focus on small businesses and the Power Launch program. The team knew Deltek had decades of industry experience with thousands of government contracting customers – “As a small business, I knew we were going to get the best practices from the industry leaders to help improve my business,” stated Chris. “We took a perspective that the Power Launch provides a template that if we are wise enough to implement without structural change and leverage the expertise at hand, our business will be much better for it and is worth its weight in gold.”
Deltek Global Consulting offers the Power Launch program to specific market segments, which provides a pre-designed and pre-configured system to accelerate the implementation process. The Power Launch helps small and emerging businesses like Second-61, successfully go live on time, on budget, and maximize the benefit from their Deltek investment. According to Chris, “If I want a Cadillac, there’s a reason for it. And, what I think Deltek offers is the tools that my business needs in a trusted way with an implementation process that works and can support my plans for growth.” “I get a much better product and service at a lower cost over time.”
The Secret to a Successful Implementation
Second-61 has approached this implementation with flexibility and Deltek has met their needs every step of the way. “The date we go live will be the right date when it happens because we know we will have completed all of the necessary steps and will be operating within compliance,” said Chris. “We know implementation is going the way it’s supposed to, compared to our prior experience with another platform. Our experience with Deltek’s experts has been trusting and uplifting every step of the way – their knowledge and expertise is beyond compare.”
Building this business from the ground up, Second-61 currently has more than 50 employees and continues to grow, with a goal of having 150 within the next twelve months. The team also plans to expand into other locations and launch a similar practice within other rural communities as partnerships. “Our customers need secure, redundant ITSM and cyber operating centers,” said Chris. “So, that’s what Second-61 does, and it really works. A small business making a big impact across many rural communities.”
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Second-61 is a technology infrastructure, security, and solution services firm based in Rural Colorado. Our teams deliver fractional to full outsource IT services, security, procedural, and technology organizational consulting and managed solutions. Technology is a business tool, it should be available, reliable, secure, and performance driven to make your business thrive. Technology should support the business, not the other way around.
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