LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BUSINESS
In the last 3-5 years we wrote some amazing software applications for the machine tool industry including writing for some of the world’s best brands in the manufacturing arena – from Automotive to Aerospace across North America and a few in Australia. Asia Pacific is hot but slow.
Are these applications complex? Yes they are. Do we continue to write these complex machine tool applications? A big NO for the moment. Why?
Well, this is contingent on many factors. 1) Upon speaking with Industry Veterans, many of them answered somewhat this way; “We just don’t see much demand for 3rd party CNC software in the machine tool marketplace. With shrinking margins, that nice-to-have stuff is always first to get cut”, 2) Though we generated some demands through the channel network, it wasn’t enough to pay the bills and 3) The 80-20 rule finally was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. In a nutshell, we were spending 80% of our time writing amazing and complex applications to generate about 20% of our revenue. Are we calling it Quit? Well, no. Just gave a new home called miraApps.com. Some of our machine tool applications might go there to die. We will see…
Nothing is wrong with the machine tool applications in general. If anyone is getting rich writing these applications – good for them. Something new called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) but again – show me the money, right?
There are pundits still not convinced that manufacturers in North America are all on-board besides GEs of the world. Well, they are few and far between for sure. If you don’t believe, just visit a small to mid-size manufacturing shop in the United States or Canada – folks at the shop floor still struggles with computers in general and let alone a connectivity that is warranted for “IIoT”. Our company and others in the community tried educating, showing IIoT but figured we must first show them networking. At least they will get the benefit of connected equipment and load their programs from a computer in the network. But then these small to mid-size manufacturers are struggling with budget cuts and often compete with low cost overseas shops that many a time flood the market. It is a sad story, but true.
We have bills like everyone else. We have to keep the lights on, again, like everyone else. So, what did we do?
PRIORITY SHIFT FOR OUR BUSINESS
First and foremost, we had to defend existing income. Remember the 80-20 rule? Then, learned to do one thing well – not many things hoping one will work. Began reaching out to other potential growth opportunities to identify near term demand and finally re-train and re-balance headcounts not engaged in sales growth or direct customer product support and most importantly servicing of existing contracts. Create list of non-essential operational expenses: (phone/internet/service providers, etc.) to reduce operating expenses. Sell non-essential business assets (office furniture / unused equipment / electronic gears, etc.). Downsize. Again downsize doesn’t mean fold. It meant regroup when and where possible, know your strength, capitalize and focus. Rewarded the teams, individuals who are result oriented but compassionate at the same time. Encouraged diversity across the board. Implemented SWOT.
DEFINE THE DRIVERS OF CHANGE
Our focus turned to our core forte i.e., Data Services Business, which we jointly determined to have more apparent upsides. Fine tune In-house confidence & acquire knowledge of industry as a whole. No more commodity price constraints for products offered. Understand and leverage data for profit as a highly sought after trend.
TURNAROUND AND FUN TIME
With renewed focus, our pitch is simple. 1) Market – what is the market we are after, 2) Team – do we have the team to do the job? And 3) Products & Services – what are we capable to offer? With that we began to focus on our Business Vision to be an innovative provider of decision support software & services that helps our customers manage, grow their business by transforming DATA into useful and actionable information. Our focus is on the companies who need help Consolidating, Organizing and Sharing their offer data. Check this out.
Most importantly, we focused to take care of our existing customers. Provide them our best minds and capabilities before going after new prospects. Additionally, we defined and executed simple business model for growth based on: 1) Industry Data Assessments & Proof-of-Concepts that is relevant to their business processes, 2) Offer Data Services and Content Management expertise and 3) Leverage Global Operational model for competitive advantage. Check this out.
Then we started building with proven technologies, use open source when and where needed. Our data experts helped provide accurate and timely product data with tiered pricing resulting in perfect orders, fewer restocking charges, reduced inventory and higher customer satisfaction. Just outright quality work.
In 6-Six months ending in 4th Quarter 2017, we fired all our cylinders and ended the year beating all expectations and with the best year since starting of our company back in 2008. Yes, we will be celebrating our 10th Year Anniversary in February 2018 in 3 world class cities where we operate from!
Thank you to all our Well-wishers!
[It is true that Success is a journey and not a Destination. We have a long way to go but we are confident that our sense of agility will serve us and most importantly our customers well. No, we are not looking for funding. Thank you for all the offers though! Yes, we will be hiring and take advantage of the US Tax Plan approved in December 2017]