Posted By
Lisa Richter Industry Director Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Oakbrook Terrace, IL
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How to Trust Processes That Will Help You Manage Growth

PostedTuesday, June 25,2019 at 3:15 PM

How to Trust Processes That Will Help You Manage Growth
Photo by Anton Repponen on Unsplash

83% of CSIA members forecast a rosy economic outlook, according the April 2019 EZ Stats. And for many SIs, the rising economic tide translates to considerable growth and a new set of challenges: scaling up.

As it turns out, it’s a tricky channel to navigate, with the shorelines of success littered with the shipwrecks of failures. Therefore, it’s essential to create a scalable management model, according to Matthew Swyers, founder, The Trademark Company, in “4 Essential Steps to Managing Growth,” in Inc.

“As your business grows you must develop scalable management and quality control systems,” says Swyers. “As your business grows and duties become more segmented among new employees, a management structure must be put in place to ensure accountability against established benchmarks as well as to make sure quality control of your goods and services remains constant.”

Mike Howard, vice president, system integration at George T. Hall (GTH), would likely agree. He saw the company’s processes, which were honed on CSIA’s Best Practices, put to the test.

“Over the last year or two, we’ve had the opportunity to do some large-scale projects in correctional facility industry,” recalls Howard. “The resulting considerable growth has been a bit difficult to manage, but it has forced us to take a second look at some of our processes and make some internal improvements to handle the additional workload.”

GTH has a reiterative process of continuous improvement, with a giant feedback loop informing next generation processes. But the recent growth spurt proved the underpinnings of GTH’s best practices held firm.

In fact, looking back, one of the lessons learned Howard revealed is to trust the processes.

“Trusting our processes as far as hiring new employees and efficiently going through the screening and hiring process was important to get off the ground quickly and getting new employees up to speed,” he recalls.

“Sometimes we were looking for people who had more experience than really necessary, had we just trusted our processes and brought people along who had the emotional intelligence and just the baseline capability to learn what do would have allowed us to be able to bring on people a little quicker,” he admits.

Fortunately, now that the waters are calmer at GTH, they’ve got the opportunity to once again reiterate.

“Going forward as things are a bit lighter, we can benefit from going back and further evaluating some QA processes and making some improvements to the internal systems,” says Howard.

To hear more from Howard, including GTH’s journey from airstreams to a thriving SI business in California and Nevada, listen to Episode 27 of Talking Industrial Automation.

A partial text version of the interview is also available on the Featured Interview page.