From bringing the human touch to the restaurant industry to new leadership, celebrating our 35th anniversary, being recognized for our diversity and inclusion efforts, and opening a new office in San Antonio, 2019 was an exciting year of change and growth for us at High Touch Technologies.
In case you missed it, we wanted to share some of the stories we’re proud of from 2019.
Celebrating 35 Years in Business
In 1976, High Touch’s founder Professor Ted Cary chose to leave the Computer Science program at Wichita State University and start a new company. He recruited two of his students, Dave Glover and Mark Lenz, to develop a custom point of sale (POS) software solution for the rent-to-own (RTO) industry. By developing the software alongside ABC Rentals’ needs, Cary laid the foundation of High Touch’s software as a service (SaaS) business model. Service was extremely important to High Touch’s founders—so important that High Touch was one of the first businesses of its kind to incorporate 24/7 service into the business model.
High Touch officially opened its doors for business in 1984. Through the late 1990s and early 2000s, High Touch grew steadily through organic growth, based on RTO POS software. During this time, High Touch added IT Solutions and Website Services to its business model as well.
Through the late 2000s and 2010s, High Touch has grown organically and by way of acquisition. In fact, High Touch has completed 11 acquisitions to date, expanding our footprint throughout the Midwest United States, including Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, San Antonio, and Wichita.
We celebrated our 35 anniversary with the lighting of new signage on our headquarters at 110 S. Main St. in downtown Wichita.35 Years of Helping Businesses Grow
Announcing New Leadership
High Touch’s 35th year in business brought leadership changes to High Touch’s executive office. On March 8, 2019, former President and CEO Wayne Chambers announced that after roughly 15 years, he was ready to retire. During his time leading the company, Wayne led many initiates to diversify and expand High Touch’s client portfolio beyond the comfy RTO space. “I might be retiring, but I’ll still be hanging around to support High Touch and Wichita when I can,” states Chambers. “I’ll continue serving on High Touch’s Board of Directors as well as serve my board positions in the community.”
Briefly following Wayne’s announcement, High Touch announced that Derrick Nielsen would be filling the President and CEO position, following a 1-month transition period with Wayne. Derrick arrived at High Touch after serving four years as Vice President of People Operations and a member of the executive team at Charles Machine Works, a leading equipment and solutions provider to the underground construction industry. Additionally, High Touch was a long-term consulting client of Nielsen’s during his 16-year career at Allen, Gibbs, and Houlik (AGH) in Wichita.
Since April, Derrick has spent much of his time getting to know the High Touch team and our clients before strategizing a plan for the company’s next stage of growth.Derrick Nielsen Tapped as New President and CEO of High Touch Technologies
Introducing Nigel, a Revolutionary Restaurant POS System
In January, High Touch officially announced our joint venture with Thrive Restaurant Group and the development of a new POS system for the restaurant industry. When Thrive President Jon Rolph was looking for a POS system that could handle multiple locations and multiple states, he was underwhelmed by the market’s offerings, so he found a way to build a new one.
With High Touch’s foundation building POS systems for the RTO industry, the team was able to develop Nigel, a complete restaurant management platform. Nigel can serve any sized restaurant ranging from fast food to fine dining. By integrating a kitchen display system (KDS) with orders placed by servers at the table, Nigel simplifies communication between the front and back of the house, making sure restaurants run smoothly and efficiently.
Throughout 2019, the joint venture moved from announcing the new product to installing and supporting it at 17 locations. To read more about Nigel and its features, visit nigel.com.High Touch Technologies and Thrive Restaurant Group Team Up, Engineer Groundbreaking POS System
Creating a Diverse, Inclusive Workplace
In 2019, High Touch received the Diversity and Inclusion award from the Wichita Business Journal, recognizing the company’s efforts for making our organization and Wichita’s business community more diverse. Among the nominees, High Touch received commendation for our gender and age diversity. According to a 2015 article published by Business Insider, women only constitute 11% of the executive leadership roles in Silicon Valley and a measly 10% of all leadership roles. In comparison, women make up 50% of High Touch’s Executive team and 28% of our Leadership team.
Diversity and inclusion extends beyond our office to the clients we serve and the communities around us. High Touch provides technology services to almost every industry, in 49 states and four countries, employing bilingual customer support representatives to cater to our clients’ unique needs. Also, High Touch encourages employees to participate in the communities around us. In the past year, employees have volunteered time with a diverse group of organizations and causes, including donating dictionaries to area schools, donating refurbished computers to KANSEL, and engaging with the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few.High Touch Earns 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Award
Eyeing San Antonio
In 2019, our San Antonio office moved to a new space at 7800 IH-10 West, Suite 123. To celebrate, we invited clients and friends in the area, alongside the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, for a ribbon-cutting and tour of the new office space. The open house featured remarks from existing clients in the area, including the Alamo and Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries.San Antonio Office Celebrates With Open House
Besides our own interest in the San Antonio market, this year’s Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce City-to-City Leadership Visit traveled to San Antonio to learn from the city’s leaders. High Touch’s President and CEO Derrick Nielsen participated in the economic development track. “This was an intriguing opportunity to learn about San Antonio’s business community from an entirely different perspective,” states Derrick. “Diving further into San Antonio’s economic development success shines a light on our potential business development opportunities in the region.”Wichita, High Touch Look to San Antonio for Growth and Development
To read more about High Touch’s company and employee stories, check out our blog and follow us on social media. We’re active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. We hope you’ve had a great 2019, and we’re excited to share more of our stories with you in 2020!Read the Blog