After a few months of working as an independent consultant, ERPi was incorporated in September 2001. That was a most memorable time for our country, for me, and, consequently, for ERPi.
ERPi was founded on the idea that there are good people who want to work toward something bigger than themselves, something more important than merely a job, salary, and profit—that there is something noble in working for the common good, in pursuing excellence. Our initial focus was on providing independent verification and validation (IV&V) services on very large Federal ERP projects. With so much on the line, with so much money being spent, we believed the Federal clients needed someone to represent their best interests on projects that encompassed vendors, integrators, consultants, with multiple demands. We believed the agencies would benefit from an organization with specialized knowledge and experience in relevant processes, technology, and domain, as well as in the policy and regulatory environment that dominated the workplace.
Over time, these initial values were refined in the pursuit of integrity. This means always keeping the country first, always being truthful and honest with clients and with one another. It was the kind of integrity that meant coaching clients and teammates into being better. Our goal was never to look like the smartest person in the room but, rather, to give the client the tools, support, and information that led them to be the smartest person in the room. If we could improve the mission of the soldier, the care of the veteran, the research of the scientist, or the life of the citizen, then that would be enough. And over time, this approach led to the core value proposition at ERPi—lead with integrity, and good things will follow!
ERPi is defined by individual integrity, the responsibility of each person to be honest and truthful in all dealings. ERPi is defined by corporate integrity, a business environment that encourages our colleagues to be successful, to grow, and to flourish. ERPi is defined by social integrity, the way we treat one another, by seeking diversity, listening to different ideas, and helping those who need our help. ERPi is defined by our people and by our relationships. ERPi is defined by our values and our principles.
Lead with integrity, and good things will follow. That is what defines ERPi to me.