Heeding the call

Chris Surdenik, President, Call One

Chris Surdenik started at Call One in 1998 at the recommendation of Ameritech. He had previously been a provisioning supervisor at USN Communications, where he was responsible for training and administration of the provisioning department.

He knew there was a better way to tackle telecommunications needs.

Now, 13 years later, Surdenik has proven Ameritech’s recommendation – and his decision – to be prescient. Call One has seen substantial growth, most recently being named to Crain’s Fifty-Fastest Growing Companies in Chicago and Inc. Magazine’s 500 5000 list.

Smart Business sat down with Surdenik to discuss how he tackles business challenges, innovation and giving back.

Q: Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

A business challenge our organization faced was a disconnect amongst interdepartmental communications. We were experiencing errors and interdepartmental conflict because we had a lack of centralized information resources.

So our IT department proactively developed a CRM that was customizable to each departments needs and we called this “Scope”.

With the implementation of “Scope” we have seen an overwhelming 60 percent increase in efficiencies for each department and a checks and balances system between departments has alleviated 90 percent of conflict that was occurring.

Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

Innovation is a broad term. Innovation in leadership comes on a situation by situation basis. A leader needs to lead by any means possible from encouragement, training, and discipline.

My priority is to lead my organization into success and utillize innovation to take the organization into the next level of success.

By relying on solid leadership practices our company has seen substantial financial growth month to month, but through innovation our revenue stream has doubled from 2006 to 2010.

Q: How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

Call One’s main focus is in the betterment of the community and regional economies. Through our aggregated telecommunications pricing organizations have found relief in a hostile market knowing their telecommunications bills and services were both economical and reliable.

We work with organization’s bottom lines and it is our duty to ensure it remains manageable.

How to reach: Call One, www.callone.com

Interested in Call One and Chris Surdenik? Join Chris Surdenik and Smart Business for a special Webinar at 2 p.m. EST on January 27th. The topic: How to build an effective telecom strategy. Register here.