SEI Named an Inc. 5000 Company; Big Deal, Right?

by | Aug 29, 2012 | Culture, SEI | 1 comment

For the sixth consecutive year, Service Express has been named to the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies.

Big deal, right?

Actually, it is.  Here’s why.

At our inception, Service Express was a risky proposition.  Our co-owners risked everything to create a business that few were willing to bet on.

From our humble beginnings, when employees used cardboard boxes as desks, to the Y2K scare, if you had said that SEI would one day be included on such a list, many would likely have laughed at you.

Despite this, and despite challenging economic times, Inc. 5000 companies created their own economy even when others were facing declining revenue.

So why does recognition like the Inc. 5000 matter to our employees and to our customers?  Here are 3 reasons.

1.  Inc. 5000 Companies Have a Track-Record of Innovation

Charles Kettering once said “If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.”

A company is not named to the Inc. 5000 list, and they do not experience the kind of growth that recipients have experienced, if they don’t offer an innovative product, service or approach to the way that they run their business.

Inc. 5000 companies are successful because they innovate.  They are problem solvers.  And when the big problems are solved, they go to work on the smaller ones.

For an Inc. 5000 company, good enough never is.

So, who better to partner with to solve your organization’s challenges than another who has a track record of innovation!

2. Inc. 5000 Companies Reinvest

Warren Buffet once said that “investing is laying out money today to receive more money tomorrow.”

While many companies are trying to either extract as much money from their business as possible for shareholders or are cutting costs, high-growth companies sustain their growth by reinvesting it.

At SEI, we know that great returns are the result of great investment.

For example, in an effort to cauterize the bleeding from a poor economy, many companies cut costs, including training.  At SEI, training isn’t viewed as a cost but rather as an investment.  When we invest in training, we invest in growth.  And when we experience growth, we can invest more in training.

Our growth enables us to reinvest in our greatest asset, our employees.  When things get tough, many companies try to “manage costs” by consolidating job functions.  It’s a decision that destroys both employee engagement and customer service.  At SEI, employee engagement and customer service are two of our Four Core Objectives.

3. Inc. 5000 Companies are Specialists

Steve Jobs once said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

When organizations face decline, many abandon their fly-wheel- that area of specialized expertise that allowed them to grow in the first place- in an effort to find revenue elsewhere.  They attempt to become all things to all people.  In doing so, they distract both themselves and their employees from that specialization that made them great in the first place.


Inc. 5000 companies guard their fly-wheel by doing something great, rather than doing some things well.

At SEI, we do something exceptionally well- data center maintenance.  Our 98% customer retention rate and our 87% Net Promoter Score validates the quality of our services.

Growth matters.  Companies like SEI cannot grow if employees aren’t engaged and if they don’t serve their customers well.  They can’t grow if they don’t maintain an innovative culture that solves problems and believes that good enough never is.  They can’t grow if they don’t reinvest their growth in their employees and customers.  And, they can’t grow if they don’t become specialists who guard their flywheel.

Growth is not an accident, it’s the product of a company with well defined values.

The Inc. 5000 List is exceptional because the companies included are exceptional.  And we’re honored to be included with them!


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About Me

I am the President & CEO of Service Express, a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Service Express has averaged double digit growth every year since 2001.

We attribute our success to a unique corporate culture that we call The Service Express Way. I am a member of the Young President Organization and sit on the Board of the Spectrum Health Foundation.