Abundant perks plus a spot on ‘Inc.’s top 5000 list help W. Chandler firm bank on its future in the financial industry


You may think your job has plenty of benefits, but we’d venture a guess it’s nothing like the perks they get at DBSI.
A humble installer of banking equipment 15 years ago, the blossoming west Chandler-based company offers a mind-spinning array of services to help bank and credit union branches improve their efficiency in virtually every aspect of business, from construction to software.
The firm’s success has spawned not only an enviable reputation but a staff whose loyalty and growth is among the highest in the country.
All this despite Arizona’s construction industry woes and the struggle of national banks in the face of the economic downturn.
Last year, Inc. magazine acknowledged the company with two honors: a spot on its Inc. 5000 roster of fast-growing privately held U.S. companies and the Hire Power Award for 44 percent employee growth from 2008-2011.
In addition to being construction specialists, DBSI provides software technology, equipment, facilities maintenance services and support for retail bank and credit union branches—everything from cash dispensers to carpet swatches.
CEO John W. Smith said this comprehensive approach is why DBSI has risen above the recession and acquired 80 new customers this year.
“A bank would have to hire 20 to 25 different companies to do what we do,” he said. “No one can take it from design all the way to technical support.”
According to Smith, the construction aspect constitutes nearly half of DBSI’s business. Nina Christensen, director of demand creation, said the company prides itself on continued growth in a turbulent sector.
“For us to say that we’re growing in an area where that particular industry has been hurting is tremendous,” Christensen said.
The company’s expansive, contemporary Chandler office and development facilities allow clients to examine every aspect of their branch presentation and maintenance.
They often start in the company’s ideation center, where prototype ATMs, advanced security vaults and other technologies are on display. The company’s spacious design laboratory recreates the interior of a bank branch and shows companies the face of their display brand before it goes to market.
A unique aspect of DBSI is its adherence to being “solution agnostic,” Smith said. “We don’t own or have exclusive agreements with any technology providers. We just go out and find what’s proven, what’s tangible, and suggest those to our customers.”
DBSI employees not only enjoy idea-centric facilities but are also offered the opportunity to freely pitch and develop ideas for management with the promise of shared profits.
“We look for everybody to provide their input,” Smith said.
“Every person is a part of DBSI.”
He said there’s no lack of fun, either. The office boasts a golf simulator and a two-story fire pole for clients. Employees occasionally launch impromptu Nerf gun battles.
The aim of the company is branch transformation, Smith explained. He said the myriad ATM networks and more than 100,000 bank branches in the U.S. constitute 65 percent of banks’ operating costs.
“In their mind, they’ve got to make customers visit them, run them more efficiently, and differentiate,” he said.
“We think of ourselves of making efficient, profitable branches that create a uniquely smarter experience.”
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