capSpire Turns Four
New business enterprises are sparked by a hunch, fueled by passion and driven to success using the mindset of an innovator. In early 2009, Jeff Hardcastle and Mike Scharf had a suspicion there was a better way to simplify and streamline commodity management functions. The two serial “problem solvers” founded
capSpire, a global consulting and solutions company serving the Commodity Trade and Risk Management (CTRM) sector of the energy industry. Exactly four yearslater, capSpire serves over two dozen clients across North America and Europe. The firm established its headquarters in the growing technology hub of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and expanded with an additional office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in March of 2012. Within the past year, capSpire added multiple clients in Europe and Houston, Texas, including some of the most prominent players in the energy market. Future plans for the growing firm include establishing additional offices in Houston, Texas, and in Europe.
Our goal from day one has been to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with clients that share our drive and passion for problem solving and innovation.
As capSpire recognizes its fourth anniversary, Scharf reflected on the firm’s evolution, “True sustainable success is best achieved by continuously improving the quality and value of capSpire’s services. Our goal from day one has been to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with clients that share our drive and passion for problem solving and innovation. The last four years have been a testament to the dedication of our capSpire team and the trust our clients have given us to find innovative solutions.”
capSpire’s Growth in 2012
In an economic climate where many businesses are downsizing, capSpire grew by 50% in 2012. Subsequently, the firm needed additional room to expand its rapidly growing team, so in early 2012 capSpire opened its newest office in the historic McFarlin Building in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“We serve a number of companies in Tulsa and felt that the best way to meet the needs of those customers was for us to expand our physical presence there,” capSpire CEO Lance Laubach said.
In October, capSpire, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and the Tulsa Metro Chamber,announced plans to bring 30 new jobs to Tulsa over the next three years through the state’s 21st Century Quality Jobs Program. According to Laubach, capSpire is committed to Tulsa’s continued success as one of the leading energy and technology hubs in the country.
capSpire’s Focus on Commodity Portal Solutions
Also in 2012, capSpire expanded its flagship product, Gravitate. The commodity portal platform streamlines communication between wholesale commodity marketers and their clients and gives on-demand access to vital information. Gravitate delivers dashboards, real-time prices, and online order execution while providing quick access to contract data, bills of lading, and invoices. capSpire launched two commodity portal projects in 2012 and plans to finish a large project with a major NGL marketer in early 2013.
“We concluded an exciting year of work with our commodity portal Gravitate. We recognized a trend in the market as energy companies look to maximize their return on data. Solutions like Gravitate allow commodity trading companies to leverage existing systems to get more value out of their data and automate communications with their customers, “ Scharf said. “Gravitate is truly a dynamic way for commodity trading organizations to empower their customers, guarantee instant access to business tools, and offer full transparency into the commodity trade life cycle.”
As part of the firm’s expansion in the last year, capSpire invested in hiring Enterprise Content Management (ECM) experts to launch a new division focused on assisting its energy clients with the complexities of ECM. The new ECM practice allows capSpire to help both large and small corporations define and implement ECM solutions that optimize data processes and data governance, while also providing clients better visibility and access to their own corporate information.
“The expansion into ECM over the last year has been an exciting new venture for capSpire that is highly complementary to our thriving CTRM practice. Our extensive knowledge of the commodities industry combined with our deep systems expertise made this a logical service offering for our team,” said Hardcastle.
capSpire Award-Winning Culture
Coupled with its rapid growth, capSpire continued to establish a unique company culture. In the fall of 2012, the firm was recognized with the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award for the use of creative ideas to help employees achieve the best of both worlds — a quality family life along with a satisfying career.
The Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility placed capSpire among the top one percent of employers for policies, programs, and culture that create a flexible workplace. Since capSpire’s inception in early 2009, the company has offered its employees motivational perks like flex time, a generous vacation policy, work-from-home options, and an innovative office culture normally found in technology hubs like Silicon Valley.
“We ask our employees to use creativity and innovation, so it’s only natural that we do the same thing when it comes to our office and culture. Over the last four years, we have worked to create an environment where people can continually grow their skills and make their own day-to-day decisions that are in the best interest of both the employee and our company. The award recognized all the hard work put into creating that special environment,” said Hardcastle.
Building on Success, Looking Forward
Laubach indicated 2013 looks to be another extremely promising year for capSpire.
“These are truly exciting times for our young, growing firm. Our team remains focused and energized as we move into the next phase of capSpire’s growth. We appreciate our customers and enjoy helping them as they invest in streamlining their business processes. We will remain focused on building on our past successes and continuing to fuel our passion for innovation in the coming year”
To learn more about capSpire visit www.capspire.com
capSpire is a global consulting and solutions company serving the Commodity Trade and Risk Management sector of the energy industry. Headquartered in the growing technology hub of Fayetteville, Arkansas, with an office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, capSpire has served over two dozen clients across North America and Europe. capSpire provides its clients with deep business and system expertise to simplify and streamline its commodity management functions for crude, natural gas, refined products, NGLs, coal, iron ore, agriculture and freight. Chief among its service offerings are IT strategy and planning, system selection, bespoke software development, implementation services, systems integration, complex enterprise content management and ongoing support.