TDK Technologies’ expertise and values-based culture have created one of the most prominent tech firms in St. Louis. TDK is ranked as the area’s eleventh-largest IT consulting firm and fourth-largest software developer.
TDK is owned and managed by IT professionals. Principals Kristin Tucker and David Kocs say the company’s success is based on its core values.
In an interview, Kocs explained the approach to the company’s five core values.
Hire quality, deliver quality
As a service organization, TDK doesn’t have products sitting on a shelf. So it’s crucial to recruit the best technical talent who possess good soft skills.
“Custom software development is at the core of what we do. We do that through individual staff assignments where we are placing software technology professionals like project managers or software developers with a client, or providing capacity teams to do custom software development, or developing deliverable-based solutions,” Kocs says. “All of our processes are driven by quality. We make sure to match the right people with the right roles.”
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TDK believes in honest communication without hidden agendas. The company ensures employees have all the information they need to fully understand their roles and customer expectations.
“The key is honest communication,” Kocs says. “Transparency is required with our team members and our clients, at every level of the organization. Do what you say you are going to do, and you can never go wrong.”
Understand the customer
TDK is a trusted adviser that wants to understand the customer’s goals without dictating solutions.
“Understanding the customer comes down to asking lots of intentional questions to find out what their needs or business goals are,” Kocs says. “Customers will sometimes say, ‘This is the solution I want you to develop.’ We like to back up from that and ask, ‘What are the business goals you want to accomplish?’”
Some projects require extra hours and can be quite stressful, so TDK fosters a work/life blend. That includes games and contests to build camaraderie and engage the team, celebrating achievements and accommodating life’s realities.
“We can have fun here and still get the job done,” Kocs says. “There will always be deadlines. And companies are doing more with fewer people. With today’s technology, we realize we are always connected. There is sometimes stuff at night and early in the morning that you are going to work on. So don’t feel guilty about taking time for a doctor’s appointment or your kid’s soccer game.”
Do the right thing
TDK makes decisions that are not only moral, ethical and honest, but also reasonable and fair. Empowerment and accountability are crucial to the organization.
“If you can base your decisions and actions on doing the right thing, you will always be on the right track,” Kocs says. “We want people to make decisions without compromising their values, which results in successful outcomes and a great culture.”
In the spirit of doing the right thing, TDK also gives back to the community. Throughout the year, the company conducts philanthropic initiatives such as volunteering and donating resources to good causes in the St. Louis community.
While the company’s success is driven by these core values, the people are TDK’s biggest asset.