For Scott Carson, the year 2015 was seminal.
Not only did Carson become president and part owner of Blue Ocean Consulting along with partners Scott Woodward and Juan Sola, but the Olathe-based company posted a sizeable revenue increase of 35 percent.
It was a year full of change for Carson, the former vice president of business development for the Kauffman FastTrac program.
Q: What is Blue Ocean Consulting?
The company creates customized software and technology for business solutions.
“We’re about driving innovation through technology,” Carson said. “If you talk about businesses today, whether or not they think they are in the tech business, they really are…. We work with those who see technology as moving them forward…. We have a team of very strategic technology people. We can gain an understanding of what makes their business tick and then technology will help them improve what we uncover.”
Carson came to Blue Ocean without a tech background.
“But I think that’s a good thing,” Carson said. “The perspective that I bring about business in general has helped the company.”
Q: Who are your customers and how do you get them?
Carson said Blue Ocean has a diverse client list, built up over the company’s 21-year history. Most clients are within 150 miles of Kansas City.
“We have had nice success in health care, financial services, and transportation,” he said. “We can cross over to any industry.”
Blue Ocean’s client list includes Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas Public Radio and MetLife.
Carson said his company is currently working with a start-up, and is also helping an asset management company redefine its industry based on technology and tools the Blue Ocean is developing. Recently, the company produced an online annual report for Black and Veatch.
“That was a cool project,” he said. “They wanted to be able to mold it and change it and make it an experience.”
There is a method to client acquisition, as well.
“Our approach is that of the three-legged stool—myself along with my business development person are reasonably connected in the community and leverage our networks to the hilt.”
The second leg is working with networking partners that help tell Blue Ocean’s story.
“These are people in businesses and industry with a similar philosophy to ours,” Carson said.
The third leg is a digital marketing campaign using Blue Ocean’s web site.
Blue Ocean is also starting special events for current and prospective clients. with the first set for April 7.
Q: Your company experienced considerable growth in 2015 both in staffing and revenues-to what do you attribute that?
“It was a change in mindset about what was being done in the past and what was possible,” Carson said. “We had some really talented people with a few weak spots that if we addressed, I knew we were poised for growth.”
In 2015, Blue Ocean went from 19 to 29 employees. Carson continues to look for more talent.
“We still have some warts. We are just getting better and better every day adding good folks and processes,” he said.
As for revenues, the company’s goal is to hit $10 million over the next three years. “We are moving in that direction,” Carson said.
Q: Blue Ocean puts an emphasis on its corporate culture-describe the culture and why it is important?
“The culture that predated me was very much a delivery machine and all about the work and getting it done,” said Carson.
“I communicate every quarter on people and financial performance,” he said. “People can voice their opinion and we empower them to make good decisions and reward them…. For me, this was very fundamental. It has helped shift the culture.”
Every Friday lunch is brought in for the entire staff.
“It’s an open forum,” Carson said. “We talk about whether we are meeting the expectations of our clients.”
There are also outside-the-office activities to promote team building.
Q: What is the greatest challenge the company faces today?
“Finding the right people to put on the team and being patient with the process,” Carson said.
In a nutshell
COMPANY: Blue Ocean Consulting
ADDRESS: 25501 West Valley Parkway, Suite 100,
TELEPHONE: (913) 489-3750
WEB SITE: www.boc1.com