March 30, 2011
Construction software developer HCSS recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the company’s founding at the annual HCSS user’s group meetings in Houston.
More than 750 HCSS customers and the company’s 115 employees noted the milestone during the meetings at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston.
“This year’s user’s group meetings provided an excellent opportunity to celebrate a quarter-century in business with our customers who have made it possible,” said Mike Rydin, HCSS president, in a written statement. “The vast majority of the ideas that have made our construction software products lead the industry originate at this annual event.”
After two full days of meetings, customers and employees celebrated at a “Back to the Future” party at the hotel. The party featured 1980s staples like boom boxes, Family Feud, Rubik’s Cubes and the music of Queen, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, and others performed by the cover band Molly & the Ringwalds.
HCSS, founded in 1986, has grown from one product (HeavyBid Estimating Software) and one employee (Rydin) working out of the master bedroom of Rydin’s Houston home.
Now, the company offers seven products to more than 3,500 construction companies throughout North America and instant, 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week support. Since August 2009, HCSS has occupied a 45,000-square-foot company-owned headquarters building on 8 acres in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land.
Rydin noted several significant benchmarks that have contributed to the company’s growth and longevity: offering instant 24/7 support (beginning in 1986), selling 25 percent of the company to HCSS employees via an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in 1998 and introducing its HeavyJob Job Management Software at the 1998 user’s group meeting.
The ESOP and HeavyJob (which foremen use to enter field information and manage their jobs) share a common trait: to help employees think like owners.
“We firmly believe that an organization’s success — ours and our customers’ — rests heavily on the ability for employees to perform their jobs as though they were company owners,” said Rydin in the written statement. “With that mindset, and tools like HeavyJob, employers can attract and retain the best workers. The company benefits as a result.”