Monday, November 18, 2013

What IOS and Robin Thicke Have in Common

By Angela Childs

I had an idea for a blog post about what IOS and Robin Thicke have in common.  The idea being that there is something about him and something about us that is surprising.  And then Blurred Lines was released and he was EVERYWHERE.   Seriously?   Idea now dead to me.

Time has passed though so I’m going to give resurrecting it a whirl.

Robin Thicke’s music falls into the Hip-Hop and R&B genres.   In interviews he has shared that he’s influenced by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Al Green and by the artists he grew up listening to like Run DMC, N.W.A., Biggie, and Jay-Z.  You hear this in his music.  That’s not at all surprising and for many I’m sure not even mildly interesting.  Here’s what is surprising, to me at least.   Robin Thicke, that cool, soulful guy is Alan Thicke’s son.

"Who’s Alan Thicke?”, you say.  Alan Thicke played the Ward Cleaver-esque dad on Growing Pains but that’s not all he’s known for.   Alan Thicke also made musical contributions, like his son, but his included composing the theme songs for Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, and The Wheel of Fortune.    This is not to imply that those ditties were not cool and soulful.   Never.

So what else is surprising?   Despite the regional footprint suggested by our physical buildings, IOS actually has a much, much bigger footprint.  

We started as a Midwestern company serving clients in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky but our expertise in cradle to grave content management, business process automation, and innovative solutions to unique problems finds us now with clients in 44 states and in Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland, England, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Australia. 


Get to know us and you won’t find our large footprint all that surprising. 
Monday, November 11, 2013

5/7 Is Not a Time Signature

By John Trimble

5/7 is not a time signature and of course you knew that. There are wacky time signatures like 13/8 and 7/8 or 9/4 but there is no “7th note.” But you knew that too.  What you might not know is what 5 / 7 really refers to: it’s what clients want from the salespeople who call on them.

In a very extensive CEB Consulting Survey of 5,000 plus companies over 50 different attributes were tested as to what companies needed from their providers to remain loyal to them. Seven responses were found way above the others in impact. But the top five all speak directly to the need of the client not necessarily to buy something but to learn something.

Listed in order of impact they are as follows:

  • The salesperson offers unique and valuable perspectives on the market.
  • The salesperson helps me navigate alternatives.
  • The salesperson provides on-going advice or consultation.
  • The salesperson helps me avoid potential land mines.
  • The salesperson educates me on new issues and outcomes.
  • The supplier is easy to buy from.
  • The supplier has widespread support across my organization.

If you are like these responders you are saying to your salesperson: “Here is what I want, don’t sell me, help me. Help me by telling me what is working for other similar companies, similar problems, give me options that I might not even know exist, advise me, protect me against train wrecks that we might unintentionally cause by overlooking something, give me some genius ideas on what else we can do that we have not even thought of yet. But mostly, don’t sell me, help me.”

IOS gets that. Happily, this is also how we define our value to the client. Our entire sales process was built around this concept. This is also why if we do not have a fit, if we cannot bring insight and improvement, we are the first to point it out. Otherwise what’s the point?

So I guess we can play in 5/7 time after all.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Be Cool. Create Value.

By Brian Kopack

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”  John Lennon

This season of the year is prime time for least anticipated of the business cycle's annual rituals: budgeting.  It’s the time of the year where everyone pulls out all of their data and pretends they know how to use it to predict the future.

The reality is, for most Finance departments, this time of year is purgatory.  It is either submitting next year’s budget, revising the original submission or resetting the quarterly reforecast.  Even with all of the information businesses have available, budgeting never seems to get easier or less annoying because (a) clairvoyance isn’t usually a prerequisite in Finance and (b) real life just happens.

You spend a ton of time creating a plan and guess what?  An employee leaves, you make an acquisition or you develop a new product.  Now you have more responsibility - more to get done, and guess what else?  You have less time to get everything done.  Good thing you have a budget that probably needs revising.

Forget about preparing a budget – invest in adding value instead.  How?  Eliminate.  Automate. Create.

Eliminate

Stop filling file rooms with paper files.  Stop wasting time requesting, returning and refiling paper documents.   Stop worrying about managing a document retention schedule.  There is an intelligent records management system available.  Store your boxes securely.  Receive requested files digitally and quickly.  Destroy old files timely.  IOS can do that.

Automate

Stop entering data from one page to another form or one system to another.  Stop walking reports around the department for approvals.  Stop keeping manual to-do lists.  Technology exists that can handle that for you.  Capture data from a form automatically.  Create a workflow to route forms around the company electronically.  Track required tasks in any process programmatically.  IOS can do that.

Create

Stop wishing there was a better way.  Stop thinking you’ll get to it next month.  Stop saying, “If only we can figure out a way to……….”  What’s the objective - save money, save time, communicate better with other departments, save effort during audits?  Yes, yes, yes, yes.  IOS can do that.

Skeptical?  Check out our storybook.

IOS knows value creation.  We’ve been thought leaders in business improvement technology and services since before it was cool.