A few years ago, one of my friends embarked on what he deemed an ambitious, yet simple plan: Write a New York Times Best Seller.
“Ed” had reason to be optimistic: His first two books had sold well and he had successfully leveraged them to launch a burgeoning consulting practice. Ed also had a nationally known book publisher to handle distribution for this book, and he had developed a comprehensive marketing and promotions plan for the launch.
Ed felt all the pieces were in place and was sure he would succeed. His goals were two-fold: break out from the pack and grow his business, and hit the New York Times Best Seller’s list. While his head told him the first goal was more realistic, his heart was set on the second — publicly claiming it was his only true benchmark of success.
Needless to say, Ed’s book didn’t make the list. Few books do. That doesn’t mean Ed’s book was a failure. Quite the contrary, it was a huge success.
As a result of Ed’s book, he landed numerous speaking engagements with organizations and companies around the world. He began to command four- and five-figure speaking fees from those engagements, and his book was purchased and distributed to every attendee.
Further, Ed’s speaking engagements lead to dozens of private companies hiring him to provide one- and two-day seminars, where he taught executive teams how to implement the ideas he espoused in the book. Ed was also presented with numerous business opportunities for new and existing clients to tackle initiatives beyond the book’s subject matter that he had not previously considered but were related to his expertise.
Finally, Ed did sell thousands upon thousands of copies of his book in bookstores nationwide and online through booksellers like Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. His book was in the hands of the right people — and lots of them — and he had established a national profile.
Viewed through this lens, there is little doubt that Ed’s book was wildly successful — even if it wasn’t a New York Times Best Seller and even if it didn’t stack up to his primary benchmark.
This is the reality of book publishing. Each month, I speak with dozens of entrepreneurs and CEOs about their nascent book ideas and the possibility of having Smart Business Books handle development and publication of their stories and manuscripts. I begin every conversation the exact same way: “If your goal is to have a New York Times Best Seller, we’re not the right option for you.”
That’s because you should write books for the right reasons. If your only goal is getting on a best-seller’s list, then your ambitions are off the mark. Writing and publishing a book is not like a professional sports team’s season — there isn’t one winner who takes the championship and a bunch of losers who fall short. Publishing a book is not an all-or-nothing proposition.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t aim high with your goals, and having your book become a best-seller is certainly one way to measure success. Setting reasonable expectations, however, is essential.
So why write a book?
One of the most important questions you should be able to answer when thinking about writing a book is, “Who is going to read it and why?”
As Ed’s story demonstrates, a book is a very useful business development tool. It is an immediate conversation starter, an excellent credibility builder and one heck of a leave-behind. If you’re engaged in marketing, why not capture your expertise through a book?
Another reason is to celebrate a milestone or establish a legacy piece. It could be for a 50th or 100th anniversary, or to recognize the history of an organization upon the founder’s retirement or death.
And, if you are interested in helping others succeed, a book is a great way to share your expertise or what makes you and your organization special. For example, if you’ve built an amazing corporate culture where productivity blossoms and innovation flourishes, the “how” and “why” are good subjects for a book. And if you’ve been involved with several mergers and acquisitions, consider sharing what worked and what didn’t, and the lessons learned along the way.
Whatever your story, the key is having a reason to share it with others. The bottom line: It’s your story. Make it count.
There are lots of ways to run a successful dental practice, which became one of the biggest challenges facing Steve Bilt and his leadership team as they contemplated the future of Smile Brands Group Inc.
“Defining a simple agenda that supports what your customer wants and needs, understanding who that customer is and then delivering that value has been a big challenge,” says Bilt, the $600 million company’s co-founder, president and CEO.
“I could look inside the 400 different units we support and say, ‘OK, you can find every model under the sun in some way, shape or form working. But if we’re going to continue to expand and refine our services and systems to better serve and support those units, there has to be more consistency in what we do.’”
It’s a question that any business with units spread across the country or around the world must answer for itself. Bilt says it’s only getting harder to come up with the right answer because the market and customer needs are constantly evolving.
“So what may have been a focused-enough strategy five years ago is a path to doom five years from now,” Bilt says.
But as the members of Bilt’s team began to wrap their minds around what needed to be done for the company’s 3,800 employees, more than 1,300 affiliated doctors and hygienists, and their patients, they kept coming back to one philosophical belief.
“There’s no one absolutely right answer, but the right answer is one answer,” Bilt says. “If you think that through, it’s not saying my way is better than your way. You don’t have to make that call. You just have to say, ‘Look. We have to decide on one way, which might be a hybrid of models with each of us bringing something to the table.
“‘But what we have to do as a team is decide on one way and pursue that one way and make sure our systems support that one way and our talk and our attitude and everything we do down to our DNA supports that one way of us adding value into the marketplace.’”
Provide the best service
The operational evolution at Smile Brands was a four-year process that included a number of different opinions, ideas and suggestions. But one of the core ideals that the group settled on was finding the best way to harness all the dental skill that existed in the organization in order for customers to receive the best care.
“We used to say let’s just create a cocoon of support around this doctor so they can just be a doctor, period,” Bilt says. “Don’t have any other level of resource for them other than the fact that they get all the freedom to be a doctor.”
The problem with that type of practice in today’s world is it wastes so much potential to share expertise and solve problems.
“Any peer group is going to have some people who excel at one thing and have a lot of experience,” Bilt says. “But if you’re out in the dental office by yourself staring at a problem you haven’t seen before, you say, ‘Oh boy, I’ll figure this out by trial and error,’ which is what you would do 15 years ago. Or you’d pick up the phone and say, ‘Here’s what I’m looking at. What do you think?’”
Bilt felt Smile Brands had the capability and thus needed to make it possible for dentists who encountered these unique problems to be able to connect with a colleague in real time and reach a solution in minutes.
“There’s this opportunity in this digital age to create an incredible peer group in a lonely profession,” Bilt says.
The ability to use technology to solve problems or even for training purposes was just something that was too good to pass up. And the best part, Bilt says, is that the integration of the right technology at Smile Brands would also reduce expenses.
“The customer has somebody who has access to stuff that is so much more powerful,” Bilt says. “That gives the doctor the ability to charge less, which is great for the consumer as well. The combination of doctors being able to be just dentists so that they can see more patients means they have an ability to charge less because they have higher volume, and all the technology helps them lever their cost structure down.”
You get a great idea for your business and everyone is energized to make it happen. It’s at this point where trouble can be lurking.
“We all love that rush of the initial front-end strategy planning and brainstorming session that we all do,” Bilt says. “What we don’t tend to love is the concept of change management and how do you get from here to there?”
It takes work and effort to make a change happen and some of that work can be painful. This can very easily lead to the drifting of attention away from one project that has suddenly become a lot of work to another project that seems so much more fun to talk about.
“You allow another shiny strategic initiative to start while the change management and implementation of the prior one is incomplete,” Bilt says. “You don’t go back and measure whether the first shiny initiative did what it was supposed to do and then you get distracted with the next one and forget about ever measuring the prior one. That cycle can go on for decades. That gets people into a lot of trouble.”
One key to avoiding stress and keeping your organization focused is to let people who have expertise in certain areas apply that skill to get the work done and isolate the flaws before full implementation.
Listen to their needs, their suggestions and their feedback on the best way to implement your new system.
“The docs are our thoroughbreds, and we’re the plow horses,” Bilt says. “If we’re doing it right, the plow horses plow and the thoroughbreds run. That’s really the point of the model. Let them be the thoroughbreds they are and let us plow the fields or build the track. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Define what you want to accomplish and get it into a plan that everyone understands and agrees to. Make sure they are aware that while there will be highs and lows along the way, the end goal will make it all worthwhile.
“My role is to help provide some vision for what we’re trying to do,” Bilt says. “What do we hope to accomplish? I try to provide support for people executing it so that they can do it properly to make sure the phases are properly led, staffed and resourced to have some level of establishing accountability for the results of each phase.”
Be a good communicator
Another major step in the transformation of Smile Brands was figuring out how to roll out the changes at each of the 400 locations. Who goes first? Who needs the upgrade most? Which locations will be the hardest to change?
Bilt says there’s no perfect way to roll out a big change. But he says communication is always the key to making it work.
“Most people are less attached to the outcome that they want in terms of where they are in the order of priority than they are in understanding why you made the decision you made,” Bilt says. “I love to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. That shows respect for me. Then I want to know how I’m impacted. Are you getting to me and if you are, when? What should I expect?”
Bilt poses a scenario in which somebody might feel strongly that his or her location should be the first to be upgraded because it is the company’s most profitable unit.
“You could say, ‘You know what, I agree with you,’” Bilt says. “‘That’s why you’re going last. You are the best market. You want to go first because you’re the best. I’m saying you go last because I’m not going to mess with you. I can’t afford it and it’s too risky.
“‘So I’m going to the worst market because if we screw it up, it costs us the least.’ We could have the exact same rationale and the exact opposite conclusion.”
Explain to people your thought process behind the implementation of change and they’ll be much more likely to be onboard with you.
“You have to do it multiple ways,” Bilt says. “I always say the rule of three when it comes to communication. If you have a new concept or an important concept, you better give it three passes to get it communicated because there is always a gap between what we think we’re saying and what people are hearing.
“It just takes multiple passes to get it right and allow them to process it and understand it.”
As Bilt looks back on the process, he says there are always things that could have been done better.
“Everything is a journey,” Bilt says. “So how did we go along that journey and how did we carry ourselves and how did we perform and how did we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off when it got tougher than it was supposed to get? Those are the stories that make a career.”
How to reach: Smile Brands Group Inc.,
(714) 668-1300 or www.smilebrands.com
The Bilt File
co-founder, president and CEO
Smile Brands Group Inc.
Born: New York City
What was your very first job?
Delivering The Denver Post in the snow. Back then, it was a crazy job for a kid. You took capital risk. You had to buy your newspapers from the newspaper. You had to deliver them, collect your own money, then pay back your cost of the newspapers and you kept your margin. So if a grumpy old neighbor didn’t want to pay for the paper, it was the 13-year-old kid losing out and not the newspaper. So I learned a lot of lessons on that job.
Who has been your biggest influence?
I have to give a lot of early credit to my dad. He helped me when I was going to fall down too far in the newspaper job by helping me fold the Sunday paper or pull the cart through the snow when it was too deep to physically move it. He did help with that job to make sure I had some success or at least got that job done.
The other thing is he was really good about not knowing all the answers to the stuff he was dealing with in business. He’d actually bring up a lot of the questions he was facing at the dinner table and let me opine.
I got this notion that a business is a living, breathing thing that had to be managed and cared for and fed. It was very formative from that perspective to be able to hear and listen and participate in some of those conversations about what makes a business go and how does it go and how do you do it and how do you care for it?
Don’t try to do it all.
Communicate at every turn.
Finish the job.
Your ability to attract investments can make or break your business. Extra capital allows companies to expand their operations and find new customers. Most business owners do eventually reach the point where they need some sort of outside investment — whether it’s from family, a bank or an actual investor — to help them make major purchases and grow.
One of the most common ways for a business to get extra money is by incorporating and then selling stocks. Unlike a loan, issuing stock allows you to raise money without taking on additional debt.
But there are a few things you need to know before you look at raising capital for your business:
You will have to give up some control of your business.
Incorporating a business turns it into its own, separate legal entity. Your ownership of that entity is dependent on how much corporate stock you own. As you sell off that stock, you dilute the ownership of the company. Furthermore, when you incorporate, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the stockholders and the corporation.
The interests and desires of the stockholders likely coincide with your own — both parties want to see the business succeed and make money. Just remember that when you do begin to sell stock, you are empowering the holders of that stock to influence major business decisions. Before you begin selling stock, make sure you’re ready to take the opinions of your investors into serious consideration when you are running the company.
You will need actual data to back up your pitches to investors.
If you are at the stage where you are ready to start looking for investors to help you expand, chances are that your business has done pretty well. It’s not enough to point and say, ‘Look, we survived and made money!’ You need hard numbers and data — how much revenue is your business generating? What is your current revenue-to-debt ratio? How will this investment impact your future earnings?
Buying stock in a company is already a gamble because if the company doesn’t do well, the investment could be lost. So be ready to show potential investors that your company is in a position where it can create a good return on their investment.
You will have to pitch yourself, in addition to your company.
Everyone is “passionate” and “committed” about what they do when they run a business — investors have heard those buzzwords plenty of times already. Investors want to know who you are, what your credentials are, and why they should trust you with their money. Sell them on your experience, and the experience of anyone else helping to run the company.
If they are confident in you, they will be confident in your business and be much more willing to invest. Issuing stock and finding investors can be a jarring experience. Once you start selling that stock, you lose some control of your business, and suddenly the needs and demands of your investors must be taken into account when you make major business decisions.
You also have to be ready to prove the worth of both your company, and of yourself as one of the company’s directors. If you are ready to let go, and are prepared to pitch the heck out of your business, your employees and your own career history, you will find investors willing to roll the dice and put some of their own money into your business.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney
California’s health care exchange may see a flood of customers when it opens in 2014 — not only from people who have been uninsured but also many previously covered under employer-sponsored plans.
“What the policymakers are saying is different from what we’re hearing from businesses,” says DeVon Wiens, a partner in the Health Care Practice at Moss Adams LLP. “Policymakers don’t anticipate a big shift among employers away from providing coverage and toward letting employees go to the exchanges to purchase their own insurance.”
That’s likely true for larger employers with 1,000 employees or more who have enough critical mass to self-insure, he says. But it’s not the case with smaller businesses.
“Many employers may be sending up the white flag,” Wiens says. “Instead of spending $8,000-plus a year per employee, they’ll give them an equivalent increase in compensation and let them buy their own health insurance through the exchange. Some studies show that there won’t be a huge shift, but we see it more often than not among our clients.”
Smart Business spoke to Wiens about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions and how businesses are responding.
Why do you anticipate many people will buy insurance from the exchange?
Many small to midsize companies are waiting and watching — they don’t want to be the first to go to the exchange, but they’re not going to be last either. Once one or two companies in the same industry go to the exchange, the others will follow suit. This will only accelerate now that the employer mandate has been delayed a year. Essentially, it means businesses can drop coverage and send employees to the exchange without facing a penalty. This is more likely in industries that do not require a professional level workforce or for which current levels of available qualified candidates to fill open positions are hard to find.
Insurance companies clearly expect more people to flock to the exchange because they’re purchasing providers. United Healthcare through its affiliate, Optum Heathcare, and Humana recently acquired large medical groups in the California market, as well as others around the nation. If groups opt to go into the exchange, their commercial insurance business shrinks and insurance profits drop dramatically. They want to offset the loss by having more control over physicians and other providers, with closed networks similar to Kaiser Permanente. This consolidation will likely lead to access-to-care problems later for those not covered by commercial insurance, employer-sponsored plans or Medicare.
Will the exchanges be ready by 2014?
In 1982, California counties responsible for indigent care established the County Medical Services Program. They basically set up their own HMOs, and the program struggled mightily at first. Today most are well-run organizations.
It will be the same with the health care exchanges. After a few years, the exchanges likely will learn how to operate and more effectively administer the insurance products offered. They’ll probably have to reduce the number of coverage options to be efficient.
Over time a switch to a single-payer system is likely. Approximately 20 percent of the cost of health care is because we don’t have one system, one way to pay a claim. The lack of centralized control drives up costs. However, a single-payer system also adds costs by taking competition out of the insurance market. Still, pure economics dictate a shift to a single-payer system eventually, especially with a slow economy.
Will the exchanges lower health care costs?
They may bend the cost curve, but they won’t reduce costs. If you look at health care spending, the freight train coming at us isn’t the uninsured; it’s our aging population.
Regulation and market forces drive the health care market, and right now market forces are moving faster. But the ACA is here to stay, and the market will adjust to it. The smartest thing the government can do is outsource the work of the exchanges, like it does with Medicare, one of the smaller federal government departments. Medicare outsources most claims processing and auditing to private industry. If they approach the exchanges in the same way — set the ground rules for how health plans play, and let the private sector participate — over time they’ll figure out how to make this work.
DeVon Wiens is a partner, Health Care Practice, at Moss Adams LLP. Reach him at email@example.com.
Insights Accounting is brought to you by Moss Adams LLP
For 27 years, Ernst & Young has celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of men and women pursuing innovation and entrepreneurial excellence in their businesses, their teams and their communities. We are excited to announce that this year we received more than 1,600 national entries from some of the country's most well deserving entrepreneurs.
The blood, sweat and passion they’ve poured into their businesses and the triumphs they’ve achieved stand as a testament to the role they play as visionaries, leaders and innovators. Ernst & Young founded the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program to recognize this passion for excellence and to build an influential and innovative community of peers.
We have gathered here and in 25 other cities in the U.S. to welcome the men and women who are regional award recipients into our entrepreneurial Hall of Fame and to toast their commitment to succeed. We applaud them for launching their companies, opening new markets and fueling job growth.
So let’s celebrate their achievements, perseverance and tireless pursuit of business excellence.
John Belli, office managing partner, Ernst & Young, Orange County
Kim E. Letch, partner, Entrepreneur Of The Year program director, Orange County
Kathy Beckman, Entrepreneur Of The Year program manager, Orange County
Family Business Category
Real Estate & Hospitality
Retail & Consumer Products
Bala Iyer, Board Member
Life Technologies, QLogic, IHS,
Skyworks Solutions, Power Integrations
Prior Judge – 2009, 2012
Bruce Hallett, Managing Director
Miramar Venture Partners
Dan Lubeck, Managing Director/Founder
*Dean Yoost, Board Member
Union bank, Pacific Life, Emulex, Belden Inc.
Prior Judge – 2010, 2011
*Doug Ammerman, Board Member/Director
Fidelity, Stantec, William Lyon Homes, El Pollo Loco
Prior Judge – 2011, 2012
Gary Jabara, Founder & CEO
Prior Winner – 2012
National Winner - 2012
Glenn Schafer, Chairman
Janus Capital Group, Skilled Healthcare
Prior Judge – 2011, 2012
Matthew Jenusaitis, President & CEO
Prior Judge – 2012
- * Judge’s spokespeople
As executive vice president and CMO of Global Cash Card, Michael Purcell has faced both trouble and triumph throughout his journey as an entrepreneur, which began in the staffing industry.
It was during this time that Purcell realized there had to be a better way to distribute payroll to employees across the nation. Though this was uncharted territory, he knew that an electronic pay system would save time and money for employers and employees. This creative spark helped to transform a traditional staffing business into a cutting-edge business.
Breaking into the pay card industry was no easy feat. In its inception, no one knew what a pay card was or if it was even legal. There was no product, no demand and there were no clients. As time passed, the innovative idea of a pay card finally caught on, but there was still the challenge of client trust to overcome.
What sets Global Cash Card apart from its competitors is flexibility and client service. Off-the-shelf software does not fit the diversified needs of many companies. As a solution, Global Cash Card developed an in-house software system, and it is the only company in the industry that provides a live demo of the system.
Global Cash Card’s unique value is that there is no charge to the company to implement the system. The formula of success equals customer service and a flexible system is exemplified by the fact that the company has been able to acquire one new client every day for the last three years, with more than 15 percent coming from competitors.
The company continues to innovate and was the first company in its industry to create a mobile app and help companies become 100 percent paperless. As the company continues to grow, Purcell’s goal is to be at the forefront of the newest payroll technology.
How to reach: Global Cash Card, www.globalcashcard.com
Throughout Stephen Gordon’s distinguished 25-year financial and investment banking career, he’s served in executive leadership positions with rapidly growing and successful financial services firms focusing on investment banking, retail banking and commercial banking.
During the worst economic cycle in decades, Gordon recognized that the lack of available credit and liquidity was severely stifling the growth of small and midsize businesses and entrepreneurs, thereby impeding job growth, business expansion and economic recovery.
At the height of the financial crisis, through his vision, leadership and perseverance, Gordon raised millions of dollars to recapitalize a small bank based in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, which he rebranded as Opus Bank. Gordon, who is chairman, president and CEO of Opus, created a community bank with a clean balance sheet and positioned it to infuse capital funding and liquidity back into its local economies.
In the two years since its recapitalization, Opus Bank has grown tenfold to 54 locations in California and Washington. This success has resulted in Opus Bank becoming the fastest growing bank in the Western region.
The bank’s growth was aided by two rapid follow-on acquisitions and additional capital infusion, which required a clear vision and relentless focus on driving out inefficiencies and redundancies, while maintaining an unfailing focus on the client and the community. This growth has allowed Opus to provide billions of dollars in capital funding through 750 loans to small and midsize commercial businesses, entrepreneurs, real estate investors and professionals.
To achieve Gordon’s vision of returning to the old days of banking, where bankers respected their clients and clients relied on and respected their bankers, Opus has broadened its business lines to include advanced treasury management and payment solutions, fiduciary banking and other highly valued features that deliver efficiencies for clients. These business lines complement the bank’s more traditional business lines: retail banking, residential lending and income property banking.
How to reach: Opus Bank, www.opusbank.com
A large part of Anand Nallathambi’s career has been working for subsidiaries of insurance company First American Corp. He has held several executive and CEO positions over the years, and in 2010 he was appointed CEO of CoreLogic Inc. He guided the company through its separation from First American Corp. to become publicly traded.
Since the separation, Nallathambi has developed a world-class executive team and repositioned the company to be the leading provider of data services and solutions in its markets. Following the separation of CoreLogic from FAC, Nallathambi developed a bold strategy for transforming the company into a higher-growth, higher-margin leader.
The four key elements of this strategy included refocusing CoreLogic on its core operations, transforming the organization from a fragmented and distributed model to one integrated team, reshaping the cost structure and reducing costs, and reinvesting in products, services, technology and people.
As part of his plan to overhaul CoreLogic, positioning the company to lead in the markets it serves, Nallathambi reorganized the company into three core segments to further drive focus and accountability. The operating segments were Data and Analytics, Mortgage Origination Services, and Asset Management and Processing Solutions.
Over the course of 2011 and 2012, CoreLogic exited five non-core businesses and sold or exited numerous smaller units. Although these units collectively generated significant revenue, their business models lacked significant data, intellectual property and scalable returns to support Nallathambi’s long-term strategy.
To drive margin expansion and create funds to reinvest in the business, Nallathambi launched Project 30 — CoreLogic’s enterprise-wide productivity improvement program — to significantly reduce technology and corporate shared services costs. Through 2012, Project 30 has delivered $82 million in total savings.
Many of the company’s recent accomplishments are due to Nallathambi’s ability to build confidence in CoreLogic employees, clients and investors. He made difficult decisions to dramatically improve productivity and operational execution.
How to reach: CoreLogic Inc., www.corelogic.com
The goal of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is to be able to manage all customer touch points on one system to improve both the end user and consumer experience — and Jonathan Ord is an expert in it.
Ord had a friend in the automobile industry who expressed frustration with the multiple systems he was using to track one customer at his dealership. Through continued conversations with this friend, Ord went to work creating a CRM for the dealership space. In 2001, Ord co-founded DealerSocket Inc. with the goal of helping auto dealers manage every interaction and touch point with their customers on one platform.
In order to put his vision and plan into motion, Ord, who is also CEO, took out a mortgage on his home and started DealerSocket in his garage. Initially his customers felt the software didn’t interface well with the sales force on the floor. Thus, he offered to work without pay at a dealership for a year to gain a better understanding of his customers’ needs.
Ord aspired to help the automotive industry and make all customers fans of DealerSocket and its products. In the first year of business, 15 clients were signed, and in the second year, the number grew to 38. Today, DealerSocket serves more than 3,000 dealers in the U.S., Canada and Australia, and supports 100,000 active users.
Even during the near collapse of the automotive industry from 2006 to 2008, Ord continued to improve his products so that dealers could survive and carry on. As a result of its persistence, DealerSocket now has 20 percent U.S. market penetration and is striving for more.
The vision and plan for DealerSocket is to continue to be the No. 1 CRM for auto dealerships through customizing CRM for large dealer groups, expanding into other countries, and developing or acquiring products that make sense for the company’s software suite.
How to reach: DealerSocket Inc., www.dealersocket.com
In 2009, Dominic Gallello was tasked to turn around a company known for expensive and difficult-to-use software. The mismanaged and ailing MSC Software, founded in 1963 to assist with simulations for the space program, had not updated its products in far too long, customer churn rates were high, and there was no spark at the company.
Gallello set out to build and communicate to employees a comprehensive strategy framework that reduced general and administrative expenses from 19 to 11 percent in the first year. He cut $40 million from operating expenses in his first two years. Gallello expanded R&D by 40 percent, brought on more than 40 doctorate-degreed employees through hiring and acquisition, and initiated the development of a next generation computer aided engineering (CAE) system to be brought to market this year.
In less than five years as CEO and president, the company has embraced his vision, and his team is highly motivated to develop the solutions for existing and new customers. At MSC, he leveraged the synergy between the improved morale and the new technology to help customers change the world — which is precisely what the company is doing: The company was instrumental in simulations of the entry descent and landing for the Mars Rover Curiosity mission.
Gallello introduced a culture of “You never stop learning at MSC.” He encouraged managers and individual contributors to pursue professional development and funded their efforts.
He started a high-potential employee program (“Managing your Career”) to build future leaders and a management development program (“Managing by Influence”). Gallello believes that personal success should be celebrated, but must also come with responsibility.
He and his family have personally funded construction of five orphanages in Romania in the past five years and they call more than 100 children their own. Gallello also is funding the development of a farm in Romania for teenagers who cannot find jobs after high school.
How to reach: MSC Software Corp., www.mscsoftware.com