BY BILL HUSEBY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Looking back at the past year, 2018 was filled with challenges, opportunities and successes. As SIGMADESIGN looks at 2019 and beyond, we reflect on our triumphs and set the bar high for achieving new strategic initiatives. At the end of each year, the entire company is involved in SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) group meetings, which gives everyone a chance to voice what they feel is important for the company. These insights are then compiled, grouped and developed into strategic initiatives for the company.
In 2018, we focused on four strategic initiatives which included:
- SIGMA U (University)
- NEW LOCATIONS
- DEPARTMENT TRAINING PROGRAMS
- QUALITY CERTIFICATION
SIGMA U is a training and development program for employees to enhance successful professional development, encourage growth and remain current on required training for SIGMADESIGN. We designed an intranet that contains important information for employees only. Employees use a “Course Catalog” to determine which classes will be relevant for their position. The site provides many resources to train and develop employees by offering a variety of learning opportunities. It also offers a central location for employees to share important documents per department.
As you’ve probably heard, we opened a Seattle area office in 2018. Our new office in Kirkland officially opened November 15th 2018. This office will extend our presence in Seattle and allow us to better serve our clients in the area. Additionally, we hired a new Business Development and Marketing Specialist to serve the Los Angeles area. We are planning for continued growth in both of these new markets.
Culture is one aspect that sets SIGMADESIGN apart. In order to maintain the culture as we grow, we recognize that it takes dedication and investment. We have a group dedicated to maintaining our culture. They organize a variety of company events and are working on a company video to help define our culture. Keeping a strong company culture is worth the effort; it has a quantifiable impact on performance and it helps to retain employees and clients. Happy employees are more productive, engaged and set us apart from the competition.
As the company grows, it is also important to develop more robust quality management systems. Our ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is continuing to improve our processes and efficiencies. This translates to better services provided to our clients. We also implemented a “metrics wall” where we share metrics we’re tracking in every department. This provides company-wide visibility and helps us understand how we’re doing and how we can do better.
What We’re Focused on for 2019
For 2019, as a result of our holistic approach (company-wide SWOT analysis) we now have new insight and a framework plan for company-wide action. This year we’ll tackle a couple initiatives that will expand and improve our level and quality of service. The actions will also set the path for achieving our goals in 2019 and beyond. These include:
This initiative will advance our goal to invest in our employees by developing and recognizing the best. Individuals will spearhead training
programs for each department to focus on specific capabilities needed for that group.
This initiative will improve our framework of quality and process management. Certification and quality standards will give our clients requirement compliance and improve our overall business practice. Initially, we plan to become ISO 9001 compliant, and eventually we plan on achieving additional, more rigorous, certifications.
In addition to the strategic initiatives, we also develop a list of items that make sense to complete for the organization – these items we call “no-brainers.” Individuals have been identified to tackle these jobs throughout the year in order to improve various aspects of the business such as environment, communication and project work.
Reflecting on the past 12 months, I am very proud of the progress we made as an organization. As I look ahead to 2019 and beyond, I’m excited about continuing the excellent work we’ve done with our clients and partners. I’m also eager to explore new avenues of work, new clients and new additions to our team. Together we’ll focus on our mission of being the best product development services company in the world by offering solutions from concept through production for our clients.