3 Reasons Company Culture Is Important

•October 30, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Company culture has become a huge topic within organizations. Understanding what brings in good employees and keeps them around is an added advantage to an employer. While most companies, at one point, may have never even considered the idea, it seems like an unavoidable topic in today’s businesses as more and more potential candidates ask What is your company culture like? To better understand why, below  lists 3 reasons company culture is important.

  1. Retention Rate

Employees usually take a position for the pay but it takes much more to keep them around. To truly have a good retention rate, employers must foster work environments that encourage growth and creativity. Employees have choices, which is something employers often overlook. If someone is unhappy they can leave your organization and get paid elsewhere at no cost to them but it will cost the employer time and money to replace the position. Building a good company culture means keeping employees around for longer because they can professionally and personally grow within your company. Offering a community and space that makes employees feel good about what they do and who they do it for, will keep them around for the long haul.

  1. Happy Employees Work Harder

Time and time again only proves that people are more motivated when they are happy and feel good about themselves and the work they’re doing. A good company culture does just that- creates a team that is happy and engaged. Employers that take the time to cultivate and establish a good culture, will see the reward in their employees hard work and dedication to the company. Employees who feel valued typically go the extra mile instead of simply meeting the minimum.

  1. Engagement & Growth

Ultimately, a successful company culture engages employees so they are able to grow within your organization instead of growing out of it. Companies should create environments in which employees can grow and evolve in their roles, furthering the development for the business overall.

While it is often hard to measure, putting consistent effort into creating a positive company culture only benefits your employees and the business long term. Once a good culture is established, it is then essential to try to maintain those standards. These 3 reasons illustrate just a few reasons each company should concern itself with the idea of company culture and begin to strive to establish one that works best for you and your team.

Discovery Phase With Farber Specialty Vehicles

•October 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Switchbox is currently in the discovery phase with a new client, Farber Specialty Vehicles. Farber is a Custom Coach company located in Columbus, Ohio that has been building custom coaches for over 80 years.  A large portion of their customers are in the health care field and their custom coaches are used as mobile health clinics, mammography, dentistry, and blood mobiles. We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a great company that provides services to our community in so many different ways! In addition, we have also been lucky to have met some of Farber’s amazing customers! Recently we sat down with The Dental Heath Outreach Mobile Experience (H.O.M.E. Coach) which allows access to dental care and education for Ohioans in need.  Their Coach is staffed by fourth year Ohio State dentistry students who are faculty supervised.  Additionally, their program provides treatment to approximately 2,000 children annually at Columbus City Schools during the school year. Having the H.O.M.E. coach members participate in our meeting allowed is to see how we could use technology to help educate children and adults on the importance of dental care.  Currently, we are discovering ways in which would could help eliminate paperwork or permissions as well as send notifications to patients and vehicles to make their process is more efficient.

Although we are still researching the best solutions, it’s wonderful to think of ways in which we can help the customers of Farber function more efficiently through the use of our knowledge and experience. We look forward to continuing our research and provide solutions for the Farber team to help facilitate efficient and reliable services to their own clients.

For more information regarding Farber Specialty Vehicles visit www.farberspecialty.com

 

The Hidden Cost Of Off-The-Shelf Software: How to Know When To Replace It

•October 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Recently we were engaged by a client in financial services to help find a better way to track participants at their events. The problem was one we see a lot, this organization offered continued education for their clientele and they were concerned people were registering for events but not attending and then still requesting credit. The company reached out to us to see if there was a way to solve this issue for them. Through our initial discussions, we realized we would need to engage with their current software they had purchased for event management several years before. We called the company and they were relatively helpful in aiding our effort to building the security portion of this project. However, at every step of the way, we realized this company used various workarounds that had been created. For instance, our client had an annual fee that people needed to pay but the software didn’t have a method to charge the fee. Instead, participants paid the amount under an event entitled ‘annual fee’. This caused quite a bit confusion as when you paid for the annual amount, clients had to overlook the boxes for location, RSVP and that the duration of the event listed for one year. Additionally, our client was then forced to log into the system, gather the data and then transfer it to their internal accounting system. Overall this was a poor user experience for the customer and client because the off-the-shelf software was for event management and it simply couldn’t cater to our client’s specific needs. On a smaller scale, we also found it was extremely difficult for a customer to distinguish in-person events verse webinars using our client’s software. When trying to sign up for either event, each customer had to scroll through a long list of events and click on each one to differentiate the two. Once again, this issue took up time for both the customer and client.

Ultimately, after two meetings, the client was beyond frustrated and just wanted a system that could cater to their specific needs. Switchbox was able to help this client by rebuilding a system that worked for them. In approximately 30 minutes of discovery time, Switchbox was able to recognize their problems, listen to their needs and create a scope of work to present to the client as a solution. As a result, our new system ended up saving so much time, the client was able to remove one position from the entire business as a direct result of the time saved for items like data entry and information collection. In this instance, off-the-shelf software started as an effective method for our client but eventually they outgrew their software and needed something to cater to their unique needs. However, this is not the case for all businesses. For some, off-the-shelf software fits their needs perfectly. In order to decide which is right for you, here are 3 ways to identify if your current software program might need to be replaced:

  1. You’ve stopped calling the company for small fixes because they can’t do it, don’t know how to or the cost is too high
  2. Your staff is having to do more and more odd workarounds for your current software
  3. You’ve built paper forms or other systems around your current software to fill in the gaps

Why Did My Coffee Pot Come With A Training DVD?

•September 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

A few years ago, a good friend of mine bought me a new automated coffee machine. It had a built-in coffee grinder making an easy prep at night for fresh brewed coffee in the morning. The only problem was that this particular coffee maker came with a 30 page manual and training DVD. The machine brewed great coffee but in order to properly use the machine, it required a lot of learning. Everyday I had to rinse out three separate components with water, once a week I had to clean out a specific component with a brush that was provided and every several brews, I had to make sure the filter was replaced. Needless to say, making morning coffee had become quite complicated.

Using this coffee pot is proof that sometimes things are simply too complicated. The last thing I wanted to spend time doing was reading a 30 page manual, watching an instructional DVD or spending 20 minutes daily cleaning out my machine. I didn’t want to have to take 20 steps to make coffee, I just wanted one step between me sipping fresh coffee each morning.

Have any issues like this in your business? Maybe you started with a helpful report but over time it has become too complicated. Perhaps at the beginning a spreadsheet was useful but now it has too many formulas to keep track of. Or, you have a website that was created to allow customers to retrieve information but now managing user accounts and updating account information has become cumbersome. If you feel you’re using a process that has become too complicated in your business, give us a call and we’ll create the simplicity.

If You Can Imagine It, There’s A Vehicle For it – Farber Specialty Vehicles Featured In Business First!

•September 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Farber is a family owned business located in Columbus who specializes in the design and development of manufacturing custom specialty vehicles. Starting in the early 1970s, Farber has grown from a van-to-camper converter business to a well-adapted company that now meets the demands of creating medical vehicles and various other in demand vehicles. Brothers Nick, Ken and John Farber are the 4th generation for the Farber business as they continue to expand, now residing in a facility in Reynoldsburg to accommodate their 113 employees. Switchbox is currently in the discovery process with Farber and we look forward to creating unique and efficient solutions for this growing, local business.

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You Want To Do What In A Tractor?

•September 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This is the type of question you hope you never have to ask your children but I promise, it’s not as bad as it sounds.  Let me explain.  Switchbox solves unique business problems.  We do this in almost every industry: medical, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, etc. We even work in a few unique industries like prisons, stock exchanges for poker players and even groups that prevent human trafficking. Because of this experience, we’re not usually thrown off when clients want their websites to do odd things.  However, last month while sitting in a meeting to discuss rebuilding a client’s web dashboard for their organization, an odd request came up.  The client works with various farmers to help collect opinions on how to spend millions of dollars on research and development each year.  Their current online application worked reasonably well but needed some help.  We were in the process of discussing how to sort some of the dashboards for them and one of their board members told us that he didn’t care about anything else except that it had to work in my tractor, in the middle of my field, at 10pm at night, without an internet connection.

We are ambitious but making web applications work without the internet in the middle of a corn field at night was a bit of a stretch.  To make a long story short, we went through our discovery process and worked through ways to solve his problem.  The real problem wasn’t that he needed to use the application without internet access but that he needed access to summarized data from the application during his late night board meetings.  We worked through what he needed and found a simple solution to the problem.  If we had built it as requested it would have been a giant undertaking, but since we took the time to actually understand the problem we found something that solved the issue and stayed in budget.

Switchbox is about solving our client’s problems in the best way.  Sometimes the best way is complex and sometimes it’s simple.  We don’t care what it takes, we find solutions.

Information Overload: Too Much Data, Not Enough Organization

•September 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We recently had a client that encountered a problem that was typical for several organizations…lots of information spread out across several shared drives or networks with no easy access or even awareness of what was out there. Administration, storing and accessing information is a critical process for a company’s behind the scenes success and a one size fits all solution doesn’t always exist.  While there are many options available for document storage our client had a requirement for quick and easy access based on how their employees, spread out across several locations, thought and organized the information. The information needed more centralized administration with the most recent versions available and a directory was needed based on locality of people resources.

We started with a discovery process to define their business needs and content type. We broke down the organizational roles and their expectations of use scenarios. Those discussions provided the base of their new site applying existing available tools.  The new site offers greater administrative control for categorization based on actual use and utilized their current storage system’s version control to display the most up to date information.  Users across multiple locations can now log in to one stand-alone application to access a series of organized videos, standard operating procedures and other needed documents providing better onsite efficiency to their work standards.

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