Arcus Hunting is a private equity owned firm that is mid-sized and growing. They are building a strong portfolio of leading brands in the bowhunting and archery consumables and accessories category. Under its brands, Tink’s®, Dead Down Wind®, Obsession Bows™, Ramcat® Broadheads and Trophy Taker®, Arcus markets and manufactures a range of leading deer lures, attractants, scent control products, and premium bows. Scott Neola, Chief Financial Officer, came to the organization just over a year ago with 10 years of experience in private equity at the CFO and Director level. At Arcus Hunting, Neola manages the strategic finance function as well as oversees the day-to-day administrative operations of the business which include finance, human resources and IT.
Resolving Technology Issues and bringing support for strategic initiatives
This dynamic organization had partnered with Sikich to meet some of their IT project needs. The relationship has evolved into both ERP support and managed services. In addition to the traditional tech support, Arcus Hunting engages the Sikich virtual CIO team, which enables them to get strategic insight and advice on things like which technology will make the organization better and what technology they should stay up to date on. Sikich was selected before Neola came on board, but he shared, “I would have chosen them too because they are the best partner to help our company continue to grow.”
“Any company at any stage can benefit from a partner like Sikich, especially when it comes to the dynamic abilities of IT professionals in the IT world today. If a company has an IT department that is growing and is struggling to keep that IT department engaged or is realizing their capabilities are not the capabilities of the future that the company needs, then that is where Sikich can step in and become that true IT growth partner for any company.””
– Scott Neola, Chief Financial Officer
The value of an all-in-one strategic partner
Sikich offers a portfolio with a wide range of solutions and services to meet your business’ challenges and opportunities. This means you have one go-to partner that knows your business inside and out. You have a true partner looking out for your best interest and bringing short- and long-term road maps to the table that enable you to meet your goals and achieve success, while accomplishing digital transformation. Neola finds this type of partnership to be important at Arcus Hunting or any organization. When asked what value he saw in an all-in-one strategic partner he said, “Everywhere I go, I will always call Sikich or someone like them. All of our users have quick and easy access to professionals that can take care of routine assistance or complex issues like getting a report or data out of the ERP or problems with the way a journal entry posted.” He continued, “We email the Sikich support team and within 5 minutes we are getting help. This would be the same with your own IT department BUT if they are out for the day, or sick, or working with someone else– you aren’t getting the service you might need right away.”
Arcus Hunting experiences this key value on a regular basis. Neola shared an example about a remote user at a supplier that taps into their network to enable them to invoice and ship product on their behalf in the state of Missouri, with Arcus Hunting being in Georgia. This person had been offline for a week. Their password had expired, and they couldn’t get back in. They simply emailed the NOC at Sikich and within 4 minutes they were back up and running again!
“In my experience, something like that internally would have taken hours to get resolved and not been ideal for customers and internal practices,” shared Neola. “Having a company like Sikich eliminates a lot of internal issues where you are dealing with multiple vendors who may have multiple agendas. They might not see your business as a strategic partner but more of a cash funnel. Having Sikich who is really sitting there as a strategic partner, as your IT department, as our virtual CIO and all the services that come under that, and providing us input on how we can make our company better is the true partnership that I look for and that other CFOs and CEOs would look for in any relationship that is not common with providers of certain services in the IT space that I have dealt with. It is a really powerful relationship that helps us maintain and run our small business.”
3 benefits Arcus hunting receives from partnering with sikich
In his role of CFO, Neola shared three big reasons why he will want to always have a relationship like he has with Sikich no matter where he works. These benefits can have a real impact on any company regardless of size or industry.
“I think this is something that other private equity firms would take advantage of”
#1 Professional Staff You don’t have to maintain
When you manage your own IT department, you must deal with issues like maintaining head count, keeping payroll at levels that are to market, and keeping your staff challenged so they don’t look for employment elsewhere (then you have to go through the cycle again of replacing people). Neola sees vast value in leaving all of that in Sikich’s hands. There is trust and comfort knowing that we make sure the right people with the right skill level are in place and always available.
#2 Cost Advantage
Neola has found that paying for these services is far more equitable, when you add all the numbers up, than having an internal department. He has run the numbers and what he pays Sikich is a significant benefit to him as a company then what it would take him to hire resources and retain those resources at a company level. If you run your own calculations, you will see the same.
#3 Technical Relationship
The virtual CIO model is the best model, in Neola’s opinion, for any private equity company because private equity is looking to maximize resources already in place while spending the least amount of money possible to do it. Don’t misunderstand this as a “cheap” attribute. Neola stated, “While private equity companies do see a strategic need to invest in IT, if they saw the same or greater could be accomplished by using a service company like Sikich, they would go for that every time and universally adapt that throughout their portfolio. I have talked to my ownership about universally adapting Sikich throughout our portfolio today and I think that is something that other private equity firms would take advantage of if they knew of, or found a, service like Sikich.”