John Mohahon

New Podcast Series: Episode Four

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In this fourth episode of our podcast series titled “Pithy Conversations with CEOs,” Trusted Counsel’s Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon speak to Erik Bush, CEO and Founder of Demand Driven Technologies (DD Tech). Founded in 2011, DD Tech specializes in cloud-based supply chain software solutions. With over 80 enterprises, today DD Tech has a global presence and a deep channel partner network.

Bush attributes his company success to be the first in the industry to adopt Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (MRP) when it was introduced to the marketplace in 2011. The new methodology goes into their replenishment solution. With the new MRP model, the logic addresses the needs of manufacturers to plan both their inventories and materials out in a time phased manner. The old MRP model was much more dependent on forecasts. Bush said, “This Demand Driven MRP movement has really taken the market by storm. Clients get real value out of it and they find that they’re far less dependent on things like Microsoft Excel, which believe it or not a lot of the big companies around the world are still using as their inventory planning tool. So as a result, we’re giving clients much better results.” Today, DD Tech is the leading provider of the compliant supply chain solutions. Last year, the company was selected as a Venture Atlanta Presenting Company, the Southeast’s premier event for connecting technology innovation and investment capital.

Prior to founding DD Tech, Bush retired from IBM (2010) after 31 years with the company, the majority in executive management roles. He told us during the podcast, “When I retired, I thought I might do something entrepreneurial, because I’ve always had the itch to go out and try my luck at that.” A year later, he started DD Tech. Bush stressed over and over in the interview that the company really takes a lot of pride in delivering real value to the customer and that they solve problems for the customer.

During the course of the podcast CEOs, business owners, and C-level executives will learn:

  • What led Bush to form DD Tech after he retired from IBM

  • DD Techs process for raising venture capital

  • Bush’s sales lessons

  • KPI’s Bush follows closely every month

  • Pithy advice to new CEOs

    Don’t miss a single episode of our podcast show. Subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on Apple iTunes and on Google Play to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

ServiceCentral Technologies, Inc. - Growth Through Acquisition

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In this episode, Trusted Counsel’s Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon spoke to Steve Teel, President and CEO of ServiceCentral Technologies, Inc. ServiceCentral was founded in 1991 and is a private company headquartered in Atlanta, GA. The company provides web-based reverse logistics, service and repair management software solutions to companies to transform the after-sales service of product into a profit stream. ServiceCentral has gone through two acquisitions; the first in 2005, the second in 2017. As a result, their employee base has grown by 30% and the company has increased revenue by 50% (some of which is attributed to the joint venture opportunities their software enabled).   

Steve has been in the IT business for approximately 25 years starting his career as a software developer. He joined ServiceCentral in early 2000’s. In the years leading up to the second acquisition in 2017, he made the strategic decision to focus mainly on making the customer experience side of service management more efficient. The factors weighing on his decision were marketplace changes, industry consolidation, and the desire to keep fickle customers loyal to the business. At work, the topic of discussion became building new applications in-house versus a business acquisition. Steve said, “these meetings got us to the idea that we could acquire Brickwire (whom they had a relationship with) and their technology platform could propel us into this service area where we wanted to improve for our customers versus building it in-house.” 

It's been a year since ServiceCentral’s acquisition of Brickwire and Steve told us that the acquisition has been beyond their best-case scenario. There’s good cultural fit between both teams and they work very well together. In addition, the products are complimentary of each other and do extremely well in the marketplace. The acquisition has allowed ServiceCentral to gain better awareness in the marketplace, and now the new team is working closely on the concept of providing the customer end to end service management solution that they call “service network.” Steve said, “we’re getting a lot of traction in the industry that I didn’t think we would’ve had, had we not done the deal.”

During the course of the podcast, CEOs, business owners, and C-level executives will learn:

  • How ServiceCentral found the businesses it decided to acquire

  • The proactive steps that ServiceCentral took to address cultural differences post-acquisition

  • Questions every founder and or CEO needs to ask prior to considering an acquisition

  • Sage wisdom to listeners considering an acquisition

  • Where Steve sees ServiceCentral going in the next few years

Don’t miss a single episode of our podcast show. Subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes and now on Google Play to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

Growth Through Acquisition

“After our first successful acquisition we more than doubled the size of our organization in less than two years.”

“After our first successful acquisition we more than doubled the size of our organization in less than two years.”

A key component of Accusoft’s strategy for growth has been through acquisition. In this episode, Trusted Counsel’s Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon spoke to Jack Berlin, CEO of Accusoft. Accusoft is a leading document and imaging software company based in Tampa, Florida. Founded in 1991 as Pegasus Imaging Corporation, it’s a privately held company that has grown to approximately 160 employees. The company has gone through several acquisitions and now provides a wide array of technology solutions to developers worldwide. 

Looking back, the early days for Accusoft, were tough. In fact, two of Jack’s four business partners were gone within the first 18 months of founding the company. When the business plan nearly failed, the company had to reconsider the big picture. In order to stay afloat, it was decided to embark on the acquisition path. Along the way, the brand was reinvented several times, the service side was dissolved and a focus on technology became the number one priority. Jack said, “…by combining into a larger entity we would have more market clout, build a better business and a faster growing business, and lastly a more profitable business under the same roof.” Since their first transaction in 1997, Accusoft has completed multiple acquisitions.

“Out of all of the acquisitions that we did, the 2004 acquisition of TMSSequoia was one of the scariest things I ever did in my life, but in retrospect, it was one of the smartest things I did,” Jack said. His team knew it would be a smart deal. At the time, TMSSequoia was a public company and its history can be summed up as a merger gone bad. It had gone through five presidents in six years and was poorly managed, hence the negotiations for Accusoft were fairly easy. The transaction created major customer extension opportunities and access to top engineers for the company – and made Jack and his executive team understand the value and importance of growth through acquisition.  

This was a terrific discussion as Jack walked us through each and every acquisition. During the course of the podcast, CEOs, business owners, and C-level executives will learn:

  • The acquisition challenges that Accusoft faced

  • Lessons learned from three deals that actually never closed

  • Accusoft’s strategy for finding businesses to acquire

  • Accusoft’s communication strategy regarding employee change management

Don’t miss a single episode of our podcast show. Subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes and now on Google Play to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

New Podcast Series: Episode 2

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In this episode, second of a new series titled “Pithy Conversations with CEOs,” Trusted Counsel’s Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon speak to Liz Harvey, CEO of Island Windjammers. Island Windjammers provides cruises in the Eastern Caribbean to seasoned travelers, the kind who’d likely turn their back on overcrowded massive impersonal cruise lines. Liz's guests cruise on any of the three Island Windjammer’s ships; Diamant, Sagitta, or Vela, and happily spend their recreational dollars for the experience of smaller ships (10 – 26 guests). Experiences include; visits to smaller islands in the Caribbean, exploring quaint villages, and having more personal activities such as snorkeling and beach barbecues. 

Incorporated in 2008 by principal founder Liz and a small group of investors, today, a large part of the ships fan base have invested in the company under Rule 506(c). We commented to Liz (whose past full-time job was as an operating room nurse) the idea that she’s raised capital in a very innovative way. Liz simply shrugged her shoulders and stated simply “Well, I’d never raised money before so I didn’t know how it was done. I just did it one way.”

The conversation with Trusted Counsel revolved around how Liz started the business, what she’s learned with respect to running a seasonal business, virtual management, and her sharp focus on the future. Success for Island Windjammers is all three ships averaging 80 percent or better occupancy over the course of the year. In 2017, when Caribbean tourism drastically decreased due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, survival was difficult for Island Windjammers. Rather than throwing her hands up in the air and doing nothing, Liz and her team started a GoFundMe page. Using the small yacht, she and her team collected and sent relief items to ravished islands, and anything to help out. “Those are our friends out there too.  Friends of our crew member’s families, it really hit pretty close to home,” Liz told us. 

When Liz is not busy managing her business virtually, you can find her at Roswell Surgery Center in Georgia. Yes, she’s still an operating room nurse who’s always willing to help, although she’s no longer working there full-time.    

During the course of the podcast, CEOs, business owners, and C-level executives will learn:

  • What led Liz to form Island Windjammers
  • Her best tactic for marketing the business
  • How she's able to manage her team virtually from the United States
  • Her experience with fundraising and taking advantage of Rule 506(c) 
  • How she managed to solidify her business when 2017 hurricanes hit hard and nearly decimated her ships and the business

Don’t miss a single episode of our podcast show. Subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes and now on Google Play to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

New Podcast Series

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In this first episode of a new series titled “Pithy Conversations with CEOs,” Trusted Counsel’s Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon spoke to Moira Vetter, CEO and Founder of Modo Modo Agency, an award winning creative marketing firm with deep experience in B2B and complex go-to-market challenges. Moira’s business career began when she entered the corporate world as a temp where she was placed in a high growth technology company. She stated, “I was a very formative creature and I really had a great opportunity to come up under some interesting leaders.”

Two decades later, in 2007, Moira went on to establish Modo Modo. Today her agency is an Inc. 5,000 firm and she has aggressive plans to grow to $10 million in revenue and employee 100 people by 2023. As of this writing, Modo Modo has 26 employees. Moira is a weekly contributor of Forbes and the author of AdVenture, An Outsider’s Inside View of Getting an Entrepreneur to Market. She is a past president of American Marketing Association, a founding member of a social change action tank, and serves on Zoo Atlanta  Leadership Council.

The conversation with Trusted Counsel revolved around the company culture, the management team and how they are growing the company. Her role today is changing as she approaches a milestone birthday (she wants to coach and mentor more). With that in mind, she’s charged her team with planning and scaling the agency. Lastly, Moira gave us her pithy brutal advice to new CEOs out there, but ended it on a very positive note. Her parting thoughts were, “When you create your own company, absolutely anything is possible right? You truly can create, it’s the American dream. You cannot do it when you are working for someone else, it is an opportunity. It is the point, right? It was the point for me.”

During the course of the podcast CEOs, business owners, and C-level executives will learn:

  • What led Moira to form Modo Modo
  • Why Modo Modo's company culture of high performance works
  • What's changing in her CEO role as she approaches a milestone birthday
  • Her aggressive plans to grow the company
  • Moira's advice for new CEOs

Don’t miss a single episode of our podcast show. Subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes and now of Google Play to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.