I’ve anticipated this problem by imitating the river flow and the results exceeded my expectations.
I grew up in a small town in Northern Greece. My Mathematician father taught me how to solve difficult problems, breaking them into smaller ones.
I went to the University in Greece and then I earned my MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona, working as research and teaching assistant.
When I came back to Greece I worked for various small and medium sized companies most of them unorganized and family owned.
I had the luck to work for industrial as well as trading and service providing companies and I started as middle manager.
The last years I climbed to top management never forgetting the feelings of unjustified and subjective decisions.
I also had the opportunity to work for a company owned by 2 brothers. One of them wanted yearly results in one page and the other in 50 pages.
I am currently consulting organizations in productivity increase and commercial policies.
The past 17 years, I’ve been working for small and medium sized companies (industrial, retail and services sector) as a middle and top level manager and I realized the following malfunctions in management:
- Middle management is usually the major obstacle for change.
- People in power tend to hide their mistakes and load them to their subordinates.
- Promotion in the organization is usually based on subjective (and many times unethical) criteria.
Being a C-suite member has given me the opportunity to understand the reason for these phenomena.
They are happening mostly because transactions between people in an organization are not transparent and the top level management is not aware of them.
Although the Database management systems like ERP, CRM and others tried to reduce the amount of hidden information they resulted to information overload from the quantitative perspective and they perplexed the situation in favor of the people who paid more attention on showing than on acting.
On the other hand tacit information has never been anticipated in those systems as the McKinsey article, “Competitive advantage from better interactions (2006 number 2)” shows.
Therefore, in order to have better management we need better information.
- They do not allow managers to manipulate dates and responsible persons,
- They incorporate all directions and work loads given by superiors to subordinates.
- They follow the logical path of the user and the organizational procedures.
- They provide easy traceability from top to bottom.
- They provide all tacit information in an easy and intuitive manner.
- They provide the top manager the ability to change easily the hierarchy.
- They export all data in EXCEL sheets so that managers can create any report they like depending on their analytical abilities.
- They are based on 3 tables only allowing flexibility in programming and fast customization.
- They are web based; thus reduce operational expenses and give freedom to users.
I called this application Database Flow System (DFS) because it helps the data to flow throughout the organization, rather than stocking between front line employees and middle management.
The major challenge is to convince top managers and owners to spent money on something that is revolutionary.
The implementation phase is so easy that we face no obstacles at all.
Technological challenges do not exist since the application demands minimum requirements.
The past 16 years I am trying to build such a DMS and although I haven’t completely finish it, I can say that the systems currently running have given the companies the ability to move forward like a river.
I’ve build 6 applications but the last 2 leaped forward in terms of procedures management with the help of my partner.
The last 2 applications have the following results:
- The first application gave the opportunity to the owner of the company to make objective decisions regarding his personnel for the first time and also to realize his mistakes in marketing (specifically in product line and pricing).
- The second application provided the young general manager the tools to start managing her company in a way she couldn’t imagine. It helped her to organize her daily activities as well as to schedule and control the activities of the rest of the employees.
- Both applications are handling not only quantitative information (sales, purchases, cash flow e.t.a.) but also tacit information regarding sales activities, contacting clients and controlling the performance of the employees.
- Both applications implemented in the companies with less than half hour training because they are intuitive in use.
- Both applications have replaced all other DMS and most of emails between personnel.
- The last application is controlling all aspects of the company except accounting.
In order to create a fair management system we must not allow certain information to be manipulated by anyone.
Therefore, the designer should incorporate the thinking of 37signals which is restricting the application's capabilities.