In the late 1980’s the owners of DSI testified before the legislature in Montpelier, and in doing so, helped worker owned corporations gain legal recognition in the state of Vermont. In 1991 DSI officially converted to a worker owned company and remains worker owned today. The worker owned business model is ideal for software development since the unique skill sets of our individual employees are all vital to the success of the company as a whole. The job of the developers is equally as important as the job of the bookkeeper and sales department. Similar to worker owned construction companies, where those who lay the foundation bring as much value as the carpenters, electricians and plumbers, etc…
The way DSI works is, after a year of satisfactory employment, DSI employees are offered ownership, and a spot on the board of directors. We are a relatively small coop, once we reach 8 owners (currently we have 4), then we will elect a board of directors. As a practice, we encourage all our employees to become owners, but in some circumstances we hold off on offers of ownership based on performance or allow employees to refuse ownership if they can’t afford the investment in an equity share. All cases like this must be approved by the board of directors.
We are democratically run, every employee, not just worker-owners have a voice/vote in day to day decisions. When it comes to making big-picture business decisions, owners’ meetings are called, and decisions are made by the board of directors (all owners) based on consensus.
It is our mission to follow socially responsible business practices while providing affordable, customizable business software solutions, and striving for excellence in customer service.