With new building, Capital Services hopes to offer exceptional employee experience

Dec. 21, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by Interstate Office Products.

It had become clear staying put wasn’t going to allow Capital Services to move into the future.

So when the Sioux Falls-based financial services company determined its headquarters of 22 years wouldn’t be its forever home, the search was on.

It led Capital Services to Dawley Farm Village, where the nearby shopping, dining and entertainment options would allow its 150-person team to work in a place that didn’t quite feel like coming to work.

“More than half our employees live on the east side of Sioux Falls, and we felt this location really would help create the work-life balance we wanted for them,” said Jeff Derner, senior vice president of operations.

“And once we made that decision, we were able to design the building exactly how we wanted.”

Working with architect TSP, Capital Services began to formulate a plan for the building early last year. But before locking in a layout, it did some early exploration of their office furniture options. Interstate Office Products, which had supplied the company with office furniture previously, started offering suggestions.

“We were trying to work through options and determine what would work best, and they were working with us before we had put any of the work up for bid, which I thought was amazing,” said Michelle Mueller, Capital Services’ CFO and COO.

“They put their time and effort and a lot of work into it not even having the business yet, and they were so responsive – understanding what your goals are and using that information to give you suggestions. It was the easiest experience I could ever imagine would happen in trying to decide furniture for a 50,000-square-foot building.”

The Capital Services team made multiple trips to the Interstate Office Products showroom in downtown Sioux Falls, where they were able to look at 3D renderings showing how their selections could lay in the new building.

IOP also provided the ability for Capital Services to experience a virtual walkthrough of their potential new space.

To see the virtual look at the first floor, click here.

To see the virtual second floor, click here.

“And then within the showroom, we actually sat at tables we ended up purchasing, and you could see and touch and feel the examples of products, plus walk through and talk to their employees about what they liked about the products, so it was very interactive and live and real,” Derner said.

“They really took on a consultative role. It didn’t feel like you were dealing with a company trying to sell you furniture. They just really guided us through our vision and what it would take to achieve that while understanding our budget and tastes. They zeroed in on that very early and presented us with options that fit our expectations.”

At IOP, that process is known as “co-creation” – and it’s part of what the company does best.

“And what happens, especially for clients who aren’t doing buildings like this frequently with dedicated teams, is they really discover the value our designers and specialists bring,” IOP CEO Gary Gaspar said. “It opens their eyes to many possibilities they didn’t realize they could consider.”

Working with the IOP team of Kristi Christensen, Mark Payne and Marcia Young, Capital Services began to see the office vision move toward reality.

“They knew what they wanted to create or solve for, but they didn’t know what that looked like from a furniture standpoint,” Christensen said.

“They were definitely trying to plan everything in the best way possible for their employees. That resonated through every conversation, and there was a lot of happiness when they found products they liked, that they thought their employees would love and that fit their budget.”

IOP ultimately was selected to continue with the job.

“We always appreciate being brought into the process as early as possible, largely so the client doesn’t box themselves out of possibilities because they’re too far into design and construction,” Gaspar said. “We get asked to do test fits a lot, including by commercial real estate brokers, which we accommodate whenever possible because then the client gets the best result.”

During the design process, Capital Services decided to invest in more than 200 workstations for the new office, including all height-adjustable desks.

“They were not considering those at all until they came in and saw them, and now everyone has one,” Payne said.

Employees here fulfill a variety of roles. Capital Services provides fully integrated servicing of national credit card portfolios for its clients, including call center operations, account management, acquisition, compliance and financial performance.

“They wanted the feel of a more executive space,” Christensen said. “It’s not really a call center. They are very consultative, very collaborative, and they wanted the vibe to be something a little more upscale professional.”

Working with general contractor Lloyd Cos., the emphasis was on creating a complete, comfortable employee experience, Derner said.

“The heating and ventilation is state of the art, the windows add a whole new dimension, and we spent time with TSP on that as well. And then we wanted to make sure we provided a high level of comfort even with things like upgrading the carpet to have more padding at the sit-stand workstations.”

Within the building, there are multiple collaboration spaces, from informal seating areas to designated meeting rooms.

“We did some breakout rooms with glass walls to see in when you’re out on the floor, with some funky furniture to make it more fun and conducive to generating ideas and having a relaxed, collaborative environment,” Derner said.

“And yet we’re still in the financial services industry. We’re not Google or Amazon. So it still reflects the business line we’re in and our ownership with a South Dakota feel but still having fun with it.  And they came up with ideas we would not have come up with.”

The Capital Services break room was adjusted from the company’s original vision after IOP showed the team different products.

“They were originally looking at mostly tables and chairs, but we redesigned it to add booth seating, which provides a more intimate space while also breaking it up with different styles of seating,” Young said.

“It’s definitely more of a cafe feel with fun fabrics.”

There is built-in counter seating for individuals along with stool-height and table-height seating, plus the booths.

“We really like the variety of seating options,” Derner said. “We aren’t able to use a lot of the fun things in the break room right away because of COVID and requiring masks and social distancing, so it looks great, and eventually it will be utilized.”

During the selection process, IOP also provided Capital Services with some options to design the space with a focus on employees’ health.

“When we originally decided on furniture, it was before COVID-19, and proposals were due when COVID hit. So we ended up changing our furniture layout and adding panels, which were recommendations from IOP in an addendum to their original proposal that gave us some things to consider to help with virus situations in the future in addition to COVID, so we really changed some of our intent,” Mueller said.

Two-foot glass panels on the workstations help minimize air transfer, and all employees face the same direction.

“A lot of businesses are struggling with their return to the office,” Gaspar said. “They know it needs to happen, they know they need to make changes, and we helped Capital create this space that’s safer for the pandemic but flexible enough to adjust to a more open format in the future.”

IOP’s installation process was impressive, Derner added.

“The installation team was phenomenal,” he said. “I actually called and congratulated them on what an amazing team they have. There was no bickering. Nobody sat around to be told what to do.  They worked independently on different sections of the building, and everyone was working extremely hard as a team. They put in a ton of hours, but they’re very outgoing and friendly – every one of them. I don’t know where they get their workforce, but that’s amazing.”

Now that the Capital Services team has moved into the building, it’s exceeding expectations.

“You walk in and it’s like, wow, we chose this?” Mueller said. “When you see it in its complete form, it takes on a whole different life, and it’s awesome. It’s very exciting.”

The entire building is already raising the company’s visibility for others.

“I’ve had more people comment that don’t work for us about what an amazing building it is from the outside. And they haven’t even seen the inside. So I start telling them about it, and they ask if we have openings. I think it’s definitely going to be a huge recruitment tool for us as well as support retention,” Derner said.

“It far exceeds my expectations. It’s one thing to pick out individual pieces of furniture and look at colors, but now we walk inside, and it looks fantastic.”

The finished product is “really nice, but not over the top,” Payne agreed. “And that’s what they wanted. They didn’t want it to be overwhelming, and it isn’t, but it’s really, really nice.”

Capital Services also built its new headquarters with room to grow. The building can hold up to 300 employees. And when it’s ready to grow, IOP will likely be back, Derner said.

“I just think they’re a fabulous partner in this endeavor. It was really nice to do business with a local vendor who took such good care of us and will continue to.”

To learn more about how Interstate Office Products can meet your office needs in the Sioux Falls area and beyond, visit i-o-p.com or call 605-339-0300.

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With new building, Capital Services hopes to offer exceptional employee experience

“They are very consultative, very collaborative, and they wanted the vibe to be something a little more upscale professional.” And that’s what they got! Check out the new Capital Services headquarters.

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