Dennis Schroder of arakÿta
Meet Dennis Schroder, founder of arakÿta
, an information technology solutions provider and business consultation service.
What is arakÿta?
People usually have to ask how to pronounce it before they can ask what it is. “air-uh-key-ta” specializes in strategy, process and systems for organizations. We thrive on creating custom-made solutions that improve employee communication, workflow efficiency, and increasing bottom line results. We provide a broad range of services, including management consulting, Microsoft SharePoint solutions, disaster recovery, web services, hosting/co-location, network integration, system maintenance and more.
How did you come up with the idea?
After providing purely information technology services for 20-years, we introduced business consulting services into our product mix. We realized people, ideas, and technology blend together within an organization, and our solutions need to incorporate more than just systems and hardware. This provided us the right opportunity to revamp our brand as well and that was when arakÿta was born. arakÿta is derived from a combination of the names of two deceased dogs I used to have. I loved them and the name wasn’t registered on Facebook or Twitter, giving us an edge.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
Changing up your business model can be risky, but it’s the only way to grow. Since we added comprehensive business consulting services to our portfolio, we have been surprised to discover that most companies and industries can benefit from our services. Making a positive impact on peoples’ business culture and bottom line profit is a pretty cool feeling. Taking that risk has paid off for us.
Where did you find your first employee?
My friend of 30-years who was a retired law enforcement officer has a passion for protecting things. When he became a part of the business, it was only natural that he created and developed the first service the company offered – a Disaster Recovery Program. From mapping escape routes for your employees, to securing all your vendor information, he can develop an entire roadmap for your company in the event of a physical or technical disaster.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
Every day is different. Although one thing that is consistent is communication. Our team teleconferences every day at 11 a.m. Each employee is required to phone in and report their customer priorities and projects for the day. This frequent communication keeps client needs at the surface and provides the opportunity for team members to collaborate on each other’s workload. My time nowadays is mostly focused on the bigger overall picture and direction of the company. Planning sessions with clients to optimize their business strategies and processes is where I am concentrating my time.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Northwest Ohio?
Northwest Ohio has provided a great talent pool of intelligent, hardworking, creative people for our organization. We have been fortunate to develop a great team at arakÿta of local employees.
Ohio has also proven to be a great place to do business. A lot of companies affected by the lean manufacturing drive that occurred in the late 1990s, early 2000s are prime candidates for our services. They’re looking for ways to make their processes more efficient, more cost effective, often times with fewer resources, which is right up our alley.
What resources or organizations in Ohio did you take advantage of and how did they help?
We have developed partnerships with several other Ohio-based organizations that specialized in things we don’t. We can provide more value to our customers if we can deliver comprehensive solutions to their problems beyond just the scope of services of what we can provide.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
We had a relationship with a local company in Oak Harbor, Ohio that developed into a much larger scale when the interim CEO transitioned to a new organization. When he began managing a Fortune 50 company that required sophisticated IT services, he reached out to arakÿta. We helped extract all IT processes and services from this company of 1,500 employees and took their systems to a new platform that we now host and maintain. This relationship has taken our local entrepreneurial company to a national level.
What inspires you?
People. Ideas. Technology. Learning new things. I’m constantly seeking information about new technologies, methods, and ways to do things smarter, faster, better. Technology has evolved tremendously, and there are a lot of smart people and ideas out there. You have to be willing to embrace and implement ideas that aren’t necessarily your own. I have been fortunate to have great success, but I haven’t done it on my own.
What founders do you admire and why?
Bill Gates. His drive and intensity led him to create an incredibly successful organization, which then allowed him to become one of the biggest philanthropists in the world.
What’s next for you?
We will maintain our focus on helping our customers utilize their resources as best as possible to make them more productive and successful while monitoring changes in the business landscape to enable us to continue to develop and grow.
Interview by Joe Baur