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McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

2021 Trusted Advisers Technology Professional: Chris Kays

F1 Computing Solutions LLC

Posted online

Jeff Rens appreciates how Chris Kays stretches a dollar.

“With The Kitchen being a nonprofit, it is important to us to turn around our donated and granted funds to the highest percentage towards the needs of our homeless families that we support,” says Rens, director of assets and properties for The Kitchen Inc.

Kays’ company, F1 Computing Solutions LLC, has provided information technology support to the nonprofit for almost eight years.

“Chris and his team have found many different avenues of ways to save us a large amount of money when it comes to our IT needs without sacrificing any quality of service or goods, and we have appreciated this more than we can ever say,” Rens says.

That’s the kind of feedback Kays seeks.

“My role as trusted adviser is to ensure that our clients’ needs are met in the most cost-effective manner without sacrificing any quality to service, hardware or security,” he says.

“If there happens to be a situation one of the techs is not sure about, then they rely on me to come up with a solution that custom fits that particular client.”

After 15 years with the U.S. Postal Service, Kays left in 2005 to start F1 Computing Solutions, which began turning a profit two years later. The company offers cloud and security management services to disaster recovery and access to 24/7 IT support.

Accessibility is important to Rens.

“Unlike most vendors that we deal with in other industries, we are able to get in touch with Chris and his team at any time,” Rens says. “I have called Chris late at night, early in the morning and even on vacation. It doesn’t matter when it is. I can always get in touch with him, and I am very appreciative of that. It’s like having an IT person on staff and available 24/7.”

Kays wants his customers to know his day doesn’t automatically end when he leaves the office – whether it’s an after-hours security concern or connecting clients with people who can help their organizations.

“Going above the call of duty is almost a daily thing for me,” Kays says. “I will do whatever it takes to satisfy our clients. Almost all of our clients have my cellphone number and know I will answer them any time day or night.”

Kays enjoys helping customers improve their IT capabilities.

“Some of my biggest accomplishments have been assessing businesses that we have brought on board as a client and planning out the upgrades of their IT equipment and software that is outdated,” he says. “It is very gratifying for me to see what I have envisioned become reality and the gratitude from the client.”

Like many business owners, Kays has navigated around COVID-19.

“The biggest trend we have seen in the past year has been the transition of employees working from home and having virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says.

He added he has to get current clients set up to work at home securely and also provide new clients with the same kind of setup.

Kays works with high school students through the Greater Ozarks Centers for Advanced Professional Studies and belongs to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Branson Area Lodging Association.

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