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CEO Jack Prim and President Tony Wormington
CEO Jack Prim and President Tony Wormington

Kings Finalist: Jack Henry & Associates Inc.

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Jack Henry & Associates Inc. had humble beginnings in 1976 – two men, a borrowed computer and rented space in an engine repair shop.

The company, which provides technology platforms for financial institutions, now has more than 50 offices nationwide, 4,655 employees, more than 11,800 clients and headquarters on a 134-acre site in Monett. In 2010, the company moved its Springfield operations to an $8.8 million campus – two buildings comprising about 160,000 square feet, at 3725 E. Battlefield Road.

The company’s products and services are delivered through four business units: Jack Henry Banking, Symitar, ProfitStars and iPay Technologies, according to www.jackhenry.com, but leaders haven’t lost sight of Jack Henry’s roots.

“We still operate in many ways like a much smaller company. (We’re) much less stiff and formal than what you’ll typically find in a company with almost 5,000 employees,” says Jack Henry CEO Jack Prim. “When you start from fairly humble beginnings and you don’t forget where you came from, it carries through to the way you run your business.”
President Tony Wormington says Jack Henry’s corporate culture has fostered the company’s continued growth.

“We have a culture that is really based upon doing the right thing, doing whatever it takes, having fun and taking care of the client,” Wormington says.

The company also takes care of its work force.

For example, when gas prices rose to more than $4 a gallon, Jack Henry implemented flexible work arrangements, allowing out-of-town employees to spend a couple of days a week working from home.

“We’re hopefully now on the tail end of the worst recession I’ve seen in 30-plus years of my business career,” Prim said. “We’ve been able to survive that without doing any layoffs of employees. Not a lot of companies can say that.”

Publicly traded Jack Henry & Associates (Nasdaq: JKHY) ended its 2010 fiscal year with $837 million in revenues and three acquisitions: iPay Technologies LLC, Pemco Technologies and Goldleaf Financial Solutions Inc.

Prim says those acquisitions have made Jack Henry more efficient and diverse.

“As we’ve seen in the financial industry, the need for additional technology and product is so great that no one company can build everything it needs to. They just can’t get it done fast enough,” Prim says. “Sometimes an acquisition just gets us a product faster than we could get on our own.”

The rise of mobile banking and a need for products and services compatible with devices such as the iPad present growth opportunities for Jack Henry.

“We have a very strong group of individuals within our research and development teams that stay on top of this type of technology and create prototypes (and) build products and services that we can go to market with,” Wormington says.

He notes, though, that Jack Henry isn’t in the business of adding products and services just for technology’s sake.

“We’re utilizing technology to solve business problems, and that’s what we’re delivering to our clients,” Wormington says.

Even as the company and its offerings continue to evolve, Prim says clients are the top priority for Jack Henry, which maintains customer relationships through corporate accessibility and consumer forums.

“We like to say around here our only sustainable competitive advantage is customer service,” he adds.
 
From the 2011 Economic Impact Awards publication
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