Happy birthday to us!Since its founding in 1986, FF&S has grown from a small 3-person team serving primarily banks in Indiana and Ohio to 33 team members whose customers span 38 states. Thirty years is a long time to grow, learn, and refine, and we’re happy to report we’ve matured beyond our humble beginnings into new industries, new markets, and new sets of expertise.
Launched by Frank Franks as Financial Forms & Systems, FF&S initially focused on managing the printing and specialized business supply needs of more than 30 area banks. The company quickly grew to include businesses from other industries, including government agencies, insurance and accounting firms.
Jeff Williams, FF&S’s third employee, looks back on those days: “I’ve been with the company for 13 of its 30 years, and I’ve been proud to be part of its growth and development. It’s humbling to see what good, old-fashioned ethics and a healthy entrepreneurial spirit can build.” In 2006, Jeff assumed part ownership of FF&S, stepping into his role as owner and president in 2011 when Frank retired.
FF&S grew steadily until 2007, when it quietly acquired its first company. “We knew we had something good going for our customers, and we wanted to expand, to bring our solutions to more markets,” Jeff remembers. Over the course of the next eight years, FF&S acquired an additional five companies, adding to its reach and allowing it to bring value to almost 800 total accounts across 38 states, including nearly 240 banks.
As the company grew, the team also swelled beyond its original three, eventually welcoming an additional 30 into the FF&S family. In 2014, Jeff hired Trent Dahlstrom as Director of Sales to help guide and unite the company’s bright, driven, but geographically dispersed team. That dispersion came with challenges, but the team’s commitment to shrinking the distances between them wasn’t as much of a challenge as Trent expected.
“FF&S is a special place to work,” Trent told us. “Each department has done a great job with bringing on team members who have been vital in accomplishing stellar year-over-year growth. I feel truly blessed to work with a visionary leader like Jeff and the passionate group of people who make up FF&S.”
Their fast growth precipitated the need to refine their processes and hone their communications, especially with leadership, sales, and delivery team members sitting in regional offices as dispersed as Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. John Schneider, FF&S Controller, remarks, “Even though our headquarters are located in the heart of Indiana, our team’s ability to adapt and work together through technology has really helped spur our growth and expand our presence as a unified company.”
In 2011, the company moved its corporate offices to Noblesville, IN, giving its leadership and operations teams room to breathe – and to grow in new directions. “We felt we needed a change of space that reflected our desire to build on our company’s strong legacy, without leaving it behind, but also envision new things for the company,” Jeff says.
What will those new things be? Only time will tell because Jeff won’t – just yet. 😉