Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

As you work with your customer remember there are two sides two a coin. I’ve found that sometimes you may be discussing the same issue but coming at it from different angles that can cause a disconnect. Make sure to understand your customer’s perspective so you can better serve them.  This will not only help you in positioning and selling your product but also how you provide the best customer service possible.

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS
Instagram: @jodysedrick  | @roadfs | @zenwareinc

You may have the passion, drive and vision to build your business. However, you need to compliment those skills and characteristics with a circle of great people. That circle is not just your immediate team. You need to create a solid network of professionals that can help you make strategic decisions and moves.

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS

Wow, 7 Years!  I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since the launch of Zenware.  It has been quite the adventure and a continual opportunity to grow and build.  I thought I’d put together a series of short videos, 2 – 5 minutes, to share some of the lessons I’ve learned as we’ve built Zenware.

Episode 1: Keep an active pulse on your finances.

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS


Admit it you’ve done it, picked up that skinny tube of toothpaste and thought, “I can go two more days out of that tube. If I start at the bottom and squeeze, slowly working the toothpaste to the top. I can get that last bit.” No wasting here, just a determination to get the most out of the tube.

Growing your business is similar to squeezing the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. You know there is more with your reach. How to get it out?

The scenario is familiar in any business. You’re at the end of the month, near the end of a project and checking to see if you are on track. You’re not quite there. You consider investing in new talent, adding additional resources even changing processes. What do you do? How do you squeeze that last bit of opportunity to grow your business?

Squeeze Early and Squeeze from the Bottom
Many companies are like kids squeezing toothpaste from the top or the middle of the tube. You’ve seen the results, 1/3 of the toothpaste at the top, 1/3 pushed to the bottom with a big deflated section in the middle. Yes, they push toothpaste out the top, at the same time pushing the rest to the bottom. Not efficient and typically you are left with a big mess around the cap while leaving much in the tube.

Are you managing your business the same way?

Disciplined businesses understand squeezing from the middle while it produces results isn’t effective. A more strategic approach is required to get the most out of your team.

Disciplined processes are the mechanism to diminish the risks of lost opportunities. Ever feeling like you’re pressing with all your might and not getting the results you’d hoped? Step back evaluate your processes and resources you will discover previously hidden opportunities to squeeze more out of your team with a few minor adjustments.

We’ve started a few simple things that have resulted in a 12% increase in our custom software development team’s billable hours.

– Monday kickoffs – evaluate projects, ascertain key deadlines for the week, assign resources and get rolling
– Daily standup – 15 – 30 minutes morning meeting to report on previous days activities – Highlight challenges, successes, lessons learned if any then outline the plan for the day
– Friday – Team Roundup Mid-day – 15 – 30 minutes. Review/demo accomplishments during the week. Discuss potential challenges and deadlines for the next week.

We have discovered the opportunities are already there, only hidden because we haven’t managed our team and resources effectively. We often found ourselves in the middle to the end of the week wondering how are were going to get things done.

Laying a foundation for success by planning the week has made a significant impact on our productivity. Accountability is critical. The daily stand-ups keep our team on task. “Returning and reporting” everyday may seem overkill but it has created an environment of “I can accomplish this today”. It also fosters an environment of “we’ve fallen behind what resources do we have or how can we adjust to get on track”.

We are applying similar processes to our sales team as well.

Strategic growth can be challenging. It requires vision at the top, planning from the start and management through the entire process. Too often we put pressure on the middle or end of the week when starting with a solid plan at the start will make all the difference in the world.

Remember where you squeeze makes all the difference.

** Originally posted on LinkedIN 

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS

Power-in-fundamentalsWhat differentiates the pro from the novice? Do they do extraordinarily amazing footwork? Is their approach to the game different? Are they more passionate?

The answer is simple – Pros EXECUTE the fundamentals with precision. They’ve perfected the fundamentals to the point that the fundamentals are an extension of who they are and what they do. There is no thinking. Training, reaction and muscle memory take control in the heat of the battle.
What are you doing to master the fundamentals in your field service business?
A few areas to consider to perfect and up your game:
  • Strategically plan – prepare, study, understand the market, define your competitive position and build a game plan to dominate your market segment
  • Create and build a team. Win as a team. Take responsibility when the team falls short and find solutions together.  Everyone’s opinion matters. Empower your team to act.
  • Manage cash flow – be attentive to the details, budget for now while planning for the future.
  • Build and foster an amazing culture – everyone wants to be on a winning team. Build a place where they belong, where they can contribute and be a critical part.
  • Lead – remember there is no “I” in team. Be confident, be decisive, be humble, give credit, be accountable and you will build an unstoppable team,
  • Accountability – everyone on the team must be accountable for their performance. Track progress not to be punitive but to IMPROVE. Put in place KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that motivate and inspire excellence.
  • Execute every day!
Don’t under estimate the power of fundamentals. They may seem routine and even mundane. Remember even the pros revisit the fundamentals over and over. Why? To elevate and perfect their game. In short to WIN!
Are you ready to do the same?
** Blog originally posted on RoadFS
Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS
Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

Photo Found on LinkedIn

Culture is a Powerful component of your field service business. Strategy is important. Strategy  focuses on how you dominate  and serve your market segment. Culture addresses who you are and why you do the things you do.  The way you treat and manage your team will directly reflect on how they treat your customers.

Each business culture is unique, every team different, but some things to consider in building a powerful culture:

1. Empower your team to act
2. Foster collaboration
3. Build a service mentality -internally and externally
4. Flexibility
5. A get it done mentality! Execute, Execute, Execute!
6. Accountability
7. Be ready and willing to change
8. Be Balanced – fun & focused
9. Traditions – monthly lunch, Octoberfest, summer parties Etc.
10. Be Authentic

Foster a culture that fits you and your team. Hire for fit. Live your culture – don’t force it. The right culture will foster longevity in both your team and your customers. Culture will keep them engaged and invested. Everyone wants to not only belong to a great organization and team, they want to contribute and be a part of the team. Don’t estimate culture. Culture can be safe, inspiring, motivational, unconventional, fun and envied.

Build a great culture and build a GREAT team!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS