Jeff Honcoop Managing Partner – Honcoop Technology Services

Montana Ambassadors Interviews are part of an ongoing series of blog posts bringing you stories, insights and advice from leaders and business all across Montana and beyond. The opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the interviewee. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Montana Ambassadors or its members.

Most information today is readily available. What is something about your firm that you would like to share?

Honcoop Technology Services works with clients who operate locations both in and out of Montana so we are accustomed to working with other teams in large cities. Worth noting, professional information technology firms tend to get a bad rap largely due to the lack of regulatory guidelines in the service market. We are still in an immature phase in comparison with healthcare or financial services as an example. Information technology is an integral part of any business function today with many sales being driven by technology decisions. Without subject matter experts, clients are on their own to try to align information technology initiatives and to try to understand how the resultant change will impact their business outcomes.

If you could wave a magic wand and solve a challenge your companies faces, what would that be?

As a business owner who has worked in other states, I believe some of Montana’s labor laws can prohibit premium wages.  Legacy legislation left over from copper barons needs to be transformed to attract newer styles of employment. For example, piece rate compensation bills could help remove barriers of entry and provide some exciting new growth, especially in professional services. We are hopeful that legislative changes will lead to improvements in professional development and the local talent pool since we currently hire from out of state.

What are some of the pleasures of your job?

Being able to make a difference in our client’s business outcomes with projects that are transformational and deeply impactful to the bottom line. Our focus is not about cost savings, it’s about growth and sustainability. We help business leaders make intelligent decisions focusing their organizations to become more relevant and competitive in the global market place.

What are some of the advantages and challenges of a Montana-based company?

Quality of life in Montana makes attracting out of state employees easier. Recently we hired one senior level network engineer from Phoenix, one systems analyst from Los Angeles and a senior level project manager from Denver. However, travel can be a challenge. A long day trip across the state can cost close to $1000 via air travel requiring a large metro connection. In comparison driving from Billings to Missoula to meet a stakeholder who is flying in from Atlanta costs almost half the price but takes about the same time. In these scenarios, employees end up requiring two days of travel and accommodations adding expense to our clientele.

What would you say to other business owners about the advantages of a Montana-based company and recommending they open their office/facility here in the state?

We enjoy working and playing in Montana. The quality of life and employee satisfaction certainly is a factor to attract individuals who aren’t already here. The work ethic and competitive advantage of Montana firms really should be making a bigger impact nationwide as remote work, especially in our industry, is the norm today.