BELLWETHER   Volume 4 | Issue 2 | Second Quarter 2013
Circular Reference Warning                                                              #REF!                             ...
“It is only when they go wrong                                                                         that machines remin...
Sales taxchanges.Don’t risk it.Automate it.Making sales tax less taxing.www.avalara.com/bellwether1-877-780-4848
LETTERFROMTHEEDITOR                                                             BELLWETHER                                ...
Results in the Workplace    How to get them and at what cost?                                                             ...
LEADERSHIP employees at the corporate center. Under ROWE there were                Is a Results Only Work Environment righ...
SALES&MARKETING                                                                                    by Joshua Estes        ...
LEADERSHIPmonths getting to this point and already spent           everything up and open that I need.a few weeks trying t...
SALES&MARKETING     Selling with                                                                 Todays     Technology    ...
a watch list for when changes happen.•	 Access   Anywhere – If you are on  the road all you need is access to the  interne...
SALES&MARKETING     How Do You Measure Your     Sales Team’s Performance?                                                 ...
SALES&MARKETINGCall Centers and CRM   Integration                                                                         ...
To Increase Profits     In this day and age it is all about optimization. We are trying to make     the most of the tools ...
TECHNOLOGYin bullet point fashion, categorized into short term,   I would highly recommend bly:Optimize to anymid-term and...
TECHNOLOGY                                                                                         by Greg WentWhat is imp...
COVERSTORY   What you are missing without an   integrated system?A   ccording to the    Aberdeen Group’s2011 Study “Levera...
CORPORATEFINANCE                                                                                  by Ginger Kittinger     ...
CORPORATEFINANCE                RiskCLOUD         and the                                                                 ...
CORPORATEFINANCEThe New Role  of the                             By Alicia Anderson CFO T  he CFO has it rough. As the ste...
Human capital is also a concern of the CFO. Anticipating       making support to your company’s leadership, inand managing...
CORPORATEFINANCE(Continued from page 21 - The New Role of the CFO)filings and compliance issues are taken care of in the  ...
BOOKREPORT                                                                                                                ...
INDUSTRYNEWS     Ninja Maneuvers Used     by Growing Businesses                                                           ...
to streamline key business processes.                                                                             resource...
HUMANRESOURCES     Managing GEN-Y     employees                                                                           ...
In closing, here’s what our Blytheco team shared related            employee’sto helping to keep Gen-Y employees feeling v...
HUMANRESOURCES     How Do You Handle Tough     Employee Situations?                               by Ginger Kittinger     ...
Bellwether - A Blytheco Magazine
Bellwether - A Blytheco Magazine
Bellwether - A Blytheco Magazine
Bellwether - A Blytheco Magazine
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Bellwether - A Blytheco Magazine

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Bellwether, a Blytheco magazine, offers a wide range of stories, interviews, how-tos and information for business leaders. This quarterly publication keeps you up to date on business trends, work-life issues, and the latest tips for making your business and your life better.

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Bellwether - A Blytheco Magazine

  1. 1. BELLWETHER Volume 4 | Issue 2 | Second Quarter 2013
  2. 2. Circular Reference Warning #REF! ! #DIV/0! #VALUE! Budget Maestro makes spreadsheet errors a thing of the past with budgeting, forecasting, and reporting software designed for SAGE. Build your budget in days, not weeks or months 100% accurate results-every time Direct integration to your SAGE General Ledger Gain competitive advantage by easily reforecasting One click P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Reporting SEE BUDGET MAESTRO IN ACTION!FREE WEBINAR:Automate Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting with Budget Maestro & BlythecoMay 9, 2013 Certified Solution2:00 PM to 3 PM EDT Contact us at:Register at: go.centage.com/blythecowebinar 508-948-0082 or email partners@centage.com© 2013 Centage Corporation. Centage, the Centage Second Quarter Link Maestro and Analytics Maestro are trademarks or registered trademarks of Centage Corporation. 2 Bellwether Magazine | logo, Budget Maestro, 2013All rights reserved.
  3. 3. “It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are.” ~Clive James Letter from the Editor 5s e c t i o n s Leadership Sales and Marketing 6 8 6 Technology 14 Cover Story 17 Corporate Finance Book Report 18 23 8 Industry News 24 Human Resources Customer Profile 26 30 13 Call Centers and CRM Integration 24 1 20 bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 3
  4. 4. Sales taxchanges.Don’t risk it.Automate it.Making sales tax less taxing.www.avalara.com/bellwether1-877-780-4848
  5. 5. LETTERFROMTHEEDITOR BELLWETHER A Blytheco Magazine Volume 4 Second Quarter, 2013 www.blytheco.com www.bellwethermagazine.com STAFF EDITOR Apryl Hanson CREATIVE DIRECTOR Greg Went CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alicia Anderson Avalara Donna Baeza Scott Cramer Joshua Estes Jeff Gregorec Apryl Hanson Ginger Kittinger Greg Went Bill Wiersma Geni Whitehouse ADVERTISING SALES Ginger Kittinger SUBSCRIPTIONS www.bellwethermagazine.com Or contact Dori Fitch - (800) 425-9843, Extension 1168 dorif@blytheco.com Bellwether Magazine is published by Blytheco with principal offices at: 23161 Mill Creek Road Suite 200 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 If you wish to be removed from the mailing list or to add names to the mailing list, send your request, including name, business name, and mailing address to the above address or to dorif@blytheco.com This is a copyrighted publication and all articles herein are covered by this copyright. Any use of the content for commercial reasons or other form or reproduction of material herein is strictly prohibited without prior, written approval of Bellwether Magazine.bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 5
  6. 6. Results in the Workplace How to get them and at what cost? by Bill Wiersma F or a leader, what’s not to like at the promise of your team delivering great results? And since the leader gets things done through others, to what degree should the leader really care about how the results get generated? The answers to these two questions have played a big role in the thinking behind non-traditional policies that have impacted work environments at several high-profile organizations in the past few years. This article attempts to help the reader sort the nuggets These three examples illustrate how employees were of truth from the hype about three contemporary work granted varying degrees of greater autonomy while, in environments that might be loosely called ‘results only’. turn, were expected to demonstrate greater degrees of accountability. Despite the significant short-term In a nut-shell, it was believed (or had been promised) that difficulties in implementing these approaches, all three these status-quo busting policies would lead to better companies did so because they wanted to reinforce the results. It’s not quite that simple, but that’s the gist of importance of results above all else. At the end of the day, it. What is the core message to employees? We care each company expected better results. passionately about the results you are accountable for and we are less interested in how you get those results. There Netflix – Unlimited Vacation are exceptions, but not many. Consider: What do a supermodel and Netflix’s novel vacation policy • Netflix’s unlimited vacation policy (employees are have in common? They both get a lot of attention! There allowed to take as much vacation time as they wish). is great depth to Netflix’s philosophy surrounding culture. And it’s that core philosophy that gives rise to the much- • Best Buy’s, now defunct, ‘work anywhere you wish’ ballyhooed vacation policy that gets so much attention. policy (while in effect, some corporate staffers were rarely seen at the office). Netflix learned through experience that they should ‘focus on what people get done’. In other words, the results you • Videogame maker Valve’s philosophy of self- produce are most important to the company. By default, management (no bosses, no promotions, few titles). they don’t worry much about how people get their work done. They feel that work hours, vacation time and the like just aren’t worth administering. People are adults, they’ll figure it out. At Netflix, ‘results’ are king. In fact if you put in minimal effort, as long as you produce great results on a sustained basis, you are rewarded with more responsibility and a significant boost in pay. For Netflix, this core philosophy---one that’s maniacal on results-- has clearly worked well. Best Buy – Results Only Work Environment Best Buy’s ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) policy said ‘people are free to work wherever they want, whenever they want, as long as they get their work done’. It was largely targeted to6 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  7. 7. LEADERSHIP employees at the corporate center. Under ROWE there were Is a Results Only Work Environment right for your no schedules or mandatory meetings. And employees didn’t company? need a manager’s permission to participate. There is little doubt that these types of approaches to How well did it work? The answer depends on who you management have demonstrated benefits. Yet, they’re not ask! for everyone. Leaders who think they can easily implement one of these approaches (or something like it) are kidding Earlier this year, Best Buy canned ROWE. But despite the themselves. These approaches are fundamental to how outcry in the media, Best Buy didn’t end the opportunity these companies operate. The approaches need to be for employees to have flexible work schedules. Today ‘baked in’ not just ‘bolted on’. Leaders shouldn’t view employees at the corporate center can work remotely, potential benefits (think: cost savings) as low hanging fruit although they now need their manager’s permission to do that warrant a new ‘program’. so. It’s important to note that Best Buy and Yahoo (which ended its well-known ‘work from home’ policy within weeks Some companies successfully adopted ROWE’s approach, of the cancelation of ROWE) were both struggling financially some failed. Also, there are very few companies around at the time of the cancellation decision---both with new that utilize self-management in the way that Valve, W. L. CEOs orchestrating turnarounds. Gore and The Morning Star Company do. Certainly, it looks straightforward enough---why haven’t more adopted it? Valve – Self-Management Because it’s a lot harder (and trickier) than it looks! Everyone’s desk at Valve has wheels. After all, no one can Companies who have successfully made these approaches “ tell you where to work or what to work on. Those things are ‘go’ have done so in large part because they believe in them up to you. Soon enough you’ll learn philosophically. As importantly, that those wheels come in handy their people believe in them too. as you voluntarily relocate yourself and your stuff half-way around the The approaches It’s something everyone values. It’s the way everyone wants to run the need to be building after a colleague recruits business. Thus, the policies are not you to work on their sexy new an afterthought! Leadership believes project. Self-management is clearly that results are a natural by-product the most aggressive of the so-called ‘results only’ work environments. At ‘baked in’ not of ceding control to responsible people and letting them weave their Valve---the Bellevue, Washington just ‘bolted on’ magic. Sounds like professionals to videogame maker---their self- me! management philosophy has helped this private company build impressive equity holdings that some have estimated at $2.5 billion dollars. More examples of results only companies Interestingly, two other private companies—The Morning Star Company and W. L. Gore---also espouse self- management and both are undisputed market leaders. For most, the topic of self-management is extremely intriguing---deserving of more ‘air time’ than we have here. Gary Hamel’s December, 2011 Harvard Business Review article—“First, Let’s Fire All The Managers”—is a great article to start with (you can read it at http://hbr.org/2011/12/ first-lets-fire-all-the-managers). The article is Hamel’s ‘take’ on how The Morning Star Company, the world’s largest tomato processor, approaches self-management. We at Wiersma and Associates are fortunate to have a bird’s eye view of Morning Star’s approach to self-management as they are a client.About the AuthorBill Wiersma is the principal of Wiersma and Associates, LLC, a consultancy that helps leaders create cultures based on professional ideals. Billis the author of two critically acclaimed books. His expertise has been featured in numerous media outlets--including the New York Times. ThePower of Professionalism, Bill’s latest book, was a finalist for Soundview Executive Book Summaries 2011 Book of the Year. Follow his weeklyblog posts at: www.wiersmaandassociates.com/blog/ bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 7
  8. 8. SALES&MARKETING by Joshua Estes D emo hell; we have all experienced it. We have either been on the receiving end of some bumbling nightmare or been the bumbling nightmare ourselves, due to slow internet connections, webinar host services issues, bad microphones, dull presenters or lack of respect for time, etc. This is my story of overcoming demo hell: I am both a sales guy and a presales guy for CRM here at Blytheco. I have built, customized, pitched and sold products involving only myself. This caused me a heart attack a few months ago. The scenario: I had built out and customized a demo for a very large client that is going to make my quarter. Today I am remote, today I am the man, today I am hosed… 10 minutes before my demo starts, my computer dies because the power is out. Ten critical minutes before a demonstration of a product that I have spent several hours customizing for a client that I have spent several8 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  9. 9. LEADERSHIPmonths getting to this point and already spent everything up and open that I need.a few weeks trying to align all of the key players 2 minutes: I start GoToMeeting. I still have to dialschedules to be on this demo. I am sweating bullets. in… I still have to dial in. Oh no. Luckily I have anotherI have no Internet connection, no access to host a cell phone at my disposal. I dig up the other phoneGoToMeeting, no computer to perform the demo and call into the meeting. Again I do not want to useand very little hope. the mic and speakers and potentially kill my internet9 minutes: It is crucial that I think fast. So, like a connection.trained professional, I analyze what resources I have Bling; the sound of the first caller joining the meetingat my disposal: my iPhone, iPad, and my brain. A and I am as proud as Doctor Frankenstein is lookingglimmer of hope! My iPhone has the ability to be a down at his living monster. I present the product andhotspot; internet connection (check). Hot spot turned it all goes off without a hitch; aside from the fiasco Ion, now trying to use my iPad to host the meeting. The just experienced. They laugh at my jokes, enjoy theGoToMeeting app doesn’t give me the functionality presentation of the product, see that it fits their needsto host a meeting using the app interface and I can’t and at the end ask for a proposal. They had no ideado this from my iPad. There has to be another way. and still to this day do not. Mission accomplished,7 minutes: I have an app on my iPad called crisis averted.SplashTop that I use to remote connect to my father’s Lessons learned from this experience?computer in Boston. Being the family IT guy is aboutto really pay off. I am becoming a believer that this 1. ake sure that you use products that support and Mwill happen. Working from home in Atlanta I attempt have great mobile connectivity and functionality.to remote in from my iPad to a computer in Boston. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) andConnection achieved! I navigate to GoTomeeting. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems withcom and download the software. While the software mobile clients are a must.downloads I log into my demo instance of the CRM. 2. et logged on and set up early – it will make for a GTo paint this picture I am using an iPad so I have better experience for everyone and give you timeto zoom in and precariously select the area on the to adjust and adapt if you do experience issues.screen that I want to touch on the window of the Macthat I have a remote connection to. Have you seen 3. ake sure you have a tablet or smartphone with M‘Inception’? I am at the last scene and am in deep. cellular connectivity as you cannot always rely on wi-fi.4 minutes: I got this. The demo is up I am able to 4. plashtop Streamer: This will allow you to remote Smaneuver my way around the system with relative connect to any computer that you install it on. It issimplicity. I open some tabs of the various areas in also password encrypted and will only work fromthe system I want in an effort to avert any potential your specified devices.internet speed and connection disasters. I have bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 9
  10. 10. SALES&MARKETING Selling with Todays Technology by Apryl Hanson H ave you taken a good look at some of the new technology available to take your sales organization to the next level? In the last 10 years we have gotten away from traditional methods of selling and salespeople rely on their CRM system to help them book appointments, follow-up, send reminders and move the sales process along. While CRM is of great assistance to you when you already • Relationship Selling - When you setup have that warm lead, what can you do to empower your InsideView it asks you about your network and also sales team to find additional opportunities? Going out connects to your social information on LinkedIn, but and networking, shaking hands and good old dialing that’s not all. It also asks you to put in your referral for dollars can be somewhat time-consuming without companies that you have sold to, their contacts and structure around your efforts. when your entire team does that, what you get is a database that helps you relationship sell. When you A tool like InsideView can put your sales team in the have InsideView set-up this way and then look-up drivers seat (www.blytheco.com/insideview). In fact, a contact it will tell you if any of those people that our sales team uses InsideView to help guide the you are connected to have a relationship with the relationship sales process and target companies that contact you are trying to reach. It is virtually telling would be appropriate to talk to. How do they do that? you “Your business contact Joe Smith, knows this guy. Contact him and ask for an introduction”. • Competitor Information – InsideView has a tab AMAZING! called competitors. This means if you just closed a sale for Super Stars Manufacturing, you can look at all • Industry Information – Not sure about the of their competitors. What a better time to approach industry you are calling into? Get industry tips and a other companies like the one you just sold, but right call prep sheet within the InsideView product right after you just sold them. on the same page as the company you are looking up. You don’t have to switch between multiple • Detailed Contact Information - If you have ever screens, it is right there. wanted to get the e-mail address, social contact, and phone number of C-level executives at a organization • Perfect the time to call – What InsideView all you have to do is look them up in InsideView. Yes, has perfected is that there are a times when an it is all sitting there, at your salespeoples’ fingertips. organization is changing and those time are a wonderful time to get your foot in the door. You can create lists of companies in the SIC code or area you are looking for (or both) and either call now or create10 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  11. 11. a watch list for when changes happen.• Access Anywhere – If you are on the road all you need is access to the internet to look up someone you may have met in person OR InsideView can also integrate through your CRM for even better ease of use. Either way, you will never be without contact information at your fingertips.Besides looking at the funnelbefore you get the sale, how areyour connection points with thatpotential customer throughout thesales process? Is it completely inthe hands of the sales person ordo you have automatic systems inplace to nurture leads that havecome through your website? Thereare several out of the box toolsthat integrate with CRM solutionsthat can do that for you. For instance,Hubspot (www.blytheco.com/hubspot)can take a lead that has filled out a form onyour website and continue to message to thembubbling them up in the lead nurture process. Thisstrengthens the lead and allows you to differentiatebetween the types of leads you are receiving. Ifyou can differentiate between a lead that is “justlooking” and those that are “ready to buy” youcan give better qualified leads to your sales teammembers while nurturing those lower quality leadsautomatically.Maximizing your sales personnel for any business,especially if you have a smaller sales team can bethe difference between extra revenue this yearover last year. If you are spending time contactingthose that are ready instead of weeding throughall leads, this can help you focus your efforts formaximum returns.With today’s technology you get the benefit oflead intelligence to help you spend your time inthe right places, following up with the right leadsand getting in contact with the right people througha warm introduction instead of a cold call. How haveyour teams changed what they are doing with the useof technology to sell smarter, better, faster? Join theconversation at http://think.blytheco.com. bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 11
  12. 12. SALES&MARKETING How Do You Measure Your Sales Team’s Performance? by Ginger KittingerWe asked Blytheco’s VP of Sales, Jeff Gregorec, how he 90-day period and measures it against atmeasures his sales team’s activities and performance. It can least 2.5x their current month quota . If abe quite complex, but he has created a graphical dashboard sales team member’s pipeline is at leastinside of our Sage SalesLogix CRM system that all sales team 250% of the quota, the dashboard will reflectmembers have access to and can monitor their progress. green, 200%-250% yellow and for less than 200% red. This KPI measures a number ofIt all starts with defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - attributes. It provides visibility as to whetherwhat exactly are you going to measure. Jeff looks at several a salesperson will have enough opportunitydifferent metrics: to reasonably attain their current quota, as • Month-to-Date Achievement well as manage multiple complex projects, • Year-to-Date Achievement and lastly provides insight into what future • Forecasting Accuracy opportunities are ahead of them. One of • Pipeline Growth/Management/Conversion the biggest mistake salespeople make is not • Close Rate building leads for the future – they sell a big • Activity Management Dependant on Job Function one and then they have to start all over again. Close Rate – looks at Closed-Won opportunities and calculates a percentage.Month-to-Date (percentage of quota attainment) – this If they close 25% or more of their qualifiedcalculates a salesperson’s actual dollars sold against their opportunities, the dashboard reflects green,monthly assigned quota. It is calculated daily in real-time. If 15%-25% shows yellow and for less than aa salesperson is at 100%+ of attainment the graph is green, 15% close rate - red.70%-99% = Yellow and <69% = Red Activity Management – different sales teamYear-to-Date (percentage of quota attainment) – this gets roles have different metrics, such as havingrecalculated every month, but follows the same pattern as a specific number of customer meetings perMonth-to-Date metrics. month, adding new customer(s) per month,Forecasting Accuracy – a sales team member forecasts the number of calls made per month, thetheir total dollars sold each week but they are measured number of demos performed per month andagainst their submission the third week of the month This the like…KPI demonstrates a sales person’s command of their business If you can keep on top of your team’s progressas well as provides leadership with an accurate snapshot of throughout the year, you will be able to guidethe month’s expected results. If the sales person is within them to higher levels of success. Keepingten percent of their committed forecast, the dashboard will the metrics and progress in front of them,reflect as green, within thirty percent yellow, and if off by keeps them motivated and fosters healthymore than thirty percent red . competition.Pipeline Growth/management – this looks at all open/active opportunities with an estimated close date in a rolling12 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  13. 13. SALES&MARKETINGCall Centers and CRM Integration by Ginger KittingerWe all remember Lily Tomlin’s character Ernestine saying “one ringy dingy, two ringy dingys”and how old-fashioned that phone system was. With today’s technology you can have a fullyintegrated voice recognition system to handle inbound calls and a fully-automated outbounddialing system that works with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.In this fast-paced technology era, equipment is outdated caller is and automatically opens their record in youras soon as a new model comes out – so why invest in CRM system. The benefit from this is that the Averagean expensive calling system, when you can manage Speed of Answer, Talk Time, Handle Time, Quality andan enterprise level hosted platform that provides full Performance are all improved providing a positive clientfeatures and redundancy? caller experience.One such solution is from Newbridge. They offer a Outbound Call Dialinghosted solution that provides organizations the flexibility You can increase your outbound efficiency by up to 20of multiple features without the capital investment of times over manual dialing with their virtual call centerhundreds of thousands of dollars. The Newbridge call platform. They filter out the busy signals, no-answers,center platform is designed to allow companies to have answering machines and fax machines, allowing your calltotal control over the flow of calls in your inbound call center staff to maximize their productivity. With a fullcenter. With key features such as flexible scheduling, suite of rich reporting tools, full call recording, granularskills-based call center agent selections, and their dialing campaign controls and real-time statisticalproprietary Queue Flow routing engine, you have the data, you have complete control over managing yourability to route calls exactly to your specifications. outbound call center.Steven Cramer, Sr. VP of Operations at Newbridge, Blytheco and Newbridge areexplains that Newbridge provides a full service call center working together sosolution with the added benefit of client consultation our clients canservices included. The Newbridge team brings over 50 integrate theiryears of hands-on global call center design, configuration CRM systemand implementation to every project. to provideThe real beauty, however, lies in the integration with your consistentCRM system. Newbridge’s solution integrates tightly reportingwith Sage CRM, SugarCRM, NetSuite, SalesLogix and of dataAct!, to name a few. and efficient staff transaction Inbound Call Routing management. When a caller dials your number, Together we help ensure they are then provided options/ the client, staff and prompts to route the call. When reporting requirements the call is received, the Newbridge are in sync and provide platform already knows who the maximum efficiency for the organization. To learn more, please go to www.blytheco.com/newbridge bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 13
  14. 14. To Increase Profits In this day and age it is all about optimization. We are trying to make the most of the tools that we already have. When was the last time you took a look at your current technology from the standpoint of understanding how it is being utilized by your users? by Greg Went We worked with our client, Yardney Water (bly:Optimize) headed up by veteran Blytheco Filtration Systems, when they asked themselves consultant Debbie Long. that very question – “are we getting the most out of our systems”? Here is their story: The Blytheco consultant (Debbie) interviewed no less than 13 key personnel within the organization Riverside California’s Yardney Water Filtration from executives to shop floor employees. She “ Systems operates a state of the art 60,000 square observed the interactions of the different teams foot research, design, and and how they used their manufacturing facility. business system. Debbie They are a pioneer in the You don’t know confirmed some of Chris’s development of clean water suspicions. Yardney was only solutions and since 1965 they what you don’t using 15% of their business have provided high-quality, system, if that. They were cost effective products know.” driving in the slow lane with becoming one of the world’s a high-performance sports leading manufacturers of Chris Phillips - Yardney COO car. There were severe lags water filtration equipment in getting useful data, they for industrial and agricultural could not trust their inventory applications. levels due to the way they were pulling stock and tracking labor costs was nearly impossible during Chris Phillips, Yardney Operations Manager, the manufacturing process. approached Blytheco with a feeling that they were not getting the full use out of their Sage Based on her interviews and assessment 100 business system. In fact, he feared they may of Yardney’s processes and needs, Debbie be doing things backwards, since some of their produced a bly:Optimize “Summary of Findings” processes had not changed in many years. With report and presented it to Chris and his team. a planned manufacturing facility expansion on The report, laid out clearly in bullet point the horizon, Chris did not want the new facility format, highlighted the interviews with the team coming on line with the same flawed processes members separated by job function for ease of of the current one. So, armed with a hunch, Chris reading and comprehension. At the end of the arranged for a Blytheco process optimization report were ‘Recommended Next Steps,’ again,14 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  15. 15. TECHNOLOGYin bullet point fashion, categorized into short term, I would highly recommend bly:Optimize to anymid-term and long term goals and the concrete business that wants to run more efficiently andsteps needed to achieve them. more profitably.”After just a few short months, Yardney was already We understand that many businesses are in thisseeing a return on their investment on not only same boat. You have technology that you havethe bly:Optimize they had performed, but also on deployed but you aren’t sure if they way you aretheir business system. “It is refreshing to be able using it is the most effective for your business.to see live data.” Chris later told us. “Prior to the That is exactly why a service like bly:Optimize isbly:Optimize, the data we were working with was necessary.potentially 2 months old!” Chris feels they havegained in the utilization of their Sage 100 system If you think that you could benefit fromand are up to 40% system utilization and climbing optimizing your systems and work-flowsas they work with Debbie to implement her take 10 minutes and do a gut-check with ourrecommended next steps. bly:Optimize savings calculator atNot only has system utilization been increased,but their inventory is now 75% more accurate withthe implementation of bar code scanning softwareand equipment. Manufacturing labor costs have www.blythecom.com/optimizenow been standardized and are now being trackedaccurately and efficiently. New custom reportsare helping Chris and his teams seein ‘real-time’ Key PerformanceIndicators on a daily basis andthe company financials are beingproduced on a timely basis. Overall,the responsiveness of the systemdue to the change in processes hasincreased substantially.“You don’t know what you don’tknow,” Chris explains, “It is greatto have someone like Debbie fromBlytheco come out, look at how youare doing things, help you see whatyou are not seeing and recommendways to leverage your currentsystem to help make your teams andorganization run smoother.”“Blytheco is unique in that theirexperts know so much about thebusiness end as well as the system.When they applied this knowledgein the bly:Optimize, it really helpeduncover some road blocks inour system and processes, and bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 15
  16. 16. TECHNOLOGY by Greg WentWhat is implementation fatigue and how can you identify itin your organization? After most companies deploy ERP, CRM and HRMS systems, they are tired and burnt out after the initial deployment. They never go back and refine the business process after the initial approach of “Get it in and make it work so my employees can do their job”. Companies rush through implementation to minimize business disruption as well as costs and time of implementation. It is very important to go back and refresh the system and the processes to be sure they are aligned with current business objectives. That is why we designed a service called bly:Optimize to help companies overcome the fatigue of their systems. It can be one of the most effective tools for keeping your company’s technology in tune with your goals. bly:Optimize Methodology • Interviews are conducted on-site with key personnel from each functional department • We talk to the staff about how they perform their jobs today and the tools they use, such as reports, import/export jobs, or web interface software • We gain an understanding of your goals and recommend any tools you may need for future growth • We document the process of each functional department and provide recommendations to business process, work flow and system controls. In addition, we identify if you may benefit from additional training, the addition of a new module, or an upgrade to a more current version so that you can take advantage of new features that enhance your business model. To learn more, visit our website at www.blytheco.com/optimize16 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  17. 17. COVERSTORY What you are missing without an integrated system?A ccording to the Aberdeen Group’s2011 Study “Leveraging the 360-degree by Alicia AndersonCustomer View to Maximize Up-Sell andCross-Sell Potential,” CRM is the linkbetween better business performanceand achieving “Best in Class” status.That is all fine and well, but what doesthat really mean?When you have disparate solutions, not everyone in • 4.5%your organization can see the life of the customer as is year-transforms through your business. From the moment over-yearthat someone raises their hand to speak to you improvementabout your product or service there should be views (decrease) in salesat every level of how that hand raise transforms into cycle, compared to .5% worseninga customer, which then transforms into an existing (lengthening) of the sales cycle for therelationship where there can be many touches across industry average.multiple teams. Billing, finance, service, and customer These are just some of the benefitsrequests all come after that initial sale, but many times you can gain when having a completebusinesses are using different systems to track these view of your customer. This is a holisticdifferent actions, not to mention marketing touches approach to providing a complete,and ongoing sales efforts. With all of those different accurate and integrated view ofways of connecting with a customer – when your customers to improve satisfactionsystems are separate, things can get lost. and retention without losing sight of customer profitability.With modern technology, the new breed of ERP,CRM and marketing automation tools are either tied For more information about how yourtogether with connective technology tools or come business can benefit from integrationall in one package. check out our white paper on Business Beyond Constraints.What does this “Best in Class” status mean? Thereare three key criteria: You can find it here:• 91% average customer retention rate, compared to http://bit.ly/10ArR9J 83% for the industry average.• 5.1% increase in year-over-year quota attainment compared to .5% for the industry average. bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 17
  18. 18. CORPORATEFINANCE by Ginger Kittinger Are you really making money? What techniques do you use to know if you are really making money? We know it takes a deep knowledge of your organization, but what else? We got some great insight from Beverly Solomon, who started as a model and then became an account executive in sales and marketing for Diane von Furstenberg, Revlon and Ralph Lauren. She now runs a successful international art and design firm. She gave us some straight-forward, non-nonsense tips: • Know the difference between gain and loss in all things. • Understand the basics of buying, selling and trading. • Keep accurate records of all expenses and all income. And constantly evaluate these figures. • Know what your goals are for both your business and for your life and evaluate constantly if you are progressing toward those goals. • Know and understand the concept of value in all things. Cheap is not always a good buy. • Understand the dynamics of the broader economy. For example what does a 16 trillion dollar deficit mean to future inflation, taxes, national security, etc. • Distinguish between political realities and political rhetoric. Understand that often economic reality and political propaganda are miles apart. • Do not get caught up in fads/economic bubbles. Stick to economic basics and trust your instincts. • Do not get caught up in tax schemes cooked up by accountants. Pay your taxes as accurately as you can to avoid future negative surprises. • Understand the power of compound interest---both positive and negative. • Do not over leverage your assets. This is the downfall of so many businesses. Stick to traditional money raising methods -- loans based on past performance, investors,etc. Do not put your current assets at risk to over extend. • Understand the difference between real, tangible assets and funny money (unfortunately our government does not). You can learn more about Beverly on her website at www.beverlysolomon.com. She has received coverage in a number of financial publications and was given official recognition by the State of Texas for her business savvy.18 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  19. 19. CORPORATEFINANCE RiskCLOUD and the by Alicia AndersonT he cloud has clear benefits for companies who recognize the power of software-as-a- service to provide greater access to the latest technology and functionality with fewerinvestments in infrastructure. But like any technology, risk must be factored into the equation.Early perceptions of the Cloud were that security and What can you do to mitigate risk?privacy were questionable. Many users believed that The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is the cloudit was a risk to have sensitive company data outside provider’s answer to these concerns – it is blueprintof company firewalls. Fears included the inability of and a warranty for cloud services. The SLA shouldproviders to prevent users from accessing data. High- explicitly establish the provider’s criteria for security,profile breaches of Google, Salesforce.com, and including:others have reinforced the idea that the cloud is asecurity risk. • Availability/uptime statistics • Redundancy specifications – data mirroringHowever, technology has matured and perceptions and failover capabilities, often through multipleare changing. In fact, in certain situations, the cloud geographically separated data centersmay be more secure than on-premise systems. • Performance/speed expectationsLarge-scale cloud providers focus on security as a • Security and data privacy – encryption practices forcore component of their solution. In fact, their entire storage and transmission of databrand hinges on their ability to ensure optimal systemuptime and keep data properly safeguarded. They • Disaster recovery standardsretain dedicated security expertise at a level not • Change management process – standards foraffordable to most small and midsized businesses. updates or new servicesTheir CTO, IT architects and network administrators • Exit strategy for customers who are leaving thestrategize and monitor the security of their solution. providerThey are chartered to ensure robust redundancy, • Certifications such as PCIDSS, SAS 70 Type II, andback-ups, and data controls, while also addressing compliance with EU-US Safe Harbor regulationsnewly arising security challenges. - all important indicators of a cloud ERP vendor’sOn the other hand, many small to medium-sized commitment to security.businesses struggle to implement and maintain best Your organization may also consider putting apractices for security and redundancy. Their IT staff comprehensive Governance, Risk, and Complianceis often tasked with supporting broader businesses (GRC) Strategy in place that includes methods toneeds and struggle to monitor and mitigate emerging smooth the transition to the cloud and set standardsthreats. Further, investments in full redundancy and for cloud system management. A GRC strategy helpsoffsite regular back-ups can be difficult to fund and avoid conflicts and gaps in managing organizationalsupport. An environment such as this can be at a risk, not just in technology, but in all areas of thegreater risk of security breaches and outages than a business that encounter risk and compliancecloud system. challenges.The cloud’s dependency on the internet is a significant For more information about comparing cloud ERPconcern for cloud users. According to a 2012 report to on-premise ERP, read our new whitepaper “ERPby the International Working Group on Cloud Comparison Guide for Your Business Lifecycle,”Computing Resiliency, cloud computing services are available now.down an average of 7.5 hours per year, with largeproviders like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, www.blytheco.com/erp-comparison/default.aspand Apple iCloud experiencing high-profile outageslast year. bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 19
  20. 20. CORPORATEFINANCEThe New Role of the By Alicia Anderson CFO T he CFO has it rough. As the steward of a company’s finances, his or her responsibilities are only growing during a challenging business environment, and the stakes are ever higher. In a survey of CFOs in the US, Italy, and France recently companies like EMC, TJX, and Sony have increased conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) concerns, and the growing influence of Software-as- and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, a-Service, or “Cloud” solutions cannot be denied, CFOs are pessimistic. The CFO Optimism Index though it presents its own set of security concerns. dropped eight points from the previous quarter, the Security is not just a problem to toss over the fence lowest since Q2 2009. They also don’t look for things to the IT department anymore. The demand for to improve anytime soon, predicting less growth than data breach insurance continues to increase among the previous quarter in several key business areas small businesses in particular. CFOs must devote over the next year. appropriate funding to preventing problems, or deal with the fallout if breaches do occur. The challenge to today’s CFO is to get strategic, using their expertise and tools to influence the Globalization presents challenges to companies of business positively. CFOs can play a hugely important all sizes. Working across boundaries and competing role in enhancing a company’s business performance with overseas businesses has changed the business and facilitating growth, but must also keep a sharp environment, and the internet has made it relatively eye on managing risk. Several of the key issues that easy to do business internationally. Creating supplier plague CFOs today can be managed with effective relationships with overseas companies brings its own technology. set of risks along with potential rewards. Shipping and labor costs overseas continue to increase – many CFOs in Crisis Mode factors must be weighed carefully to determine if outsourcing is an option for your business. CFOs have understandably been in crisis mode lately, due to economic volatility, unemployment, uncertainty Changing regulations such as the IFRS (International about taxes and inflation, regulatory changes, and so Financial Reporting Standards) are coming – its many more issues confronting them. impacts will not only be felt in global companies – it is likely to “trickle down” and influence existing GAAP Information security is always a concern for company standards. finance leaders. Recent IT breaches in large20 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  21. 21. Human capital is also a concern of the CFO. Anticipating making support to your company’s leadership, inand managing the costs of this important resource is the form of reports, dashboards, and other businessone of his or her primary tasks, and plenty of challenges intelligence platforms. Work with management to defineaccompany this role. The workforce is changing – one the information needs first, and then implement a systemof the biggest factors in rapid change is the Patient that enables your team to get those needs met withoutProtection and Affordable Care Act, with its complex heavy customization.benefits mandates. Additionally, in 2014, a FTE (full-time employee) will be defined as anyone who works an Understanding customer performance, monitoringaverage of 30 hours per week in a month. This law will credit, and effectively managing collections can helphave heavy repercussions on benefits costs, especially the CFO meet cash flow goals. Effective systems withfor retail, hospitality, and other industries that rely on bullet-proof adherence to accounting standards allowpart time workers. The CFO must manage uncertainty accounting teams to establish rules and processes, andthat accompanies these changes with the goal of to receive alerts when exceptions occur. Automationunderstanding the compliance and benefits costs and also helps reduce the time and work needed to performimplementing appropriate responses. reconciliations and journal entries, improving accuracy and reducing costs and bringing needed discipline toCash flow optimization is a continuing challenge for the process.the CFO, in these days of little available credit for thesmall to mid-sized business. Customers are strapped, The CFO can also take an “operational” approachso adjustments in Receivables expectations must be in an effort to maximize cash flow by optimizing salesmade. Dealing with increasing capital costs, particularly and production. Sales leaders and CFOs can work toenergy, is a major concern particularly for the distribution establish processes to help teams close more businessbusiness. CFOs must also work with the sales team on faster and drive more sales from existing customers.strategies to get accurate sales forecasts and drive CRM applications help them manage these processesrevenues. efficiently, serving as a repository for data over the lifetime of a customer and providing tools and platformsAutomate to Succeed that motivate and empower sales teams.A June, 2010 report from IBM called “The New Value Manufacturing automation can have positive impactsIntegrator, Insights from the Global Chief Financial for the CFO. Revenue is generated more quicklyOfficer Study” defines the best practices of leading when production is able to automate to speed orderCFOs who outperform the competition across several processing and make the best use of available resources.measurements, including bottom line, income statement, Automating time tracking and data collection can helpcash flow, and efficiency metrics. These leading CFOs you understand and manage productivity levels in yourrecognize the value of technology in helping them company. Warehouse management systems can reducemanage risk: “According to the report, value integrators loss and improve order accuracy. Tracking supplierexpress a heightened interest in using technology to performance metrics enables companies to build criticalfurther increase data accuracy, streamline information partnerships with suppliers. The ability to analyze costsdelivery and develop a richer base of information for and profitability of production on customized dashboardsdeeper insights into managing risk.” enables the CFO to adapt quickly to changes and target areas for improvement in the business, and to share thisToday’s ERP systems provide the CFO with the tools data easily with others who need it.he or she needs to lead and succeed. The availabilityof advanced systems to the middle market has Workforce management technology can benefit thebrought formerly enterprise-level features to smaller CFO in areas of benefits costs, recruiting, training, andbusinesses, and integration across the enterprise with minimizing the risks associated with company teams.sales, marketing, production, shipping, and HR means HRMS (Human Resources Management Systems) canmore and better information for making business more provide the intelligence required for planning, whileefficient. What are some ways that business management maintaining employee data, managing Payroll andtechnology empowers the CFO? benefits enrollment, tracking time and attendance, enabling efficient recruiting, and much more. TheyThe 21st century CFO’s role includes providing decision- provide the security of knowing that tax updates and (Continued on page 22) bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 21
  22. 22. CORPORATEFINANCE(Continued from page 21 - The New Role of the CFO)filings and compliance issues are taken care of in the Today’s CFO should get involved in IT decisions, sincesystem, minimizing the risk presented by frequent they bring a valuable perspective to the evaluationchanges to laws and requirements. Benefits enrollment and implementation process. Finance can be atools that allow employees to apply online, then strategic partner to IT, helping them focus on projectstransfer that data directly to benefits companies, that improve business processes and result in greatermakes the benefits process less error-prone. business insights. CFOs also need to be involved in order to keep an eye on risk: IT projects and systemWhat about the CFO and the “cloud”? Internet- changes present their own set of inherent risks. Do thebased applications bring major benefits for business, research and work with a partner who understands andincluding greater scalability speed, and flexibility, not helps you manage the risk.to mention cost savings, but, of course, the Cloudbrings its own set of risks as well. Security and reliability Risk is inherent in the CFO office, but finance leadersare foremost among the risks. Fortunately, the move can and should identify risks and put procedures into the Cloud can be strategic and incremental, thanks place to manage them. Use automation to help createto “connected services” that work with on-premise structure and discipline in your company to eliminateapplications. Online collections management and as many potential risks as possible, and to provide yousales tax automation sites, for example, can help keep the information you need to deal with risk as it occurs.overhead low while effecting vital controls. Web-basedsystems that connect to software may provide the bestof both worlds for companies in transition, offeringthe cost benefits of the cloud and the security andcheckpoints offered by on-premise systems. We Make EDI Painless To learn more, join us for a webinar on May 22 at 2pm ET. Contact us at 888.205.1531 to register.22 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  23. 23. BOOKREPORT by Geni WhitehouseI have been writing book reviews for this excellent magazine for the last two years. As I write my last review, I think it is only fitting to go back to the beginning. I want to sharethree books that have made a lasting impact on not only me, but my career. These booksare starring members of my reference library and their pages are both dog-eared and tea-stained. While they have been in publication a while, their messages remain timely andrelevant. Even a Geek Can Speak | Joey Asher This book by Joey Asher is one of the most powerful tools I have ever found. This book literally jumped off the shelf of an Atlanta bookstore. For $15, it not only changed my approach to public speaking, it also formed the basis of a friendship . It inspired me to write its sequel which I decided had to be called “Even a Nerd Can be Heard” ten years before I wrote the book. Asher is an Atlanta attorney who spends his time helping would be presenters find and share their maximum “you”. He covers everything you need to know to make a winning presentation. If you are in business, you need to read this book and share it with everyone you know. Managing by the Numbers | Chuck Kremer and Ron Rizzuto with John Case This book unlocks the mysteries of financial accounting for the small investment of $18. It should be the primer that resides on the desk of every business owner and should be stocked in the hundreds by anyone in finance or accounting. If you are an accountant, you need to hand this book out to all of your non-accounting friends and co-workers. By chapter 4, your co-workers will have gained a level of understanding that will permanently alter the way you interact. Get multiple copies of this book now. The Universal Language of DISC | Bill Bonnstetter and Judy Suiter It is provided through Target Training International,Ltd. The most expensive of the books reviewed, at a list price of $125, it is worth every penny of your investment. The book explains DISC which is “the universal language of observable behavior.” By understanding DISC, it is possible to improve your ability to communicate and to form lasting connections. Insight into different styles and a willingness to adapt your own style can lead to success in every area of your life. Read this book and then take the online assessment. You will be amazed at what you can learn about yourself and others around you. About Geni Whitehouse A self-proclaimed nerd, former technology executive and CPA firm partner, Geni Whitehouse has made it her mission to eliminate boring from the world of presentations. The author of “How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting: 52 Ways Even a Nerd Can Be Heard,” Geni believes her mission as a presenter is to understand a subject well enough to approach it from an angle that will not only educate her audiences—but will resonate with them. Learn more at www.evenanerd.com. bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 23
  24. 24. INDUSTRYNEWS Ninja Maneuvers Used by Growing Businesses by Avalara G iven the realities facing companies in the post-recession economy, growing businesses and those who lead them require the skills and abilities of a ninja: stealth, speed, and efficiency. These maneuvers enable growing businesses to adapt resources (i.e., staff, production, sales efforts) to meet market demands. Yet there is a fine line between intelligent adaptation, and total chaos. What sets flexible and resilient companies apart from their undirected counterparts is their ability to build infrastructure to accommodate change, rather than reacting helter-skelter to fluctuations in supply and demand. There are three key maneuvers growing businesses use to achieve above-average growth and higher revenues: outsourcing, automating and using cloud technology. Ninja systems or processes (i.e., Maneuver #1 payroll, sales tax, IT) that Growing Businesses utilize more resources than Know What to Outsource the business can afford. 1 Some processes ta It is no secret that companies ke significant time, utilize outsourcing to meet either because of lack the fluctuating demands of the of expertise or utilizing marketplace. What is often less manual processes when a obvious is determining when to outsource and which elements of the business to handle this way. The faster automated process is available. 2 following three steps are often used Step 3. Understand the by growing businesses to make crucial impacts of not outsourcing outsourcing decisions: Once you’ve identified your Step 1. Identify core competencies company’s core competencies and pinpointed time drains, Take a look at areas of your business where your company you’ll have a better sense of which sees a high return for a reasonable investment in time. functions to outsource. In weighing These are likely your company’s core competencies. the pros and cons of outsourcing, it’s Identifying core competencies helps growing businesses important to understand the impacts of determine which resources to outsource and which to not doing so. Potential negative impacts of failing to keep in-house. If you’re really good at a process, task or outsource include lower customer satisfaction, revenue activity, and if it’s core to your business, keep it in-house. loss, employee turnover, and greater risk exposure. If it isn’t core to your business, consider outsourcing. Ninja Maneuver #2 Step 2. Identify time drains Growing Businesses Automate Once you’ve identified the core competencies of Unlike the automation introduced by Henry Ford your business, the next step is to identify any internal (assembly lines), today’s automation uses technology24 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  25. 25. to streamline key business processes. resourcesFrom inventory management to sales t h a tto finance, automation gives companies t h e could beninja agility, flexibility, and efficiency in a still-recovering u s e dmarket. The alternative – handling these systems m o r e 3manually – can stymie rather than promote growth. efficiently in other areas.Growing businesses leverage technology to streamlinebusiness processes. The more streamlined their Automating sales taxbusiness, and the more they outsource processes and using the AvaTaxexpertise outside their competency, the more time suite of productsand energy they have to be strategic, focus on what lowers audit riskthey do best, and, ultimately, grow their business. and decreases u n p l a n n e dNinja Maneuver #3 penalty expenses.Growing Businesses Look to the Cloud Companies that partner with AvalaraIn the past several years, many companies have turned get a simplified sales tax processto cloud-based computing solutions (those hosted and and guidance when it comes to sorting out taxabilityoperated on the web, versus those that are on-premise) rules and requirements. Avalara’s suite of productsrather than their larger and often more expensive replaces manual look-up tables, the need to stay on toppredecessors. Cloud- based solutions offer several tools of rules and regulations, substantially cuts down timethat other systems simply don’t: they automate updates to file and close the month, and gives you a system forand integrations without having a Chief Technology exemption (reseller) certificate management. We do itOfficer handle time-consuming versioning and back- all. And when it comes to understanding and stayingups and they are able to grow along with the computing in compliance with taxability rules, Avalara walks youneeds of growing businesses. Cloud- based solutions through the changing landscape of sales tax.adapt more quickly to changes in operations and updateautomatically without a staff person having to manually The AvaTax suite includes:track any changes or iterations. AvaTax Calc which provides address validation andIt used to be that in order to automate; growing delivers real-time sales tax calculations based on up-businesses had to buy on-premise software that was to-date sales and use tax rules including: sourcing expensive to buy and came with expensive rules, product taxability and jurisdiction maintenance costs. It was a assignment. tough choice to make. Now, Cloud software has made AvaTax Certs is a complete automation affordable and exemption certificate management practical. For virtually any service. From wizard-driven online business process or function, collection to associating the correct there is a good bet that Cloud certificate with transactions, AvaTax software exists to meet the need. Certs ensures you maintain compliance This is especially true when it comes and reduce your audit risk. to sales tax management. AvaTax Returns reduces the time your company Growing Businesses Use AvaTax. spends on sales tax return processing. AvaTax Returns automatically processes e-file, hard-copy and Avalara. An easy automation win for Streamlined Sales Tax returns for businesses of all sizes.growing businesses. But don’t just take our word for it.As businesses grow, they’re likely to increase their salestax liability. Whether they hire contractors in a new state, Over 10,000 businesses have outsourced and automatedor create affiliate relationships in another, a business their sales tax management to AvaTax. Learn how yourmight be liable to collect sales tax and not know it, or business can stay ahead of the curve with sales taxdo so incorrectly and risk penalties and time-consuming management by adopting ninja maneuvers. Downloadaudits. Manually figuring out accurate rates and keeping a free white paper at:up with taxability and rule changes can be nearlyimpossible. And handling it in-house drains employee www.avalara.com/bellwether bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 25
  26. 26. HUMANRESOURCES Managing GEN-Y employees by Ginger Kittinger and Donna Baeza G eneration Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, is a large part of the workplace today (being born in the 80s and 90s). Many people have formed opinions about this group calling them entitled and narcissistic. A lot of seasoned managers just don’t quite know how to work with Gen-Yers as they have a very different mindset from their predecessors. We reached out to some industry experts and our Blytheco team and asked – “What are the tips and tricks that you have learned to be successful managing GEN-Y employees?”Tom Armour, with High Return SelectionT, mentors GEN-Ys maintaining relationships. As a result, these young peopleto provide real work experience to help them land jobs. Here have not had to develop fundamental skills that olderis what he has found over the last few years: generations take for granted. • They are not all the same, so it’s counterproductive to In spite of these differences, however, he does not think that categorize them into one bucket. companies need to change their corporate structure or culture • Employers can swap stories and dwell on the negative just to accommodate these young workers. Sure, it’s great if a folklore about millennials, much of which is untrue or they startup can build a new environment from the ground up that can reach out and help them build careers. will make them comfortable, but he’s still not convinced that this will provide the most productive setting in the long run. • First you need to identify the ones that have a strong work ethic, ability to learn quickly and the self-awareness to So, here are some tips from Alfred: continually improve their game (these are the same traits for every generation). • The key is to recognize that these young employees come • When you have millennials with these traits you will see they to their jobs lacking essential “soft skills” and do not even bring tremendous strengths to an organization. These are: know that they are unprepared for work. Managers need energy, creativity, strong intention and desire to achieve. to recognize the lack of skills, and work with the employees to build them. It can be as simple as making sure that all • Finally, as a leader if you find great GenYers and are still new employees receive time management training. having trouble mentoring them, look in a mirror and change your methods. • Be careful to present praise in public, and criticize constructively in private, as they are not likely to have the emotional maturity that you expect from an adult.High Return SelectionT helps companies improve profitability,productivity and sales – you can learn more about his company • Work to communicate your expectations in detail, becauseat www.highreturnselection.com when things go wrong, these workers are more likely to react with frustration, anger, and fear.Additional insight came to us from Alfred Poor, author of • On the positive side, strive to help them understand how“7 Success Secrets that Every College Student Needs to their part fits into the broader company goals, becauseKnow.” they may not see the connection from their perspective.He believes that there are some very good reasons why Alfred Poor is a member of the National Association ofyoung workers behave so differently than others did 20 or Colleges and Employers. You can learn more about him oneven 10 years ago. While some people cite the “everyone his website at www.alfredpoorspeaker.comis a winner” culture and disparage “helicopter parents,” hedoesn’t believe that parents are all that different than theywere a generation ago. What has changed is that digitalcommunications have altered our ways of establishing and26 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013
  27. 27. In closing, here’s what our Blytheco team shared related employee’sto helping to keep Gen-Y employees feeling valued within a budget (ityour organization: doesn’t have to be a lot• Trust your employees until there is a reason not to. of money) Actions such as blocking social media site access at the to plan and office says – “we don’t trust you”. rollout fun• While formal reviews may be annual, performance events each feedback and dialog should be a consistent and a month. regular occurrence. Recognize contributions openly • Have high and often – address issues as they arise and agree on standards improvement strategies – include them in determining for both the solution. management• Make technology/tools a priority – cutting edge and employees. technology is the norm to millennials – it is important to Have goals and them at home – it is important to them at work. desired outcomes tied to timelines• They want a voice! Gen-Yers don’t just want to “do” and ensure those – they want to be involved in the process. They want are met (within to express ideas (i.e. mental creativity), be collaborative flexible reason). and be heard. Listen, they have some pretty great ideas! Nothing is more• Be flexible – millennials value flexibility in the workplace. demotivating for a young If your environment is locked down with rules and professional than to work regulations that doesn’t allow for some flexibility in under an unmotivated, schedule or time off, then Gen-Yers will likely struggle unresponsive manager. in your setting. Young professionals should• Take their pulse be able to see how their regularly – work directly impacts the conduct employee organization. engagement surveys at least annually to identify what isn’t working and why, ask for specific feedback and then take action when feasible.• Provide competitive and creative employee benefits – this will mean different things to different employee groups, but understanding what is important to the majority of employees is important• Think differently about meeting workspace. Starbucks is a great example of what millennials consider a “social space workspace” – think about creating social spaces within your work environment where employees can gather, collaborate and have access to wi-fi for their laptops and tablets.• Create fun at work, and let your employee’s define fun. Create fun committee’s and give your bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 27
  28. 28. HUMANRESOURCES How Do You Handle Tough Employee Situations? by Ginger Kittinger B eing a manager has many aspects to the job and a very important one is managing your employees. Most of the time it is pretty straightforward, but how do you handle those tough or awkward situations? We asked and got some great feedback from Marv Russell, a leadership speaker, author and leadership expert with 25+ years’ experience in human resources.28 Bellwether Magazine | Second Quarter 2013

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