Business Chief USA March 2020

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The evolution of aerospace and defence technology

HHH USA

EDITION

MARCH 2020

www.businesschief.com

Driving security

benefits for the

wider industry

INTRODUCING

DEVSECOPS

AT SCALE

Larry Maccherone on

the growth of DevSecOps

in media and tech

City

Focus

NEW YORK


FOREWORD

W

elcome to the January edition

of Business Chief USA!

This month’s cover features Larry

Maccherone, Distinguished Engineer of

Comcast, who measures the influence

DevSecOps has on one of the world’s

biggest telecommunications companies.

Other leaders that feature in this

magazine include Alan Avakian, Senior

Director of IT and John Jackson,

Chief Information Officer at Aerojet

Rocketdyne who - since we last spoke

with in 2018 - discusses the company’s

innovative digital transformation

journey. As well as William ‘Bill’ Giard,

Chief Technology Officer at Intel

explaining the ways in which the

company’s industry leading approach

to security will benefit the wider

industry, and Vincent Moorehead,

Senior Director of Strategic

Procurement and Supply Chain at

Success Academy Charter Schools,

discussing the institutes digital

transformation in New York City.

Elsewhere within the magazine,

Calvin Carter, CEO of Bottle Rocket

discusses how the technology and

software industry is being disrupted

by Generation Z.

In addition, this month’s City Focus

explores New York City borough-byborough

to discover how each

component works together to build

its economic powerhouse, while our

Top 10 takes a look at the top 10

most valuable NFL franchises in the

United States.

Do you have a story to share?

If you would like to be featured in an

upcoming issue of Business Chief

USA, please get in touch at georgia.

wilson@bizclikmedia.com

Enjoy the read!

Georgia Wilson

03

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PUBLISHED BY


CONTENTS

10

36

Technology and

Software: riding

the disruptive

wave of Gen Z

46


54

64

76

City Focus

NEW YORK

86


102

Aerojet Rocketdyne

120

Intel Corporation

132

Success Academy

Charter Schools

150

Pura Vida

Bracelets

164

CodeBlue


186

Radius Bank

200

Plymouth Rock

Assurance

228

DC Blox

212

Great Southwestern

Construction


10

Comcast:

Introducing

DevSecOps

at scale

WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG KILLINGBACK

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

11


COMCAST

Larry Maccherone, Distinguished

Engineer of Comcast, discusses

DevSecOps’ growing influence

on one of the world’s biggest

telecommunications companies

12

A

s a global leader in media and technology,

Comcast is the parent organisation

of three primary businesses: Comcast Cable,

NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast has more than

55 million subscribers, with Sky renowned as

one of Europe’s leading entertainment companies

operating in seven territories and Comcast

Cable recognised as one of the biggest cable

TV, high-speed internet, and phone providers

in the United States. Sitting down in the new

Comcast Technology Centre at its headquarters

in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Larry Maccherone,

Distinguished Engineer of Comcast Cable,

shared how the company is uniquely positioned

for success in their agile approach to achieving

a DevSecOps cultural transformation.

Maccherone’s professional background heavily

revolves around data analytics and Lean-Agile,

and he started his first business while still an

undergraduate at university. “I’ve been a serial

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

13


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16

“I believe that if you’re doing

DevOps right, then the security

part is just automatically

included”


Larry Maccherone,

Distinguished Engineer, Comcast

entrepreneur throughout my entire

career. My first business had 80

employees and made US$20mn

annually in sales,” explains

Maccherone. “We were writing software

that controlled a large portion

of the world’s power generation,

and it meant that if hackers exploited

a vulnerability in the software, then

it potentially brought down the

world’s power grid. We got really

skilled at writing software that didn’t

have exploitable vulnerabilities.”

MARCH 2020


DevSec

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:07

17

Upon joining Comcast in June

2016, Maccherone became responsible

for overseeing the company’s

DevSecOps transformation. “I have

a love/hate relationship with the

term DevSecOps. I believe that if

you’re doing DevOps right, then

the security part is automatically

included,” he explains. “You don’t

call it DevTestOps or DevPlanningOps,

it’s just DevOps. However, what

I do like about DevSecOps is the

emphasis on security. My definition

of DevOps and DevSecOps is

essentially the same. I define both

as empowered engineering teams

taking ownership of how their products

perform in production, including

security. When you get development

teams owning the problem, you

get a fundamental difference in

decision making.”

Since its creation over a decade

ago, DevOps has become a vital

component of how companies operate.

Building upon the foundations

of the agile movement, DevOps leverages

automation, for quality and

security testing as well as for formerly

manual deployment and

www.businesschief.com


You change the

world, we’ll

secure it.

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digital world. And we believe in

focusing on your security.

So you can focus on your

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So you can confidently create

the software that helps move

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your story.


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Cox Automotive’s vision -- to

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COMCAST

operations activities, in a bid to introduce

software into production at

speed. The primary goal of any

DevSecOps initiative is to enable

development teams to change their

mindset and adopt security practices

into their daily activities.

However, Maccherone believes

it’s impossible without healthy collaboration

and mutual trust. In order

to achieve that level of trust,

Maccherone introduced a trust algorithm.

“The trust formula has three

terms combined in the numerator:

credibility + reliability + empathy

which are all divided by apparent

self-interest,” he explains. “It’s important

that the apparent self-interest

is as small as possible, with an

emphasis on shared interests.”

20

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Larry Maccherone

Larry Maccherone is a Distinguished Engineer at Comcast where he

currently leads the DevSecOps transformation initiative. Previously,

Larry served as the Insights Product Line Director at Rally, where

he published the largest ever study correlating development team

practices with performance. Before that, Larry worked at

Carnegie Mellon with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI)

and CyLab conducting research on cybersecurity and software

engineering. While there, he co-led the launch of the Build-

Security-In initiative. He has also served as Principal Investigator

for the NSA’s Code Assessment Methodology Project, on the

Advisory Board for IARPA’s STONESOUP program, and as the

Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Labs

Fellow. He speaks and publishes regularly on

DevSecOps, Lean/Agile, and analytics and he is the

primary author of a dozen open source projects,

one of which gets 400,000 downloads per month.

MARCH 2020


21

Maccherone believes that understanding

and embracing each pillar

of the trust algorithm is vital to success

in DevSecOps. “Credibility

means that you know what you’re

talking about and it’s important that

you’re not just saying things for the

sake of it or repeating something

you’ve read,”

explains Maccherone.

“Writing code has

changed a lot

in five years.

DevOps was

in its early stages back then and

it’s fundamentally different now.

If you come into a meeting with those

old mindsets, make assumptions

and use outdated terminology, then

the development team will pick up

on that and you’ll lose credibility.

Reliability is the same regardless

of the context; it’s the old business

expectation of making and meeting

commitments. It’s important to follow

through and do what you say you

are going to do. Finally, empathy

is all about how much compassion

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“If you come into a meeting with those

old mindsets, make assumptions and

use outdated terminology, then the

development team will pick up on that

and you’ll lose credibility”


Larry Maccherone,

Distinguished Engineer, Comcast

you show, and the awareness of

how challenging something is.”

Following the foundation of the

trust algorithm, Maccherone believes

that it has successfully allowed for

increased efficiency and has ultimately

meant better decisions.

“Lots of security groups at other

large companies spend an inordinate

amount of time cajoling development

teams to do things,” he says. “The

reason they have to spend such

a considerable amount of time policing

is due to a lack of trust. Showing

empathy is crucial and it’s important

to acknowledge how difficult something

is to do. However, it’s also

fundamental to explain why you’re

trying to make the case that this risk

supersedes all of those challenges

and give the reasons why. It’s vital

that you aren’t dictating them.” The

importance of coaching rather than

policing is a key aspect of Comcast’s

strategy. The company also has

23

www.businesschief.com


50m lines

of code

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Checkmarx.com


WORKING@COMCAST

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:08

25

a programme in place that provides

immediate feedback to the development

team while also providing

aggregated metrics to guide coaching

efforts. “We created a workshop

where we sit down with the development

team, walk through the trust

formula and the company’s

DevSecOps practices and give

them a chance to internalise what

that practice means,” explains

Maccherone. “When someone feels

like they’re being forced into out-ofcontext

practices, their natural

reaction is to avoid them. That isn’t

what we want; we want them to reach

out and partner with us.”

Change management is a key

driver to Maccherone and Comcast’s

strategy. “The traditional way of

gathering a response was to produce

surveys. However, we found that

the behaviour didn’t change,” he says.

“We decided on a framework that

we can coach from and enable the

developers to reflect on whether

or not they meet the criteria. If we

send an email to them then we get

almost no response. However, if

we sit with them and allow them

www.businesschief.com


to ask questions directly then they

instantly start changing their behaviour.”

With any successful transformation

comes the challenge of recruiting

and retaining top talent, and

Maccherone believes it’s the most

challenging part of any business.

“It’s the key to any tech company,”

affirms Maccherone. “The HR

department that we have at Comcast

is fantastic. They really understand

the importance of exceptional talent.

Candidates want to have work that

is interesting, fun and challenging,

1963

Year founded

$108.9bn

Revenue in

US dollars (2019)

190,000

Number of

employees

27

www.businesschief.com


COMCAST

28

“Three years ago, I started

a Google alert on DevSecOps

and would get one hit a week

or even a month.

Now, I get 10-20 every day”


Larry Maccherone,

Distinguished Engineer, Comcast

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

29


LEARN MORE


Comcast Partners

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:01

31

in addition to working with peers

they respect.”

In a bid to achieve mutual success,

Comcast Cable has established

a number of key partnerships, such

as with WhiteSource, Vulcan Cyber,

Checkmarx, Go2Group, Contrast

Security, Synopsys, Bugcrowd and

Veracode. Maccherone recognises

the value of forming strategic, business

relationships in order to realise longterm

success. “We’re at the forefront

of DevSecOps, and lots of our vendors

see that,” says Maccherone. “We’re

constantly searching for vendors that

are trying to design their products

to fit in with the direction we’re going.”

Maccherone believes that without

developing such robust and longstanding

partnerships, the challenge

of reaching the level of success

Comcast has achieved would have

been significantly harder. “Our vendors

are a key to our success and we’re

extremely excited and happy with

the current set we have,” beams

Maccherone. “They align well with

our values and that’s been the differentiator

to finding ways to reduce our

security risk.”

www.businesschief.com


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“When someone feels like they’re

being policed, their natural reaction

is to avoid the police. That isn’t what

we want; we want them to reach out

and partner with us”


Larry Maccherone,

Distinguished Engineer, Comcast

DevSecOps has become a

hot topic in the technology space

in recent years and Maccherone

has observed its rapid rise

first-hand. “Three years ago,

I started a Google alert on

DevSecOps and would get

one hit a week or even

a month,” he says. “Now,

I get 10-20 every day

and we’re not even at the

steepest part of the adoption

curve for DevSecOps

yet.” In 2019, Comcast’s

goal was to scale the

DevSecOps programme,

the tech giant achieved

that by tripling the number

33

www.businesschief.com


35

of teams onboarded to the programme.

“By the end of 2020,

we aim to double that number again,

and I expect that will get us close

to the saturation point of all the

teams at Comcast. We’ve gone from

essentially launching the programme

to evolving, optimising and scaling

it to the point of saturation. After

we reach that saturation point,

I anticipate that we’ll add more

capability, tools and practices over

the next few years.”

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

36

Technology and

Software: riding

the disruptive

wave of Gen Z

Business Chief sits down with Calvin Carter,

CEO of Bottle Rocket to discuss how the

technology and software industry is being

disrupted by Generation Z

WRITTEN BY GEORGIA WILSON

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

37


LEADERSHIP

38

Mckinsey defines Generation Z as people

born from 1995 to 2010. This generation

is the first truly digital native generation

exposed to the internet, social media and technology

from an early age unlike Baby Boomers, Generation

X and Millennials who remember a time before the

internet was mainstream. Key traits of Generation Z

include connectivity, inquisitive, entrepreneurial and

brand-consciousness. Currently, Generation Z

comprises 32% of the 7.7bn global population (2019).

With this in mind, Business Chief speaks to Calvin

Carter, CEO of Bottle Rocket, which provides

end-to-end digital transformation services to improve

connectivity between businesses and consumers.

Carter discusses the changes, challenges and

benefits this new generation entering the work

environment will bring to the technology and

software industry.

WHAT ARE THE KEY TRENDS AND DISRUPTORS

WITHIN YOUR INDUSTRY AT THE MOMENT?

Within today’s evolving marketplaces, the brand

differentiators that have proved successful in the

past are no longer enough to set a company apart.

This new era has been dominated by a new type of

customer, emerging as a result of the digital literacy

that is now fed from Generation Z through to baby

boomers and beyond. The connected customer,

who interacts with brands through digital means,

MARCH 2020


“This new era has been

dominated by a new

type of customer,

emerging as a result

of the digital literacy”


Calvin Carter,

CEO, Bottle Rocket

39

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

40

is a new type of consumer who seeks

immediate, frictionless, and personalised

experiences. These demands make the

connected customer a huge disruptor in

any industry, and have spawned a host of

trends that companies must pay

attention to in order to grow their

business in the long-term. Providing a

seamless omnichannel experience,

investing in digital channels of

engagement, and tying such digital

transformation strategies to core goals

are now the basic expectations for any

firm, and those that are achieving

harmony between these aspects are

becoming disruptors themselves.

HOW DO YOU FEEL THE INDUSTRY

IS CHANGING AS A RESULT OF

GENERATION Z?

While 40% of baby boomers are

considered connected customers,

Gen Z stands at 80%, effectively making

any brand who wants to work with the

generation invest in a brand experience

that fits their connected lifestyle. Raised

using the internet, Gen Z is placing great

pressure on organisations to provide

digital experiences that exceed what’s

come before. Fundamentally, the way

businesses interact with both customers

MARCH 2020


70: The Origin of a Technology

Visionary — Calvin Carter — Founder & CEO,

Bottle Rocket Studios

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:29

41

and employees has been transformed

in ways that leverage technology.

Although deemed a difficult strategy

to execute, 67% of consumers say

they’ll pay more for a better experience,

therefore there are great benefits to

be reaped if businesses are willing

to adapt.

WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FEEL THE

INDUSTRY IS FACING AS A RESULT OF

GENERATION Z?

If a business is to demonstrate that they

are harnessing the changing needs of

their customers, they will need to invest

in more than simply a digital presence.

Yes, today’s Connected Customer

wants simple and convenient user

experiences but, in order to keep them

delighted, businesses need to ensure

these experiences are innovative.

The resulting challenge is the anticipation

of new needs and making them feel

that the customer experience was

designed just for them. For even the

most established or successful

businesses, failure to favour change

could result in brands joining the 52%

of the Fortune 500 that have gone

bankrupt since 2000.

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

42

WHAT DO YOU FEEL COMPANIES NEED

TO DO IN ORDER TO STAY AHEAD OF

FAST EVOLVING TRENDS AND NEW

GENERATIONS SUCH AS GENERATION Z?

Anticipating needs and desires, and

bringing them to market before

competitors, is the underlying strategy

all companies must have in place to

maintain momentum and further reach

the Generation Z market. With new

technologies emerging on a regular

basis, digital transformation is racing

ahead and, to keep up, businesses need

to purposefully blend each experience

across digital interfaces to create

a holistic journey. In order to provide

that seamless customer experience,

companies need to acknowledge every

touchpoint and link them to flow from

one device to another. This ultimately

reduces, or even eliminates, the

likelihood of Generation Z finding flaws

and looking to competitors who fully

accommodate their needs.

To better premeditate the next set of

needs to emerge, businesses inevitably

need contextual data that allows for

more personalised features. 53% of

consumers are looking forward to

artificial intelligence (AI) making brand

MARCH 2020


interactions a better experience,

therefore companies need to purposefully

harness the technology to achieve

meaningful connections with customers.

By tracking data analytics and customer

pain-points, businesses can build

technology-enabled solutions that

satisfy customers and in turn produce

undeniable value for the company.

“Raised using the

internet, Gen Z is

placing great pressure

on organisations

to provide digital

experiences that

exceed what

came before”


Calvin Carter,

CEO, Bottle Rocket

WHICH INDUSTRIES DO YOU SEE BEING

IMPACTED THE MOST BY GENERATION Z?

In knowing exactly what they want,

when they want it, and how, Generation

Z do not judge brands against direct

competitors in any specific industry.

In fact, those who fail to receive a

superior experience will not hesitate

to switch to any other company that

can fill that gap. It is impossible in

today’s concentrated business

environment to think of a sector that is

immune to the ever-evolving demands

resulting from digital disruption.

HOW DO YOU FEEL WORK

ENVIRONMENTS WILL BE AFFECTED

BY GENERATION Z?

Forming the newest wave of young

professionals, 40% of the US workforce

43

www.businesschief.com


LEADERSHIP

44

will be comprised of Generation Z this

year, undoubtedly having an impact

on company culture and internal

processes. As digital disruption takes

force, the need for immediacy and

connectivity replicates in work settings.

This demographic responds by seeking

active engagement in conversations

around culture and wanting to be a part

of an immersive environment — both

verbally and spatially. These employees

take the time to understand ‘why’ and

ask a lot of questions, which may be

deemed a challenge for business

leaders, but is needed to reduce churn

and for the entire business to grow.

WHY DO YOU FEEL IT IS

IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESS TO

FOCUS ON THIS GENERATION?

Positioned as disruptors to the global

workforce, it should be a priority for

companies to harness the talents and

expertise of Generation Z. In the same

way that it is crucial to cater to the

needs of post-Millennial consumers,

MARCH 2020


“Forming the newest wave of young

professionals, 40% of the US workforce will

be comprised of Generation Z this year”


Calvin Carter,

CEO, Bottle Rocket

business leaders must also focus their

resources on maximising the potential

of this workforce demographic.

Traditionally, team members are

delegated tasks and are only deemed

successful based on their ability to

get as many tasks completed, or

boxes ticked, as possible. Nowadays,

Generation Z employees define

success differently, and view career

progression as a team effort. Within

this, leaders should understand that

what they build internally has an impact

on the marketplace. Recognition,

awards, and compensation rather than

simply clocking-out invites long-term

rewards and retention.

come together to build amazing

things together, regardless of their

age, ethnicity, gender, background

or belief systems. So you could say

we are predisposed to being attractive

to the Generation Z workforce.

Gen Z and Millennials demand

authenticity, transparency and

vulnerability, which are all things

most companies struggle with and

make executives uncomfortable.

We have had to become more and

more transparent and vulnerable

with our Rocketeers as our workforce

continues to be filled more and

more by more recent generations

of professionals. The good news

is that we already had this mindset,

but we had to amp it up and get

very real with our Rocketeers.

45

HOW HAS BOTTLE ROCKET BEEN

IMPACTED BY GENERATION Z?

Bottle Rocket’s culture has always been

a place where the best and the brightest

www.businesschief.com


TECHNOLOGY

46

MARCH 2020


Cleansing

the complex

Cleansing CRM data doesn’t have to

be an overwhelming task - it can be

an easy, manageable and efficient

process, as Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO of

People.ai explains

WRITTEN BY OLEG ROGYNSKYY

47

www.businesschief.com


TECHNOLOGY

48

The origin of Customer Relationship

Management (CRM) can be traced back

to the 1990s, when companies such as

Siebel helped gradually drive the evolution

of contact management software towards

CRM systems. Previously, CRMs were built on

hierarchical databases, but these have since

been wiped out by SQL (Structured Query

Language) CRMs. Since then, the likes of

Salesforce have moved SQL CRM into the cloud,

but the problems that inhibited the platforms 20

years ago, such as inaccurate, incomplete and

untrustworthy data, still exist today.

This is a problem that limits the true potential of

CRM software. The technology was built for static

data while today’s business data is, in fact, very

dynamic. Information is constantly developing and

so can quickly become outdated. The current use

of CRM is like using flipbooks to try to watch a

movie: the method has become obsolete and overtaken

by newer, more efficient forms of technology.

The main issue is that modern CRM platforms,

despite their sophistication, focus primarily on

processing and consuming data instead of collecting

and keeping it accurate. According to Ben

Horowitz, we have witnessed the demise of systems

of record from the rise of AI. CRMs were built

in the point-in-time sales world, meaning that they

were built in the days of one-time sales, where

MARCH 2020


“Today’s business

data is, in fact,

very dynamic”

Oleg Rogynskyy,

CEO and Founder, People.ai

49

activity data and the dynamic nature

of contacts didn’t matter. Since then

the world has transitioned into a continuous

sales world, leading companies

like Zuora and Gainsight to try to

fix the point-in-time nature of CRM

and successfully address data inaccuracy

and duplication.

SPECIALISED TOOLS

A ‘CRM Scan’ can quickly identify

data quality metrics and incorporate

them into an overall metric called the

www.businesschief.com


TECHNOLOGY

“We have witnessed the

demise of systems of

record from the rise of AI”

Oleg Rogynskyy,

CEO and Founder, People.ai

50

‘CRM Health Score’, revealing where

efforts need to be focused. This

assessment sheds light on CRM fitness

and, when combined with a

strong understanding of how sales

and marketing teams are using the

activity data, elevates confidence in

prioritising efforts to improve the

CRM system.

Within this process, it is paramount

to focus on three primary

dimensions of CRM data quality to

establish the baseline:

1. Is the activity data complete?

2. Is there a single representation of

the activity data?

3. Does the activity data correctly

represent the real world?

Although it is possible to create the

metrics internally, this would take several

weeks. Not only does this discourage

teams who are investing

significant time in this work, but it also

paralyses them as they often don’t

know where to start or whether their

efforts are making a difference.

MARCH 2020


How Cogniance

Enables Their Sales Team

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:18

51

IMPORTANT FIRST STEPS

Identifying data duplication is another

hurdle that can undermine productivity.

Duplication is typically due to a

lack of standard and unique identifiers

for companies and the people that

work for them. Despite the use of

common proxies, including web

domain and email addresses, these

are often not unique, as the names of

companies and people can change or

have variations. To tackle duplicates,

businesses need to:

1. DEFINE DUPLICATES

The first step is to define what is considered

a duplicate. For instance, in

contacts and leads this can be email

address matches, identical name

matches and account associations.

2. SET UP PREVENTATIVE DEDUPE

RULES IN THE CRM

Businesses should then use fea-

tures established by Salesforce to

block and prevent the creation of

duplicate records.

www.businesschief.com


TECHNOLOGY

3. IDENTIFY AND CLEAN EXISTING

DATA DUPLICATES

The ‘CRM Scan’ can be used to identify

duplicates and clean them up.

This requires some planning based on

the CRM system in use. There are

specialised tools that make this process

easier, but in some cases it can

be a good step to reinforce the process

by taking it offline to use

spreadsheet analysis.

52

4. IMPLEMENT ONGOING MONITORING

FOR NEW DUPLICATES

Once data duplicates have been identified

and cleaned, it is important to

set up preventative de-duplication

rules in the CRM platform to monitor

and repair duplicates.

QUICK, VISIBLE RESULTS

Specialised scan tools, custom

reports and dashboards are used to

identify, clean and enrich data. This

focuses on finding invalid data, such

as digits or special characters in

contact names, email addresses,

web domains and incomplete mailing

addresses. This can be done by

combining spreadsheets and simple

MARCH 2020


“Organisations need to

set targets that are tied

to business priorities”

Oleg Rogynskyy,

CEO and Founder, People.ai

scripts to build update files for a

CRM loader, as well as using a database

built for this purpose.

The timescale of this process varies

depending on data quantities, the

number of duplicates and the amount

of data that needs cleansing. With

the right tools, reliable measurement

and ongoing commitment, results can

be visible almost immediately.

In order to achieve this, organisations

need to set targets that are tied

to business priorities. This will enable

businesses to communicate results,

rebuild trust in the data and celebrate

milestones to keep the momentum

going. Benefiting from CRM data

doesn’t have to be overwhelming,

impossible or disheartening. It can be

relatively easy, straightforward and

more than satisfying.

53

www.businesschief.com


SUPPLY CHAIN

ADOPTING BIG DATA

AND ANALYTICS

54

TECHNOLOGYIN

SUPPLY CHAINS

Business Chief speaks with

supply chain experts to discuss

the benefits and challenges

of adopting Big Data and

analytics in supply chains

WRITTEN BY GEORGIA WILSON

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

55


SUPPLY CHAIN

56

“P

eople talk a lot about data being

‘the new oil’, and cognitive supply

chains are indeed making a huge

impact, allowing businesses to use Big Data

to drive themselves onto the next level. Using

artificial intelligence and machine learning

to process data makes it increasingly realistic

for systems to make smart decisions without

the need for human intervention,” says Fred

Baumann, GVP for Industry Strategy at Blue

Yonder. “When businesses are able to identify

disruptions and act with immediacy and decisiveness,

the effect will be transformational.

Alongside the short-term problem solving,

cognitive supply chains provide longer-term

learned recommendations to enable businesses

to stay ahead of the curve.”

Agreeing with Baumann, Grant Millard,

Director and Technology Services Specialist

at Vendigital, explains that traditional data

analysis methods are outdated and inefficient.

“More often than not, companies are operating

in a data vacuum. Analysis is based on

static data sets which are created, and then

recreated, from the ground up. Companies

are continuously manipulating the data to

get the insight they are after and then repeat

this process every time insights are required.

This is not only inefficient, but costly, and the

result is reliance on systems that fail to deliver

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

57


SUPPLY CHAIN

“Government and

regulators have

a role to play

to ensure that

legislation is

clear, to guide

companies on the

correct usage of

this technology”


Raj Bawa,

Operations Director, JBi Digital

58

clear and credible data-based insights.

This is where Big Data and analytics

can help so that the user is no longer

required to analyse data. Rather, the

system is telling them what action

they need to be taking.” Kirsty Braines,

COO at Oliver Wight EAME adds that

“it is a proven benefit that advanced

analytics for the supply chain industry

increases yield, whether through

improved production or reduction of

waste. Advanced analytics can play

a vital role in identifying issues that can

impact yield, as well as help to reduce

operating costs, manage inventory

and create a more personalised customer

experience.”

THE CHALLENGES OF ADOPTING

BIG DATA AND ANALYTICS WITHIN

SUPPLY CHAINS

“The world is becoming more complex

as more business and consumer interaction

channels migrate into the digital

space. This complexity is evident in the

amount of data these interactions

create across an increasing number

of channels,” says Jonathan Clarke,

Manager, Statistical Modelling at

LexisNexis Risk Solutions. As a result,

when it comes to Big Data and analytics,

MARCH 2020


59

there are a number of challenges that

companies can face including data

manipulation, adherence to GDPR,

credible data, talent and digital maturity.

“Technologies such as AI, Industry 4.0,

blockchain, Big Data and analytics are

game changers for businesses, however

it’s all advanced technology and

the clue is very much in the name.

A huge proportion of companies haven’t

reached the maturity to completely handle

data, with the technology not fully

understood, let alone successfully

implemented. If organisations don’t

align technology with their business

plans, they risk making a very expensive

mistake in terms of time and money.

This applies to data too. Unless organisations

dedicate time beforehand to

understand what information they want,

what purpose it’s going to serve and

how they’re going to manage it, analytics

becomes an exercise in futility,”

comments Braines.

“Additionally, there is little point in

importing this technology into the

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SUPPLY CHAIN

60

business if the data that exists is not

credible, as this could lead to incorrect

predictions,” adds Millard. “It is also

important that business leaders import

the right expertise. Sometimes, they fail

to do this and either get a data scientist

who doesn’t understand the business

context or an industry expert who knows

nothing about data science. Getting Big

Data and analytics to deliver value is a

multi-disciplinary activity.” Ultimately,

Millard stresses that “for organisations

considering investment in Big Data and

analytics to improve their supply chain

management, they need to understand

that there is no one-size-fits-all. If these

factors are not fully considered at the

outset, any investment could deliver

negligible value.”

Contemplating the future of Big Data

and analytics within supply chains,

Baumann speaks of the potential of

the technology, stating that “the use

of Big Data and analytics in supply

chains is rapidly increasing, with it

being possible to achieve a near-autonomous

supply chain

in the

MARCH 2020


Big Data Supply Chain

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:47

61

“When businesses are

able to identify

disruptions and

act with immediacy

and decisiveness,

the effect will be

transformational”


Fred Baumann,

GVP for Industry Strategy, JDA Software

www.businesschief.com


SUPPLY CHAIN

“Technologies such

as AI, Industry

4.0, blockchain,

Big Data and

analytics are

game changers

for businesses”


Kirsty Braines,

COO at Oliver Wight EAME

62

future. However, for this to happen,

businesses need to get to a point where

they feel confident and can trust that

technology can identify disruption and

subsequently take action. Once this

has been achieved, the effects will be

incredible: just imagine the possibilities

that will be provided by a self-learning,

self-healing supply chain that is able to

predict challenges and transform them

into opportunities for growth.” Agreeing

with Baumann, Peter Ruffley, CEO

of Zizo, sees emerging technologies,

such as the internet of things (IoT) and

AI, having the ability to generate greater

efficiency within the supply chains of the

future. “Edge computing is also going

MARCH 2020


to provide a much easier way for businesses

to quantify and understand what

they are investing in when looking at

collecting data, processing it and moving

it. It provides the opportunity to have

greater agility and real time analytics.”

Clarke does however comment that,

in order to speed up the adoption of

these technologies, “government and

regulators have a role to play to ensure

that legislation is clear, to guide companies

on the correct usage of this

technology. The significant benefits

offered by the increased use of Big

Data and analytics has to be balanced

with the lawful, compliant use of data.”

Raj Bawa Operations Director at JBi

Digital adds that, “while the culture has

improved significantly in this area,” he

too believes that the need for impactful

enforcement or policing of big companies

is urgently needed to truly reap

the benefits of the technology.

63

www.businesschief.com


SUSTAINABILITY

64

Nine ways your

business can

better consider

the environment

Wilf Robinson, owner and co-founder

of Certified Sustainable, offers his

top nine tips on how businesses can

be more mindful of the environment

WRITTEN BY WILF ROBINSON

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

65


SUSTAINABILITY

66

A

new international study conducted

by Unilever has revealed that a third

of consumers now favour brands

which they feel are doing social or environmental

‘good’. Unsurprisingly, this trend is

becoming poignant in the world of business

too. Investing in companies with a vibrant

green thumb has become an evident priority

for potential clients, making this an important

consideration for all businesses.

However, despite the many benefits which

follow businesses who decide to ‘go green’,

CitySprint has revealed that whilst 90% of

SMEs thought sustainability is an important

aspect of conducting business, over half

of these businesses are failing to invest in

any sustainability goals. It seems there is

an equal number of businesses that pride

themselves on fulfilling a greener agenda,

for example by selecting suppliers and

contractors who are known for sustainable

conduct (31%), and businesses who dismiss

green-oriented goals altogether. Essentially,

the world of sustainability is at a loss;

businesses are overpromising and underdelivering.

As influential companies continue to

demonstrate an ‘all or nothing approach’,

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

67


SUSTAINABILITY

68

changes must be made. Meanwhile,

it has been concluded that SMEs

don’t feel confident enough to pursue

greener agendas; they simply don’t

understand how their businesses

can become more sustainable. As it’s

been found that 51% of businesses

lack critical information regarding how

efficient methods can be developed

and maintained, this failure becomes

more understandable.

To help you better understand how

your business can successfully consider

the environment, encouraging

others to follow suit, here are nine

ways that companies can better consider

the environment.

1. SET A MISSION STATEMENT

If you want to determine whether a

company is excelling sustainably,

then the first thing to check is its

mission statement. As a compilation

of guiding principles, mission statements

encompass the organisation’s

values and goals.

Any company hoping to improve its

sustainability efforts ought to incorporate

this into its mission statement.

Discuss with your team how you’d

like to become more sustainable, for

example by saving water or reducing

waste and incorporate your revised

values, creating a short, concise mission

statement which reflects your

green priorities.

2. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR ENERGY USAGE

There are many ways by which you

can become more energy efficient,

having a positive impact on the

environment in turn. For example,

you can use alternative energy

resources; solar and wind power

MARCH 2020


“Certifications can

support your

sustainable image

exponentially”


Wilf Robinson

Co-Founder,

Certified Sustainable

69

Wilf Robinson

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Wilf Robinson is the co-founder of Certified Sustainable.

Providing accreditations to businesses in the sector which have

made a clear and demonstrable commitment to best-practice

sustainability and waste management, Wilf helps businesses to

become more sustainable. He is passionate about the environment

and the impact that unsustainable waste-streams are having on

our planet. Many large corporations do not inform customers of

how they dispose of their waste, which is something that needs

to change. As a father, Wilf realised the importance of protecting

the environment for future generations to enjoy and has taken

a lead to revolutionise the waste management industry.

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SUSTAINABILITY

70

are just two examples of the many

sustainable options which provide a

greener alternative.

Consider also replacing old appliances

with more energy efficient

ones. Cost-cutting rarely benefits

the environment, contributing to

unnecessary energy wastage which

certainly doesn’t portray your company

in a favourable light. By investing

in energy-efficient alternatives, you’ll

create a sustainable working environment

that’s long-lasting.

3. GET CERTIFIED

Becoming more sustainable as a

company is an admirable goal and it’s

equally important that you showcase

your achievements. Being seen as

a sustainable business means you

need to highlight this in your branding,

PR and marketing strategies.

Certifications can support your sustainable

image exponentially. These

accreditations demonstrate that

your achievements are recognised

externally, as your processes are quality-approved

by experts.

MARCH 2020


71

For example, the ‘Certified Sustainable’

accreditation provides a clear and

visible means for UK manufacturers to

showcase the company’s commitment

to best-practice waste management

and sustainability. Started by a team

of independent waste management

experts, the certification encourages

manufacturers to operate in a truly

sustainable manner. By becoming ‘Certified

Sustainable’, these businesses

better communicate the sustainability

efforts, sharing achievements with clients,

partners and employees alike.

“Going paperless is

an environmental

saviour, whilst

it’s also been said

to enhance

productivity”


Wilf Robinson

Co-Founder,

Certified Sustainable

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SUSTAINABILITY

72

4. GO PAPERLESS

Going paperless is an environmental

saviour, whilst it’s also been said

to enhance productivity. Findings

suggest that employees spend

one-third of their time looking for

paper documents, an indisputable

waste of their skill sets. Adopting a

paperless strategy means that

important information can’t be lost or

misplaced easily, whilst allowing your

employees to use their valued time

more efficiently. Meanwhile, your

business will proactively protect our

trees, a commitment to be proud of.

“Use your

platform as

a successful

business

professional

to champion

a local cause”


Wilf Robinson

Co-Founder,

Certified Sustainable

5. INVEST IN SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS

Companies that consider important

causes are certainly favourable

among consumers and clients. This

purposeful image demonstrates your

ability to support the wider world. As

a consequence, you could consider

investing in sustainable projects; for

example, by supporting charities

which proactively work to create a

more sustainable planet, you’ll be

seen as a ‘greener’ company, with

the environment at the top of your

priority list.

MARCH 2020


6. ASSIGN A SUSTAINABILITY ADVOCATE

Creating sustainable plans might be

simple, but their maintenance requires

commitment and monitoring. I recommend

having a sustainability leader

who can act as an advocate for your

company’s sustainability practices.

The individual will work to bring your

goals to fruition, communicating these

with the rest of your team.

7. BECOME AN ENVIRONMENTAL CHAM-

PION IN YOUR LOCAL AREA

Where possible, use your platform as

a successful business professional to

champion a local cause, contributing

to a project which makes a difference

close to home. This will encourage fellow

members of your team to embrace

a more sustainable and supportive

lifestyle themselves, using their expertise

for good. In turn, your company

will consist of passionate employees

who aim to live sustainably both professionally

and personally.

73

8. CONSERVE WATER

There are numerous ways by which

your business can conserve water.

Start with a water audit; many compawww.businesschief.com


SUSTAINABILITY

74

MARCH 2020


nies underestimate how much water

they’re using, however audits can help

to uncover any leaks and unnecessary

wastage. Once you know where your

water’s being used, you can better

educate your team. Encouraging them

to become more water-aware will help

to reduce the environmental impact

your business is having, making gradual

steps towards a more efficient and

sustainable workplace.

9. BE WISE WITH YOUR WASTE

Every business will produce waste,

regardless of how many changes you

implement. It would be extremely difficult

to avoid waste entirely. However,

there are sustainable uses for your

waste, putting your by-products to the

best possible use. For example, you

can reduce packaging, eliminate plastic

water bottles, or contribute to local

food banks. Above all else, ‘recycle

and reuse’ should be values which lie

at the core of your business.

75

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | NEW YORK

City Focus

NEW

YORK

76YORK

MARCH 2020


Business Chief explores New York City

borough-by-borough to see how the

components of this incredible city fit

together into an economic powerhouse

WRITTEN BY WILL GIRLING

77

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CITY FOCUS | NEW YORK

78

Frank Sinatra wanted to be a part of it,

and, more recently, Alicia Keys called

it the ‘concrete jungle where dreams

are made’ - it’s the city so nice they named it

twice: New York, New York.

Founded by Dutch settlers in 1624 under

the name ‘New Amsterdam’, the city received

its more well-known moniker in 1664 when

it was gifted to the Duke of York as an 18th

birthday present. Now known as New York,

the city had the honour of being the first US

capital when the constitution was ratified

in 1789. However, it was soon replaced with

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and then finally

Washington D.C. in 1800. Now home to over

8mn citizens (one in 38 Americans call it

their home), New York is comprised of five

boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens,

Brooklyn and Staten Island. Demonstrating

the sheer scale of New York, either Brooklyn

or Queens alone would count as the fourthlargest

city in the US if they were designated

separate cities.

MARCH 2020


8.623mn

Population of

New York

1624

Year founded

3

Airports

John F. Kennedy International

Airport ( JFK), LaGuardia Airport

(LGA) and Newark Liberty

International Airport (EWR)

79

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | NEW YORK

“Tech companies

have found

compelling

operational

reasons to base

their businesses

in Brooklyn”

With over 600 languages spoken,

New York City is one of the most linguistically

diverse places in the world.

Ellis Island and Liberty Island are

symbols of the city’s history of ethnic

diversity and partnership with other

nations - the latter featuring the iconic

Statue of Liberty. A present

from France to celebrate the USA’s

centennial, the statue was officially

dedicated in 1886 and was constructed

from 350 separate pieces.

80

ECONOMY

The Greater New York City region

has a GDP of US$1.21trn, making

it the second-largest metropolitan

economy in the world after Tokyo,

Japan. In 2012, it was recorded that

New York City accounted for roughly

8% of the USA’s GDP, although the

city itself only uses about 1% of the

country’s total landmass. Home to

more than 380,000 millionaires

and 78 billionaires, New York City’s

Federal Reserve Bank possesses

the world’s largest quantity of stored

gold. Contained in a vault hidden 80ft

beneath the earth is 7,000 tonnes of

gold bullion, approximately 5% of all

the gold that has ever been mined.

MARCH 2020


What It’s Like To Be The Youngest

Woman Equity Trader In The

New York Stock Exchange

CLICK TO WATCH | 4:50

81

Home to the New York Stock

Exchange and NASDAQ - the largest

stock exchanges currently operating

today - the city is a proverbial mecca

for business, with each borough contributing

to key economic areas.

MANHATTAN

The financial heart of New York City,

Manhattan is a global leader in terms

of the banking and communications

sectors. Providing an estimated 5%

of private-sector jobs and 8.5% of

the city’s tax revenue, the borough

which houses Wall Street is rightly

regarded as an economic powerhouse.

Containing iconic office-buildings such

as the Empire State Building, which

accommodates the corporate offices

of Air China, LinkedIn, JCDecaux and

more, Manhattan also facilitates New

York’s role as an established media

power from the advertising industry

based on Madison Avenue. Real

estate contributes significantly to the

city’s economy; it has recently been

estimated that the total market value

of all New York properties is $1.8trn.

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CITY FOCUS | NEW YORK

82

Manhattan has properties frequently

valued as the most expensive in the

world, such as the Times Warner

Center and the Waldorf Astoria.

THE BRONX

Although it suffered a gradual decline

following the Great Depression in

1929, the Bronx has been experiencing

an economic revival since the 1980s.

Most notably, the area contains some

of the city’s largest shopping centres,

such as The Hub, Southern Boulevard

and Bay Plaza. The Bronx Terminal

Market, located in Concourse, just

south of Yankee Stadium, is an almost

1mn sqft retail space. Costing $500mn

to construct, the market was opened

in 2009 and currently houses wellknown

brands like Target, Home Depot

and Staples.

QUEENS

The borough of Queens has the

second-largest (after Manhattan) and

most vibrantly diverse economy in New

York. Although the area’s main sectors

are trade, transportation and utilities,

MARCH 2020


Queens also has significant input from

the healthcare, manufacturing, construction

and media industries. A key

contributor to the borough is the presence

of the two major airports: JFK

International Airport and LaGuardia

Airport. Ranked as some of the busiest

in the world, JFK IA alone handled over

61mn passengers in 2018, placing it in

the top 25 busiest overall. Long Island

City, a residential and commercial

district located in western Queens,

is also one of New York’s most up-andcoming

locations.

“The city is a proverbial

mecca for business,

with each borough

contributing to key

economic areas”

83

www.businesschief.com


CITY FOCUS | NEW YORK

STATISTICS

84

• New York City accounted for

roughly 8% of the USA’s GDP;

5% of all the gold that has

ever been mined in Federal

Reserve; Manhattan = 5% of

private-sector jobs and 8.5%

of the city’s tax revenue.

BROOKLYN

Traditionally the manufacturing epicentre

of New York City, Brooklyn started

to diversify its economy towards the

end of the 20th Century. Now with

thriving construction and services

sectors, Brooklyn is also reported to

have the second-largest growth rate

amongst tech startups in the country,

behind only San Francisco, California.

Featuring alluring office space and

lower rent costs than other boroughs

MARCH 2020


like Manhattan, tech companies

have found compelling operational

reasons to base their businesses in

Brooklyn. Notable companies in the

sector include Vice Media, Makerbot

and Kickstarter.

STATEN ISLAND

The least populated (approximately

476,000 people) but one of the larger

boroughs of New York City, Staten

Island was originally known as the

Borough of Richmond until it was

changed in 1975. The economy of the

area is primarily composed of the

healthcare, retail and construction

sectors and has a GDP of $14.5bn.

More recently, Staten Island has experienced

growth in real estate, finance

and warehousing – the latter being a

result of Amazon’s new $100mn fulfilment

centre in Matrix Global Logistics

Park in 2018.

85

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

86

MARCH 2020


Most

valuable NFL

franchises in

the US

87

Business Chief takes a look at the

top 10 most valuable NFL franchises

in the US from Forbes’ Sports

Money: 2019 NFL Valuations

WRITTEN BY GEORGIA WILSON

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

MAJOR SPONSORS

Anheuser-Busch

InBev, American

Airlines, Axalta

Coating Systems,

Banco Santander S.A.,

Coca-Cola, Comcast,

Entercon, Lincoln

Financial Group,

MillerCoors,

NovaCare, NRG

Energy and Verizon.

88

10

Philadelphia Eagles

$3.1bn

Established in 1933, the Philadelphia Eagles has been a franchise

in its hometown since the beginning of its sports journey. In 1941,

a unique swap happened between the Philadelphia Eagles and the

Pittsburgh Steelers where both franchises swapped ownership and

team players. In 1943, the franchises crossed paths again, combined

for one season due to a manpower shortage and was known as

Phil-Pitt and Steagles. Today, the Philadelphia Eagles has an operating

income of US$150mn, and its home ground is the Lincoln Financial

Field, costing US$360mn to build and has a capacity of 69,596.

MARCH 2020


09

Houston Texans

$3.1bn

Established in 1999, the Houston Texans is one of the newer franchises

in the NFL. In 2002, the franchise’s debut game earned it its first victory

against the Dallas Cowboys, making it the first time an expansion club

had won an opening game since Minnesota defeated Chicagos in 1961.

Today, the Houston Texans has an operating value of US$176mn, and

its home ground is the NRG Energy Stadium which opened in 2002,

costing US$449mn to build and has a capacity of 71,795.

89

MAJOR SPONSORS

Anheuser-Busch

InBev, BMW, Coca-

Cola, Ford Motors,

HEB, Houston

Methodist, Hyundai,

MillersCoors, NRG

Energy, United

Continental Holdings

and Verizon.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

MAJOR SPONSORS

Anheuser-Busch

InBev, M&T Bank

Corporation, JetBlue

Airways Corporation,

Atlantic Health

System, MetLife, MGM

Resorts International,

NRG Energy, PepsiCo,

SAP, Ticketmaster,

Toyota and Verizon

91

08

New York Jets

$3.2BN

Established in 1960, the New York Jets started its on field journey as

the Titans with reasonable success. However, in 1963, the franchise

went bankrupt and was bought by Sonny Werblin and partners, who

changed its name to the New York Jets. Today, the franchise has an

operating income of US$82mn, and its home ground is the MetLife

Stadium which opened in 2010 costing US$1.4mn to build and has

a capacity of 82,500.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

07

Washington Redskins

$3.4bn

92

Established in 1932, the Washington Redskins are one of the most

dominant franchises in the NFL. The franchise has gone through

several name changes over the years, starting its journey as the Braves.

In 1933, it moved to Fenway Park (Boston, Massachusetts) changing

its name to the Redskins, however, George Marshall (former owner of

the Washington Redskins) wasn’t happy with Boston, and moved the

team once more to Chicago, before finally settling in Washington D.C.

in 1937 adopting the name Washington Redskins. Today, the franchise

has an operating income of US$120mn, and its home ground

is FedEx Field - owned by the team - which opened in 1997, costing

US$250mn to build and has a capacity of 85,000.

MAJOR SPONSORS

Anheuser-Busch

InBev, Bank of

America, FedEx

and PepsiCo.

MARCH 2020


MAJOR SPONSORS

Advocate Health Care,

Dr. Pepper,

MillerCoors, PNC,

Proven, United

Continental

and Verizon.

93

06

Chicago Bears

$3.5BN

Established in 1920, the Chicago bears is one of the oldest NFL

franchises, that started its sports journey as the Stanleys in Decatur,

Illinois. After it won its first league championship in 1921, the franchise

was renamed to the Chicago Bears. Today, the franchise has an

operating income of US$62mn, and its home ground is the Soldier

Field which opened in 2003, costing US$630mn to build and has

a capacity of 61,500.

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TOP 10

MAJOR SPONSORS

Anheuser-Busch

InBev, Bank of New

York Mellon

Corporation, Dignity

Health, Intel, Levi’s,

NRG Energy, PepsiCo,

SAP, Toyota, United

Continental Holdings,

VISA and Yahoo!.

95

05

San Francisco 49ers

$3.5BN

Established in 1946, the San Francisco 49ers were members of the

All-American Football Conference (AAFC), ranking second best

behind the Cleveland Browns. In 1950, the franchise moved to the

NFL following the collapse of the AAFC. However, it wasn’t until 1982

that the San Francisco 49ers won its first league championship at

the XVI Super Bowl. Today, the franchise has an operating income of

US$93mn, and its home ground is the Levi’s Stadium, which opened

in 2014, costing US$1.3mn to build and has a capacity of 68,500.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

MAJOR SPONSORS

Allbertsons, American

Airlines, Anheuser-

Busch InBev,

Cedars-Sinai Health

System, Corona Extra,

Hyundai, Pechanga

and Unify.

96

04

Los Angeles Rams

$3.8bn

Established in 1936, the Los Angeles Rams is also one of the NFL’s

oldest franchises, that began its sports journey in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1946, Dan Reeves (former owner of the Los Angeles Rams)

moved the team to Los Angeles, receiving its first NFL championship

game in 1945. Today, the franchise has an operating income

of US$30mn, and its home ground is the Los Angeles Memorial

Coliseum which opened in 1923, costing US$950,000 to build

and has a capacity of 77,500.

MARCH 2020


03

New York Giants

$3.9bn

Established in 1925, the New York giants are truly entwined into the

history of the NFL. For the young league a franchise in the nation’s

largest city was imperative to keep the league alive. Two years after

its establishment, the New York Giants won its first championship in

1927. Today, the New York Giants’ home ground is the MetLife Stadium,

which opened in 2010 costing US$1.4mn to build and has a capacity of

82,500. The franchise itself generates US$142mn in operating income.

MAJOR SPONSORS

97

Anheuser-Busch

InBev, Dell

Technologies,

PepsiCo, Quest

Diagnostics Inc., SAP,

Toyota and Verizon.

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

98

02

New England

Patriots

$4.1bn

Established in 1960, the New England

Patriots was given its name by a panel

of Boston sportswriters in a contest.

During its first decade, the franchise

climbed the ladder to become a serious

contender in the late 1970s. Today, the

franchise has an operating income of

US$240mn and opened its own stadium

in 2002, the Gillette Stadium, which cost

a total of US$325mn to build and has

a capacity of 66,878.

MAJOR SPONSORS

Anheuser-Busch InBev

SA, Bank of America,

BDSE, Dell

Technologies, Draft

Kings, Gillette, JetBlue,

Optum, PepsiCo

and Verizon.

MARCH 2020


99

Do Your Life: Duron Harmon

The Life of an NFL Player and Parent

CLICK TO WATCH | 11:58

www.businesschief.com


TOP 10

100

Legendary Cowboys Players Celebrate

60 Years of Football

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:56

MARCH 2020


01

Dallas

Cowboys

$5bn

101

MAJOR SPONSORS

American Airlines,

AT&T, Bank of

America, Ford Motors,

Dr. Pepper,

MillerCoors and

PepsiCo.

Established in 1960, the Dallas Cowboys

won its first two divisional championships

in 1966 and 1967. Despite not playing in

the Super Bowl since 1995, the Dallas

Cowboys still generate the most operating

income compared to other NFL members,

generating US$420mn in 2018. In 2009,

the AT&T Stadium became the franchise’s

home ground, the stadium cost US$1.2mn

to build and has a capacity of 100,000.

www.businesschief.com


102

Aerojet Rocketdyne:

the evolution of

aerospace and

PRODUCED BY

MIKE SADR

defence technology

WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

103


AEROJET ROCKETDYNE

After two years, Alan Avakian,

Senior Director of IT and John

Jackson, Chief Information

Officer at Aerojet Rocketdyne,

discuss the company’s

innovative transformation

journey since 2018

104

W

ith 20 years’ experience within information

technology, Alan Avakian, Senior

Director of IT at Aerojet Rocketdyne,

has spent most of his career in the aerospace and

defense industry. “I started out as an application

developer, working in technologies ranging from

the mainframe to client/server and web. Other

technical roles I have had include database administration

and project management,” says Avakian.

“After working with programmers and internal customers,

I branched out into other more specialized

disciplines including reporting and ERP. At a certain

point, I had to make a career choice between

technical and management tracks, and chose

management in the end for the opportunities. With

guidance from others, I went back for my Masters

of Business Administration and transitioned to

managing my own department before becoming

a Director and Chief Technology Officer.”

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

105


AEROJET ROCKETDYNE

“Additive manufacturing,

hypersonics, and solar electric

propulsion are key innovation

areas for Aerojet Rocketdyne”


Alan Avakian,

Senior Director of IT,

Aerojet Rocketdyne

Avakian describes Aerojet

Rocketdyne as “an innovative worldclass

developer and manufacturer

of advanced propulsion and energetics

systems

106

MARCH 2020


Aerojet Rocketdyne

Manufacturing B-Roll

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:55

107

for customers including the US

Department of Defense, NASA and

other agencies and companies, both

in the United States and abroad.” Its

vision is to further develop the brand

and leverage its experience to provide

the most cost-effective, on-schedule

and reliable products in the industry.

Over the last two years,

Avakian has seen the aerospace

and defense industry evolve

significantly, with multiple new trends

emerging fast such as: additive manufacturing,

solar electric propulsion,

cybersecurity and cloud technology.

“Additive manufacturing, hypersonics,

and solar electric propulsion

are key innovation areas for Aerojet

Rocketdyne. We are also developing

propulsion systems to utilise highperformance

‘green’ propellants.

Green propulsion systems are an

alternative to conventional chemical

propulsion systems that use hydrazine

propellants for a variety of applications,

including next-generation

launch vehicles and spacecraft,”

says Avakian.

John Jackson is the Chief Information

Officer at Aerojet Rocketdyne and

www.businesschief.com


AEROJET ROCKETDYNE

110

Alan Avakian

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Alan Avakian is the Senior Director of IT at Aerojet

Rocketdyne. In this role, he leads the

organisation’s Business Alignment and

Technology Management functions responsible

for shared business service strategy and

operations including Networking,

Infrastructure, Applications, and End User

Support services. He coordinates with line-ofbusiness

leaders to understand their needs

(including anticipated technology and

product changes) and works with IT

outsourcing partners for execution.

MARCH 2020


111

has extensive experience in cybersecurity

and cloud technologies. In

the Information Technology arena,

Jackson mentioned that “there’s a

much bigger focus on security and

the new Cybersecurity Maturity

Model Certification (CMMC) that was

released in January. An accredited

third party assessor will independently

assess whether internal information

systems of companies that perform

DoD work (including suppliers) have

the required cybersecurity controls

in place to meet the assigned cyber

maturity level.” With new levels of

security in cloud, Jackson is also

seeing companies shifting to this technology.

“Cloud solutions now meet the

stringent security requirements of our

industry, so companies are now starting

to pivot.”

Further discussing data security,

Jackson explains the company’s own

efforts since 2018 to develop its data

security methods. “Keeping up with

the ever-increasing security threats

for people who want to steal your data,

while also meeting the new industry

compliance standards such as the

CMMC, are core challenges when it

www.businesschief.com


AEROJET ROCKETDYNE

112

comes to data security as it changes

so fast.” At Aerojet Rocketdyne,

the company has a threat hunting

program which allows the company

to proactively measure its security

posture rather than only relying on

traditional threat management measures

such as firewalls. In addition,

“we are currently embarking on an

Enterprise Information Management

initiative to establish a data governance

program. This program will

assist with the standardisation and

integration of data and metrics

across the enterprise.”

When it comes to the innovative

evolution of the company, Avakian

explains that over the last two years

the company has “pivoted from

a traditional IT architecture which

relies heavily on on-premise infrastructure

to a hybrid architecture.”

In particular, Avakian highlights the

company’s adoption of cloud technology,

microservices and robotic

process automation (RPA). “Over

the last couple of years we have

transitioned our Product Lifecycle

Management (PLM) system from

an on-premise solution to a cloud

provider. Our data is housed in a

FedRAMP data centre with aroundthe-clock

support.” In addition to

the cloud, the company has begun

conducting an RPA proof-of-concept

with its Finance department. “This

will reduce costs, eliminate input

errors, speed up business processes,

MARCH 2020


What Is Artemis?

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:45

113

John Jackson

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

John Jackson is the Chief Information Officer

and Vice President at Aerojet Rocketdyne.

In this role, he leads the Information

Technology organization focused on the

development and execution of an IT strategy

to help deliver on mission success. The goal

of the strategy is to unlock greater value

for customers and the business by enabling

innovative, secure and compliant

technology solutions.

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around the world.

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115

“Keeping up with the

ever-increasing security

threats while also

meeting the new industry

compliance standards

such as the CMMC, are

core challenges when

it comes to data security

as it changes so fast”


John Jackson,,

CIO, Aerojet Rocketdyne

and will be integrated with applications.

Our hope is to expand the

program once we have proven out

the technology and business model.”

At an operational level, Avakian

also explains the company’s development

of a business relationship

management team, as well as its

healthy transition towards a balanced

outsourcing and in-house operations

approach. “We started with realigning

some of our existing talent as well as

recruiting new people with

www.businesschief.com


AEROJET ROCKETDYNE

1942

Year founded

$2bn+

Revenue in

US dollars

116

5,000

Number of

employees

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

117


AEROJET ROCKETDYNE

118

“An innovative worldclass

developer and

manufacturer of

advanced propulsion

and energetics

systems for customers

including the US

Department of

Defense and NASA”


Alan Avakian,

Senior Director of IT,

Aerojet Rocketdyne

a background in IT and business liaison

skills,” comments Avakian, who has

seen huge benefits from establishing

the team. “Our customers love the fact

that they have an IT representative

that is aligned to them.” When it comes

to balancing its outsourcing and inhouse

operations, Avakian highlights

that “it’s a challenging opportunity as

there are benefits and use cases for

both methods. Our approach is to look

at the IT area and then assess which

approach or combination best meets

our requirements in relation to levels

of control, security considerations,

cost model and growth.”

With these developments, Avakian

has seen “the ability of the company’s

IT systems to grow with the business,

enabling faster turnaround of

key enhancements which were not

achievable before without significant

investment in time and money.” For

example, Microsoft has been helping

Aerojet Rocketdyne to “leverage

Microsoft Dynamics for our CRM.

MARCH 2020


119

We will also be using Microsoft’s

Office 365 and Azure for storage later

this year.”

Reflecting on the company, Avakian

sees the company’s biggest strength

being its people and drive towards

innovation in everything that it does,

particularly having seen the company

expand its presence to drive innovation.

Avakian concludes that the company’s

“NASA Space Launch System (SLS) –

America’s next-generation heavy-lift

rocket, powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne

– and the company’s propulsion which

plays a critical role in SLS’s ability to

successfully launch the heaviest, largest,

and most valuable payloads to deep

space” is an example of one of the company’s

biggest successes to date.

www.businesschief.com


120

Intel Corporation:

Setting the stage

for the year

of security

WRITTEN BY

WILL GIRLING

PRODUCED BY

CRAIG KILLINGBACK

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

121


INTEL CORPORATION

William ‘Bill’ Giard, Chief Technology

Officer (CTO) Cloud and Enterprise

Group, at Intel on how Intel’s industryleading

approach to security will

benefit the wider industry

122

F

ounded in 1968 in Santa Clara, California,

Intel Corporation began with a focus on

computer memory. From the very start,

the company prided itself on its agility and breadth

of ability, as well as a customer-driven philosophy

that ensured its popularity with consumers. When

Business Chief last spoke to Intel in August 2019,

the company stated that it was moving “from a

PC-centric strategy to a data-centric one”. It was

a big shift for Intel, which had spent the last 50

years focusing on the former. However, realising

that storage, memory, computing and data centres

were all part of a larger, more exciting picture,

it was determined to make the transition.

Almost six months later, we spoke with William

‘Bill’ Giard, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Intel,

who talked about his vision for the company in

2020. Part of Intel for over 20 years, having joined

almost immediately after completing his studies

at Portland State University, Giard has seen the

evolution of the business first-hand. “I saw what it

was doing in the industry and got really energised

about working with computers and electronics,”

MARCH 2020


1968

Year founded

$70bn

Revenue in

US dollars

110,000+

Number of

employees

123

www.businesschief.com


INTEL CORPORATION

124

“Changing Intel

is a big deal,

but changing

an industry

direction is

probably what

excites me

the most”


William ‘Bill’ Giard,

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Cloud Enterprise Solutions Group, Intel

he explains. “For me, it was just a logical

choice once I graduated.” Starting as

an engineer and then working his way

up to CTO, Giard says he has gained a

lot of valuable experience in enterprise

IT, including data management, product

life-cycle management and big enterprise

systems. “It really opened my

eyes to what we’re doing for the wider

industry. Changing Intel is a big deal,

but changing an industry direction is

probably what excites me the most.”

Giard believes that embracing

digital transformation, understanding

system architectures and how to enable

business processes is a pivotal

strategy for the company. However,

his primary focus is on understanding

how Intel’s software can be used to

enable hardware in such a way that it

works seamlessly. “My role as CTO is

about combining technical hardware

and software implementations with

the developments happening in data

growth, analytics, infrastructure modernisation

and security,” he says. “This

is where my passion really lies.” Giard’s

strategic vision for Intel is a trifecta of

technological developments: hybridcloud

solutions, analytics powered

MARCH 2020


AWS re:Invent 2019:

William Giard, Intel

CLICK TO WATCH | 17:48

125

by artificial intelligence (AI), and, most

importantly, security.

Security is of paramount importance

to both customers and the tech

industry as a whole. With ransomware

incidents and insider threats

infiltrating even the most hermetic

of organisations, such as the US

Federal Government, it’s becoming

all too clear that traditional firewalls

and perimeter-based controls can no

longer adequately protect the digital

world. Recognising it as, perhaps, ‘the’

central challenge of 2020, Giard has

decided to make security solutions

the keystone of Intel’s product development.

“It can’t be bolted on after

the fact; it’s got to be built in from the

start. And enabling that work, where

we’re trying to perform computing at

the edge, I think is critically important

to our business strategy.”

Owing to the necessity for latencysensitive

applications and the

emergence of 5G, which is ushering in

the possibility of real-time solutions,

‘edge computing’ is a paradigm taking

on great precedence in the industry.

Instead of sending data from a

device to a server where it can then be

www.businesschief.com


INTEL CORPORATION

“Security needs to

be at the forefront:

it’s the number one

growth potential in

a number of areas”


William ‘Bill’ Giard,

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Cloud Enterprise Solutions Group, Intel

126

analysed, the analysis is conducted on

the device itself. Common examples

of edge computing include the biometric

readers (fingerprint or facial

recognition hardware) on smartphones.

“This is where technology is

shifting quite rapidly,” Giard explains.

“It allows us to meet our customers

where they’re addressing their challenges.

Security needs to be at the

forefront: it’s the number one growth

potential in a number of areas, but

security professionals will tell you

it hasn’t gotten enough attention.”

Intel’s efforts to tackle the issue have

been bolstered by healthy relationships

with its digital solution partners, such as

Microsoft, Red Hat, IBM and VMware,

which has enabled a productive ecosystem

in which to develop solutions.

Intel’s more than seven-year partnership

with Lockheed Martin, one

of the top security providers in the

world, on a project for the Federal

Government is a demonstration of

its commitment to delivering worldclass

security capabilities. After all,

Giard explains, there’s no better way

MARCH 2020


to develop an awareness of security

than by working with a security company.

“In the federal arena, security

is the first conversation you have

instead of the third or fifth. When

Lockheed Martin asked us to assist

them in that effort, it helped us not

just develop our Xeon processors,

but also to develop our understanding

that integrated security has got

to work from the moment the system

turns on.” Intel’s collaboration with

Lockheed made it clear that building

security from the most nascent level

up meant a vastly improved level of

protection, which, nonetheless, didn’t

compromise performance in any way.

Intel Select Solutions for Hardened

Security with Lockheed Martin

resulted from this partnership. The

company recognised that the problem

lay in security occurring at different

layers of the computing process: the

operating system, the application

layer, virtual machines, etc. The traditional

approaches to protection can

leave customers open to threats in

multiple areas and a more rigorously

127

William (Bill) Giard

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Bill has over 20 years of experience in designing

enterprise architectures and developing software

solutions to support mission-critical systems across

supply-chain, product development, and enterprise

infrastructure segments. Prior to joining DPG, he led

the software development efforts within Intel IT to

modernize the application and computing

environment, delivering secure and usable

solutions across multiple client computing

platforms utilizing cloud technologies to

enable new business models.

www.businesschief.com


INTEL CORPORATION

128

consolidated structure was required.

Constituted from Xeon hardware and

Security Runtime Environment (SRE)

software, the solution is designed

to address fundamental challenges

experienced by CIOs and CISOs

daily, delivering comprehensive protection

across the entire computing

process. The solution is able to provide

an organisation with a new and

comprehensive security method that

will help it safeguard its most precious

asset: data.

“Our approach is about enabling

data creation, consumption and

insights not only across data centres

but also the public cloud environment.

Our rich portfolio of technologies

from Intel Xeon Scalable processors

to Intel Ethernet to Intel Optane

memory and storage are key to

achieving that,” Giard states. In addition,

as a leader in the industry, Intel

has a long and established history

of collaborating with partners of all

sizes to optimise software in Intel’s

architecture. Customers benefit

from a high-performing cloud platform

that easily integrates into their

MARCH 2020


129

“We take the philosophy

that growth and speed of

execution helps everyone”


William ‘Bill’ Giard,

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Cloud Enterprise Solutions Group, Intel

www.businesschief.com


INTEL CORPORATION

130

“In the federal

arena, security

is the first

conversation

you have

instead of the

third or fifth”


William ‘Bill’ Giard,

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Cloud Enterprise Solutions Group, Intel

existing environments. “We take the

philosophy that growth and speed of

execution helps everyone,” he says.

Reinforcing this point, Mike Gann,

Director of Business Development,

adds that this is what helps Intel distinguish

itself from competitors. “The

coolest thing that I’ve seen at Intel is

how we partner within that ecosystem

to really make an impact. As a

company, we want to deliver innovative

technology that will change how

we all work, play and live. We want to

change the world.”

MARCH 2020


It’s a noble idea, but one that can’t

succeed without a solid, customercentric

strategy to back it up.

Fortunately, Intel has and always will

be about providing an easy, ‘out of

the box’ experience for consumers

of its products. “Part of our value

comes from providing that flexibility.

No matter where the data resides,

we’re helping customers put it in

the right place so that they can take

appropriate action. From a security

perspective, that means making it easy

for them by just incorporating it into

the infrastructure, giving them peace

of mind,” Intel explains. This arrives

at the crux of the matter for Intel: as

cyber-attacks get more sophisticated

and old defences lose their potency,

a comprehensive and fundamental

reimagining of the whole concept is

required and that is what Intel believes

in. “After all,” Giard says, “if you get the

foundation right, you can act fast and

solve the problem very quickly.”

131

www.businesschief.com


132

S U C C E S S

A C A D E M Y

D I S R U P T I N G

T H E

E D U C A T I O N

S P A C E

WRITTEN BY

SEAN GALEA-PACE

PRODUCED BY

DENITRA PRICE

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

133


SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

Vincent Moorehead, Senior

Director of Strategic

Procurement and Supply

Chain at Success Academy

Charter Schools, discusses his

organisation’s transformation

journey in New York City

134

S

Success Academy Charter Schools is

the largest and highest-performing free

public charter school network in New

York State. It’s the size of the seventh largest school

district in the state.

Founded in Harlem in 2006 by former New York

City Council Member Eva Moskowitz, the organisation

now operates 45 schools, enrolling 18,000

students in grades K-12, most of them low-income

children of colour, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens,

and the Bronx. In a city where only one in three children

of colour can read or do math at grade level,

Success Academy’s scholars have excelled. On the

most recent state exams, 99% of Success students

passed mathematics and 90% passed English

Language Arts. With ambitions to operate 100

schools and enroll 50,000 students over the next

decade, Success Academy is driven to innovate in

the realm of pedagogy as well as procurement.

MARCH 2020


135

2006

Year founded

HQ

New York, NY

USA

2,500

Number of

employees

www.businesschief.com


We Can Build It:

Success Academy Charter Schools

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:48

137

Overseeing the organisation’s

procurement arm, Vincent

Moorehead, Senior Director of

Strategic Procurement and Supply

Chain, believes that Success

Academy is differentiated by a culture

of excellence: “Excellence is ingrained

in our culture. Our customers are our

scholars and their families,” explains

Moorehead. “Our work is extremely

high stakes. To us, it’s all about consistently

raising the bar for what is

possible in public education. We need

to always be thinking about how we

can deliver a great education to our

“Our work is

extremely high

stakes. To us, it’s all

about consistently

raising the bar for

what is possible in

public education”


Vincent Moorehead,

Senior Director of Strategic Procurement

and Supply Chain, Success Academy

Charter Schools

www.businesschief.com


SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

138

“If you look at charter

schools generally,

we are one of the

few that has a

procurement team”


Vincent Moorehead,

Senior Director of Strategic Procurement

and Supply Chain, Success Academy

Charter Schools

scholars and how we can use each

dollar to make the biggest impact in

our classrooms.”

Operating efficiencies are critical to

Success Academy. With public funding

that’s about $5,000 less per student

than what district schools spend each

year, the network prioritises strong management

of its resources. Moorehead

has been instrumental in delivering

savings. “The role of management is

undervalued in public schooling,” says

MARCH 2020


139

Moskowitz. “Educators everywhere

acknowledge the impact of effective

teachers, but what is less often

recognised—yet essential to creating

and sustaining excellent schools—is

the need for operational excellence.

When the administrative and business

aspects of schools are well managed,

teachers and principals are freed up

to focus entirely on student learning.

Vince has been important in helping

us achieve this.”

A graduate from Howard University in

Washington, D.C, Moorehead worked

for several different companies such

as United Technologies Corporation,

Kearney, and the FBI before joining

Success Academy in August 2018.

Upon his arrival, the organisation

decided to centralise the entire

purchasing area across the board.

“When I first started, we had so many

conversations about what a centralised

procurement model would look

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like,” he says. “If you look at charter

schools generally, we are one of the

few that has a procurement team. The

first thing we had to do was map out

an ideal purchasing process for our

network of schools. It was vital that we

had the right tools, systems, and processes

in place for our team to be able

to imagine how streamlined this new

process could be for our school staff.”

Subsequently, Moorehead set about

updating several outdated and broken

processes, which led to the implementation

of Coupa and a centralised

approach. He focused on making the

programme as streamlined as possible.

“I wanted something that was

very user-friendly because our users

are educators, not procurement specialists.

They should be able to focus

on their scholars, not on purchasing

orders,” says Moorehead. “I wanted

a system in place where they could

make requests for classroom supplies

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Vincent Moorehead

Vincent Moorehead currently leads procurement at Success

Academy Charter Schools, the largest and highest-performing

free public charter school network in New York City. He leads a

team that manages contract negotiations, supply chain,

tactical and strategic sourcing in order to secure every

thinkable material (from chapter books, furniture, to

interactive whiteboards) for 18,000+ students in the

NYC area. Vincent’s background is primarily within

Supply Chain Management focusing on Operations

and Procurement. Prior to joining SACS in 2018, he

worked in management consulting at Efficio

Consulting and A.T. Kearney, global sourcing at

United Technologies, with unique experience

in government contracting at the Federal

Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

141

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SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

142

“Educators everywhere

acknowledge the impact of

effective teachers, but what

is less often recognised —

yet essential to creating and

sustaining excellent schools

— is the need for operational

excellence”


Eva Moskowitz,

Founder and CEO,

Success Academy Charter Schools

MARCH 2020


in a way that they’re used to, similar to

buying something on Amazon. On the

backend, our procurement team still

has the control, and we can now see

what the needs of each classroom are

in real time, as our teachers and school

leaders make purchase requests. With

this knowledge, we’re better prepared

for our next school year. We better

anticipate what we’ll need to stock in all

of our classrooms based on what our

educators request this year.”

Having overseen many ERP implementations

over the years, Moorehead

affirms that this was one of the least

troublesome he’s dealt with. “It was

one of the smoothest transitions

that I’ve ever been through and we

implemented the system in just eight

months,” he explains. “We phased out

the launch and were able to trial the

system before implementing it fully

across our network. I’m pleased to say

that after the initial hurdle of learning a

new system, Success Academy staff

members regularly stop me in the hallway

and tell me how much easier the

new platform is to use.”

Success Academy places significant

value on its partnerships. The network

143

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145

“I’m looking for

a partner that

understands

the mission and

wants to help

us get there”


Vincent Moorehead,

Senior Director of Strategic Procurement

and Supply Chain, Success Academy

Charter Schools

has formed several key strategic relationships,

such as with The Advance

Group, CrossCountry Consulting, KI,

and OpenText. Moorehead believes

that any prospective partnership must

have the right drive and mentality to

succeed from the start. “I’m looking

for a partner that understands the mission

and wants to help us get there,”

says Moorehead. “The suppliers that

we currently work with understand

the challenges that we go through.

However, it’s important that there’s

mutual benefit and I’m constantly

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thinking about ways we can help make

our suppliers’ jobs easier. By doing this,

we can support them not just for the

immediate future, but long term too.”

Moorehead affirms that each

partnership plays a critical role in

ensuring Success Academy runs

efficiently. “CrossCountry Consulting

was brought on board as our implementation

partner to help us roll out

our new purchasing system, and they

have been outstanding. The team,

led by Harpreet Narula, Partner at

CrossCountry, had in-depth knowledge

of the purchasing system,

managed the entire implementation

including working with our internal

and external technical teams, and was

able to help reduce the change management

impact on the organisation,”

he explains. “OpenText has a digital

platform that helps us protect our

data — which is critical for us because

we’re protecting student privacy. All

of our integrations use a partner for

error management and manage data

as it flows from system to system.

OpenText is at the heart of that and

has data that flows through it from our

Human Resource Information Systems

(HRIS) to our financial systems and

to our purchasing platform.”

147

www.businesschief.com


SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

COMPANY FACTS

148

• Last summer, Success

delivered over 300,000

items per classroom across

our 45 schools.

• On the most recent state

exams, 99% of Success

students passed

mathematics and

90% passed English

Language Arts.

• For the 2019-20 academic

year, Success Academy

schools received more than

17,000 applications for

about 4,000 open seats.

MARCH 2020


“KI has helped with providing innovative

furniture and has been suggesting

and updating products to ensure

that our school design is as efficient

as possible,” says Moorehead. “The

Advance Group is our logistics partner.

They deliver and install all the furniture

in each classroom. Last summer,

Success delivered over 300,000 items

per classroom across our 45 schools.

The Advance Group truly understands

the critical nature of our mission and

they are a reliable partner in making

sure each of our classrooms is ready

for scholars on the first day of school.”

With a vision to operate 100 schools

in New York City, Moorehead has a

clear idea of how to achieve such ambitions.

“I’m very optimistic and I believe

we will get to 100 schools comfortably.

By then, we’ll likely be serving over

50,000 students across New York,”

says Moorehead. “That’s the size of the

Boston or Atlanta school system.”

149

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PURA VIDA BRACELETS

ARTISANAL

150

SUPPLY

CHAINS

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

PRODUCED BY

DENITRA PRICE

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

151


PURA VIDA BRACELETS

ERIKO BAILEY, VICE PRESIDENT, SUPPLY

CHAIN AT PURA VIDA BRACELETS,

DISCUSSES HOW AN ETHICAL

APPROACH TO THE SUPPLY CHAIN

DEFINES THE BRAND

152

P

ura Vida Bracelets was founded by Griffin

Thall and Paul Goodman after a trip to

Costa Rica and an encounter with two

artisan bracelet makers by the name of Jorge and

Joaquin. After originally requesting 400 bracelets

to take back to San Diego, 10 years later the company

is now worth over $100mn dollars. As Eriko

Bailey, Vice President, Supply Chain, explains, the

artisanal connection has not been lost along the

way. “Our artisans have been able to scale with the

brand and, today, Jorge and Joaquin are the sole

owners of the manufacturer that produces 75% of

the products which we offer to the marketplace.”

That connection is an important part of the company’s

identity and attracts the demographic with

which it is most successful. “Where we really hit it

off is with that millennial, Gen Z core customer,” she

explains. “Being socially and charitably conscious

is the life vein of the brand. We’ve also been able

to highlight that through things like Instagram and

Facebook where we use the social media aspect

to really showcase Pura Vida as a lifestyle brand

outside of just being a product.” In pursuit of this

MARCH 2020


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153


PURA VIDA BRACELETS

154

“BEING SOCIALLY

AND CHARITABLY

CONSCIOUS IS

THE LIFE VEIN OF

THE BRAND”


Eriko Bailey,

Vice President, Supply Chain,

Pura Vida

and alongside supporting artisans,

Pura Vida partners with select charities.

“We’re creating products that an

end consumer can purchase and know

that a portion of that dollar amount is

given to charity. As a brand, our biggest

focuses right now are mental health

issues, animals and anything that has

to do with the environment. Those are

the three key things that our customers

are demanding.”

Of course, a focus on sustainability

runs far deeper than just burnishing

the company’s reputation. As Pura

MARCH 2020


Pura Vida — Live Free

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:16

155

Vida expands the product categories

in which it is active, it is ensuring that

an ethical approach is built into its

operations, and the operations of

those with which it works. “We try to

stay as authentic as possible to the

artisan and charitable messaging that

we have,” Bailey explains, “whether

that be working with manufacturers

that are Fairtrade certified, finding

the cotton farmers that are working in

organic fields, all the way through to

the mills that are producing the fabrics

that we’re going to be using.” Bailey

has had a personal hand in ensuring

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PURA VIDA BRACELETS

156

that such intentions are translated into

reality. “I’ve been spearheading our

overall sustainability initiative. It started

with social compliance auditing of the

factories of our vendors and manufacturing

partners, then getting them up

to a baseline; ensuring that fair wages

are being extended to individuals at the

ground level, that these facilities are at

code, and that there’s a safe working

environment overall.”

The reliance on artisanal products

does present its own problems.

“Everybody has this idea of what

artisan means, but in essence anything

that’s being made with two hands is

artisanal. The biggest thing is focusing

on transparency within all of our

artisans and vendors. We work with

them with regards to capacity planning

and what our demands are going to

be. That helps them to scale up as the

business continues to grow.” In many

other ways, however, dealing with

artisans is not so different from conventional

mass production. “Just like

regular manufacturing, communication

and transparency are the two biggest

MARCH 2020


157

Eriko Bailey

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Eriko Bailey is Pura Vida Bracelets’ Vice President, Supply

Chain. An innovative supply chain leader, she has proven

success in transforming both forward and reverse

supply chain operations to Best-in-Class, while reducing

expense and improving customer satisfaction. With

over 10 years of supply chain experience, Eriko also

possesses a BS in Retail Management / Marketing

and a Minor in Entrepreneurial and Emerging

Enterprises from Syracuse University and a

Professional Designation AA focused in

Merchandise Product Development from

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

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159

things that help production overall,”

Bailey says. “You have to provide

foresight on those annual plans you

are looking to produce and also work

with the teams that you have in terms

of where they are today and where

you need them to get to in six months,

or a year from now. That visibility and

transparency ignites the possibilities

and the production capabilities of any

manufacturer, whether they’re artisans

or mass producers.”

Culture is another important consideration.

“Culture’s a big thing for our

“CREATIVITY AND

COLLABORATION

ARE THE TWO

BIGGEST

COMPONENTS

TO OUR CULTURE

OVERALL”


Eriko Bailey,

Vice President, Supply Chain,

Pura Vida

www.businesschief.com


PURA VIDA BRACELETS

160

MARCH 2020


2010

Year founded

$108mn

Revenue in

US dollars

35

Number of

employees

161

communities, but also in the supply

chain as well. This is made up of the

people that are working for our brand:

the individuals in the team. But then it’s

also the wider supply chain. They’re

an extension of our team - they may

not have Pura Vida in the name, but

they are still a part of us.” To a certain

extent, that culture has been guided

by the relative youth of its workforce.

“Within the department specifically, and

in the wider team as well as our vendor

partners, creativity and collaboration

are the two biggest components to

our overall culture. I think the beauty of

www.businesschief.com


PURA VIDA BRACELETS

“VISIBILITY AND

TRANSPARENCY

IGNITES THE

POSSIBILITIES AND

THE PRODUCTION

CAPABILITIES OF ANY

MANUFACTURER,

WHETHER THEY’RE

ARTISANS OR MASS

PRODUCERS”

162


Eriko Bailey,

Vice President, Supply Chain,

Pura Vida

working with a company that is very

young from an employee standpoint -

probably 85% millennial to Gen Z - is

the thought process of: ‘I’m going to

take this process, but I’m also going

to try to improve it.’”

Processes are also being improved

by technological means. “We’re

bringing in a product lifecycle management

(PLM) system this year from

Visual Next, which is going to help

centralise our design and development

processes overall,” Bailey

says. “Now that we’re growing into

these additional categories we need

to bring all of our vendors into one

centralised database of information.

Being able to have a partner plug

into a software program that can

then provide information in real time

means we don’t have to wait a full

day for the information to come back.”

Pura Vida also relies on partners for

distribution, with different third-party

logistics (3PL) firms in domestic and

international markets.

MARCH 2020


163

Those international markets are just

one of many focuses for this rapidly

growing business. “We’ve just opened

a fulfillment center in Canada to help

facilitate that growth as well as in

Hong Kong for the APAC region overall,”

says Bailey. “We’re very excited

about our international growth.”

Traditionally both a direct to consumer

and B2B brand, Pura Vida is bolstering

those relationships while also

exploring new methods of reaching

customers. “We’re embarking on our

first branded Pura Vida retail store,

opening in May 2020, with more on

our radar,” Bailey explains. “We’re firing

on all cylinders to ensure that we

have a footprint on multiple levels so

that the customer can really experience

the Pura Vida brand.”

www.businesschief.com


164

MARCH 2020


CodeBlue:

Leading an

industry

165

WRITTEN BY

AMBER DONOVAN-STEVENS

PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

www.businesschief.com


CODEBLUE

Jason Manns, COO of CodeBlue,

details the rise of insurtech

as CodeBlue leverages science

and cutting-edge technology

to meet industry challenges

166

T

echnology is transforming every industry,

and insurance is no exception. The

landscape is rapidly evolving and with

this, insurance companies are challenged with

managing change. The transformation toward

digital solutions creates an opportunity to have

a better understanding of customer behaviours

and to provide immediate customer solutions.

When harnessed successfully, these newly

acquired technologies improve policyholder satisfaction

while reducing costs for insurance carriers.

Jason Manns, COO of CodeBlue, has over 25

years’ experience in the personal and commercial

lines insurance industry. As a transformational

change leader, he has led claims and operations

for a number of insurance carriers with a passion

for delivering best-in-class performance, while

ensuring that the customer experience is at

the heart of decisions.

As an insurance executive, Manns has seen the

insurance industry begin to slowly shift with technological

adoption advances and, consequently,

sees three of the most significant challenges

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

167


CODEBLUE

168

“The insurance industry is paying close attention

to the technological advancements of other

industries but continues to significantly lag

behind in the adoption rate of the innovations

that exist today in the marketplace”


Jason Manns,

COO, CodeBlue

currently faced by insurance carriers.

The first is the effective management

of labour and the expenses associated

with insurance carrier workforces.

“This is particularly important because,

in today’s low unemployment rate

economy, there are shortages of

qualified and technically proficient

insurance staff. I expect the virtual

technologies that are now available

will significantly change traditional

insurance carrier staffing models,”

he says.

The second challenge insurance

carriers face is the embedded inefficiencies

in the claim handling process

from inadequate initial claim damage

evaluations. “For example, it is common

for insurance carriers to experience 25%

to 40% supplemental claim payments

due to inaccuracies in the initial

damage evaluation process.” Today,

technology is available to provide

real-time digital capture of damages

at the policyholder’s initial loss report,

reducing supplemental work.

Lastly, policyholder engagement

presents a new challenge. The expectations

of customers have increased

to the point where an Amazon-like

standard of service, with same-day

turnarounds between orders and

deliveries, has become the norm.

“This level of service with regards

to policyholders seeking immediate

same-day property claim inspections

MARCH 2020


Join the CodeBlue Revolution

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:20

169

and contractor on site arrivals is typically

unheard of across the insurance

industry,” says Manns. “There is a massive

potential for insurance carriers

to catch up to what other industries

are doing.”

Early in CodeBlue’s inception,

Manns — while working at an insurance

carrier — was involved in the

development of CodeBlue’s proactive

claims management model, which

was and continues to be significantly

different than all others in the industry.

Today, Manns leads the operations

at CodeBlue, an industry-leading

insurance claims management provider

with full scale customisable

solutions. Drawing from his experiences

in the insurance carrier industry,

he focused on immediate policyholder

actions at first contact and the continued

development of proprietary claim

management software with digital

technologies. This included virtual

inspections strategies that provided

solutions for insurance carrier staff

to view loss damages real-time and

remotely. “Insurance carrier staff

can now view initial damage inspections

from their office in a few hours

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CODEBLUE

CodeBlue Join the Revolution #2

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:59

172

after claim notification as opposed

to having to be physically present at

the site, removing the additional costs

incurred with travel time and fleet

vehicles,” says Manns. In addition,

virtual damage inspection solutions

reduce vehicle usage, promoting environmentally

friendly carbon practices

and are a strategy that can be used to

protect staff against exposure to airborne

viruses and contaminants often

found at loss locations.

While it remains an industry standard

to use call centers to interact

with policyholders during the initial

reporting of claims, CodeBlue has

advanced this by providing a 24-hour

service, available 365 days a year,

for first notice of loss claim reporting

with virtual damage inspections and

contractor integrations that provide

immediate actions for policyholders.

This approach maximises the accuracy

of initial damage inspections

while driving high levels of policyholder

engagement. In addition to

this, says Manns, “insurance carriers

include policy language that stresses

the policyholder’s obligation to prevent

additional damages at the time

MARCH 2020


of the loss by taking the needed

actions. However, policyholders often

need greater levels of assistance in

the claim process than they typically

receive.” This is where CodeBlue’s

combination of technology, staff with

property subject matter expertise

and contractor network, are leveraged

to ensure insurance carriers

and policyholders receive immediate

actions that translate to sciencebased

outcomes. Manns explains,

“because of this advanced approach,

we no longer refer to our process

as “First Notice Of Loss” claim reporting,

but instead, we call it “First Notice

And Response” with immediate actions

for policyholders.” Vault Insurance

Chief Claims Officer, Peter Piotrowski

stated, “by partnering with CodeBlue,

we can leverage best-in-class technology

to respond quickly with the right

resources and skills to policyholders.

Together with CodeBlue, customers

will always receive efficient, empathetic

and personalised assistance,

leveraged by technology in order

to deliver the best repair services. 173

Jason Manns

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Jason Manns is the Chief Operations Officer at CodeBlue, an industryleading

insurance claims management provider servicing North

America. Jason has over 25 years of experience in leading claims

and operations at insurance carriers at the executive officer level.

At CodeBlue, Jason is responsible for overseeing and scaling

company-wide operations, including the continued development

of proprietary claim software with digital applications that

support virtual damage inspection strategies for insurance

carriers. He is passionate about working with personal and

commercial lines insurance carriers to provide property

claim solutions that assist in making technology

transformation easier.

www.businesschief.com


CODEBLUE

DID YOU KNOW?

174

Facilities That Embody

The CodeBlue Culture

CodeBlue is headquartered in

Springfield, Ohio, USA, with two

additional offices in Hudson, Ohio, and

Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Much like the

company itself, CodeBlue’s

headquarters in Springfield, Ohio, is a

blend of history and innovation.

CodeBlue is located in the historic 1893

Bushnell Building, where the Wright

brothers patented their design for the

airplane. The building renovations since

its erection have achieved Platinum

LEED (leadership in energy &

environmental design) Certification by

the U.S. Green Building Council

(USGBC).

The CodeBlue Flood

House Experience

In the CodeBlue flood house,

they train and certify (IICRC S500)

CodeBlue staff, insurance carrier staff,

and contractors to be subject matter

experts on the science of drying. The

Springfield OH, CodeBlue flood house

has been flooded with 1,500 gallons of

water over 200 times since being built

in 2011. “In this live water damage home

environment, we demonstrate and

teach the science of drying with

participants using industry water and

fire mitigation equipment to

understand what is possible using

today’s technology. Participants witness

the ability to dry and restore wet

materials such as carpet, hardwood

flooring, cabinets, trim, and drywall

versus replacing materials. This enables

CodeBlue to return policyholders to

pre-loss condition in the fastest and

least disruptive manner.” CodeBlue has

a 2nd flood house used to train and

certify staff, built in 2007 in Eau Claire,

Wisconsin.

MARCH 2020


Classroom teaching session with Ed Jones

in the CodeBlue Flood House

175

Vault Insurance and CodeBlue are

united by the same ethos: excellent

customer service.”

“The insurance industry is paying

close attention to the technological

advancements of other industries but

continues to significantly lag behind

in the adoption rate of the innovations

that exist today in the marketplace,”

Manns notes. “We are seeing innovations

ranging from automotive loss

avoidance capabilities and self-driving

vehicles, aerial photography

and the use of drones, to IoT

smart-connected homes and buildings

that measure the inside environmental

conditions. These emerging technologies

provide insurance carriers with

missing data points and consumer

behaviors to better predict underwriting

risks, loss frequency and all of the

costs associated, as well as the ability

to take actions to avoid losses through

virtual real-time policyholder interactions.

The opportunity exists for

insurance leaders to challenge the

status quo in their organisations,

embrace available technologies,

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CODEBLUE

178

INDUSTRY FACTS

According to US Housing

Study and Chubb Water

Survey, 1 in 12 homes

experience a plumbing leak

each year with more than

2.5 million US homeowners

experiencing water damage

(excluding flooding)

annually. US$10bn is paid

annually by US insurance

carriers to repair water

damage (excluding

flooding) each year.

MARCH 2020


and to become champions for change

to improve existing insurance models.”

To add to this, Manns asserts that

the fast emergence of startups in the

insurtech space supports that there is

evidence of insurance carrier sectors

dedicated to financially supporting

this evolution. We are seeing insurance

carriers use emerging technologies

in the claim process to evaluate damages

to the exterior of houses and

buildings, but often overlook using

available technologies in the evaluation

of damages to the interior of the home

or building. This is where CodeBlue has

become an industry leader, differentiating

itself from its competitors by

having the best-in-class interior virtual

damage inspection solutions.

For example, insurance carrier staff

can typically drive to inspect five to

eight claims in a day, yet with the utilisation

of digital technologies, the

same staff member can virtually

inspect between 15 to 20 claims

a day. This approach maximises the

accuracy of initial damage inspections,

reduces expenses and delivers

high policyholder satisfaction.

Another CodeBlue advantage is

its proprietary claim software specific

to each property line of business:

water and fire mitigation, reconstruction,

contents and inventory. These

are digitally connected to photo and

video chat technologies that give

the insurance carrier staff the ability

to confirm the cause of loss, verify

179

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CODEBLUE

180

MARCH 2020


181

Policyholder Video

CLICK TO WATCH | 2:28

www.businesschief.com


CODEBLUE

182

coverage and evaluate damages in

real-time at the loss location. At the

same time, personalised assistance

is provided to the policyholder so that

immediate action is taken to avoid

additional loss damages and to start

the repair process. Manns comments,

“In the world of insurance property

claims, one of the most frequent

losses are water-related damages

caused by broken pipes and leaks.

According to the Insurance

Information Institute, this averages

out at a cost of US$9,633 per claim.”

“Here is a pipe break example. The

insurance carrier directs the policyholder

to report the loss to CodeBlue,”

says Manns. “Through targeted questions,

CodeBlue identifies loss

specific details and uses a scientific

algorithm in our proprietary database

of 3,100 certified contractors to

select the best contractor for the job.

The chosen technology enabled

MARCH 2020


contractor arrives at the loss location

within four hours. CodeBlue staff

complete a virtual damage inspection

video chat with the contractor and

policyholder on-site, which provides

insurance carrier staff the needed

information — such as measurements,

materials, and a sketch document —

to be able to evaluate the loss

damages from their office.” After this,

CodeBlue’s certified IICRC staff use

the proprietary software with the science

of drying to proactively create

a water mitigation drying plan with

the on-site contractor to restore wet

materials instead of replacing them.

This keeps the focus on returning the

policyholder to pre-loss condition

in the fastest ,most efficient and and

least disruptive manner possible.

To deliver the highest level of detailed

loss documentation, CodeBlue uses

a combination of 3D cameras, digital

applications and video chats to capture

the loss in a virtual environment,

which allows insurance carrier staff

to tour the site from their computer

or mobile device. “Our virtual damage

inspection solutions vary and are

determined by the type of loss and

“We’re highly customisable

to insurance carriers

and provide a suite of

property claim solutions

and virtual damage

inspection strategies

that insurance carriers

can choose”


Jason Manns,

COO, CodeBlue

insurance carrier field staff coverage

locations,” he says. “Our success

is driven by our ability to identify the

best virtual inspection solution for

each specific claim, with inspection

methods including policyholder selfservice,

contractor dispatch, and the

deployment of CodeBlue W2 staff.

All virtual damage inspections utilise

our proprietary claim software and

digital technologies to meet a policyholder’s

specific needs. This assists

insurance carriers with the effective

management of labor and the expenses

associated with large workforces,

while reducing the inefficiencies of

supplemental claim payments.”

Bamboo Insurance founding member

183

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CODEBLUE

184

“Our success is driven by

our ability to identify the

best virtual inspection

solution for each specific

claim, with inspection

methods including

policyholder self-service,

contractor dispatch,

and the deployment

of CodeBlue W2 staff”


Jason Manns,

COO, CodeBlue

and Chief Advocacy Officer, Stann

Rose, explained: “Code Blue’s partnership

and technology has enabled

Bamboo Insurance the ability to scale

operations from a startup into a high

growth company by providing immediate

information gathering, coverage

identification and faster claim handling

which has translated to high

policyholder satisfaction.”

CodeBlue partners with companies

throughout North America, including

three of the top 10 insurance carriers

in the US, regional insurance carriers

and insurtech-like startup companies.

Since no partnership is the same, Manns

emphasises the importance of listening

to partners to understand their

desired operating model and individual

needs. “We’re highly customisable

to insurance carriers and provide

a suite of property claim solutions and

virtual damage inspection strategies

that insurance carriers can choose.

Insurance carriers like to partner with

established companies with a history

MARCH 2020


2004

Year founded

$63mn

Revenue in

US dollars

455

Number of

employees

185

of success, while simultaneously

providing innovative services with

technology at the core. CodeBlue

has been providing property claim

solutions to insurance carriers since

2004 and is leading the way in making

technology transformation easier

for insurance carriers that choose

to embrace innovations.” While Manns

and the CodeBlue team provide

industry-leading property claim

solutions centered on virtual inspection

strategies inside the home and

building, they continue to focus on

the next innovation to achieve best

-in-class performance levels for policyholders

and insurance carriers.

www.businesschief.com


186

WRITTEN BY

SHANNON LEWIS

PRODUCED BY

SHIRIN SADR

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

187


RADIUS BANK

Joe Mancini, Chief Information

Security Officer at Radius Bank, on

how the company made a shift to

digital five years ago and what that

has meant for its cybersecurity

188

T

he American digital banking space has

historically fallen behind the wider world’s

innovations. Radius Bank seeks to correct

that. It specialises in partnering with fintechs to

provide industry-leading consumer and commercial

offerings. Recently, it was named Best Online

Bank by Bankrate.com. Headquartered in Boston,

Massachusetts, the company has provided financial

services for customers across the nation since

1987, when it was still called First Trade Union Bank.

The business assumed its current name in 2014, a

decision that coincided with a major transformation

that closed every brick-and-mortar branch except

one and evolved it into a digital-first organisation.

Joe Mancini has been at Radius since 2016,

overseeing information and cybersecurity across

every facet of the bank and working closely with

business lines, managing external partners, and

ensuring appropriate protection on networks and

assets. Mancini’s lifelong interest in cybersecurity

has resulted in him working everywhere, from frontline

protection at banks to interning at a local police

department. With a special focus on cybercrime,

Customer Service Team

in Boston, MA

MARCH 2020


189

1987

Year founded

$100mn

Revenue in

US dollars

121

Number of

employees

www.businesschief.com


RADIUS BANK

190

“You find a

vulnerability; you

patch it before

it’s exploited. We

come at it from a

more investigative

background”


Joe Mancini,

Senior Vice President, Chief Information

Security Officer, Radius Bank

he brings a unique perspective to his

role. “My viewpoint tends to be ‘what

is the visibility from a malicious actor

standpoint, and how can we work from

there?’,” Mancini explains. “Often, it

tends to be a cat-and-mouse game.

You find a vulnerability; you patch it

before it’s exploited. We come at it

from a more investigative background.”

Mancini’s role includes a business enabling

approach, seeking opportunities

to help Radius grow. His team works

closely with the virtual banking team

to assess acquisitions and potential

SVP, Operation Excellence; SVP, CISO; SVP, Treasurer;

SVP, Customer Experience

MARCH 2020


Radius Bank:

Why Work at Radius Bank?

CLICK TO WATCH | 0:44

191

partnerships, while also keeping an

eye out for emerging technologies

such as cryptocurrency.

By partnering with fintechs, Radius

drastically reduces its time to market

and was able to rebuild its entire digital

platform in a mere four months. “Our

digital banking strategy is built around

fintech driven technology,” Mancini

explains. “Push products, gain customers

and create a frictionless experience.

The biggest challenge is speed to market

and flexibility. Aligning with partners

that provide the high-tech platforms

allows us to offer these industry-leading

products and services to consumers

and businesses.” Some partners play a

major role in Radius’ risk prevention programmes;

Alloy operates heavily within

Radius’ fraud prevention space. Together,

the two companies rebuilt the model by

which Radius judges the risk of potential

customers, integrating a risk waterfall

with seven to eight checkpoints. With

the help of partners like Alloy, Radius

Bank has been able to significantly

decrease its fraudulent account openings.

The financial benefits have also

been high, while the technology costs

of opening a new account decreased.

www.businesschief.com


RADIUS BANK

Radius Bank Security Team

192

Trust and shared values are at the core

of Radius’ partnerships. “Speed to

market is critical,” Mancini says, “but

we also need to understand there is risk

in the digital space. It’s about finding

the right balance.”

To ensure the highest standards of

cybersecurity, Radius Bank embeds

risk management into every stage of

development. Banking is already a

highly regulated industry, but Radius

goes further. “The risk team is involved

from day one in all these projects and

partnerships,” Mancini states. “It’s

about building a business enabling

approach rather than having risk seen

as the roadblock.” This allows the

risk team to catch problems before

they happen, aligning with business

partners while ensuring security

compliance. “Proactively identifying

potential risks and vulnerabilities is

a critical component to the project

lifecycle.” Mancini continues, “there

is significant pressure to build and

release products as quickly as possible

to remain competitive. Radius’

speed to market is industry leading,

but we won’t roll out a product that

poses a risk to our customers.”

MARCH 2020


The key to implementing such a new

system has been mutual trust between

employees and executives. “It all goes

back to culture,” notes Mancini. “You

can have the best strategy in the world,

but if your culture isn’t in line with that,

you’re in trouble.” Team building starts

from recruitment. Radius seeks out

individuals whose values and mentality

align with the bank’s, offering in turn

a high-benefits, high-energy work

environment. In order to attract talent,

Radius ensures its offerings are

193

Joe Mancini

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Joe Mancini is the Senior Vice President, Chief Information

Security Officer at Radius Bank, an industry leading digital first

bank, headquartered in Boston, MA. In his role, Joe develops

and implements a forward thinking, business enabling

approach to information and cybersecurity that supports

Radius’ fast-paced, tech driven approach. Prior to his role

at Radius, Joe spent 10 years at East Boston Savings Bank.

Joe is an experienced banking leader having held

roles in fraud prevention, information and cyber

security. Joe’s specialties include data security,

business continuity and disaster recovery,

emerging technologies such as digital currency

and blockchain, along with privacy and

compliance requirements in the digital world.

www.businesschief.com


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RADIUS BANK CASE STUDY

Radius Bank is a forward-thinking community bank offering personal and business products and services.

In an effort to become a digital-first, 21st century bank, Radius decided to create the best possible digital

experience for its customers by using the best-in-class and most innovative fintech products on the market.

Our partnership with Alloy is transformative and means that

we can now scale our digital retail bank ad-infinitum.

- Mike Butler | CEO

OVERVIEW

Radius partnered with Alloy (in partnership

with another fintech, Mantl) to transform

the bank’s online consumer application

process. By integrating APIs and data-driven

workflow management tools into Radius’s

digital banking platform, a superior customer

experience was delivered while generating

enormous cost savings for the bank.

? CHALLENGE

With an increasing number of online

banking applications, Radius’s onboarding

process couldn’t meet customer demands.

Applicants abandoned their applications

or were denied in manual review resulting

in significant back-office costs and huge

delays in account opening and funding.

Online banking is fraught with fraudulent

account openings; a more sophisticated

approach was required to combat fraud

while letting in good customers.

SOLUTION

Alloy overhauled the entire KYC/AML

process in Radius’s digital banking

platform. By combining multiple data

sources, fraud scores and authentication

tests into a single rules engine, customer

onboarding decisions were optimized,

transparent and made in seconds.

Most powerful of all, Alloy’s solution is

customizable. This flexibility enabled

Radius to create a risk decision scorecard

that can be tested and modified in real time.

RESULT

The strategic partnership has equipped

Radius with a best-in-class digital

application platform and has transformed

it into a recognized digital banking leader.

Radius is now efficiently and automatically

validating users’ identities and onboarding

customers. Where users did have to go

through manual review, the wait time

was significantly lowered by having one

place to review all application data and

documents. Furthermore, the transparency

of the Alloy platform gives Radius full

digital paper trails when audits take place.

Together with Alloy, Radius is empowered

to capture more value from their online

channels, delivering a far superior digital

experience to their clients, all while

lowering fraud.

50 %

95 % manual

review

30 % application

to account

conversion

fraudulent

account

openings

applications

alloy.co


RADIUS BANK

196

MARCH 2020


COMPANY FACTS

• Recently, Radius Bank

was named Best Online

Bank by Bankrate.com

• With the help of partners

like Alloy, Radius Bank

has been able to half its

fraudulent account

openings

substantial and competitive with the

standards of the best tech companies

and that employees have flexibility and

perks, such as the ability to work from

home. “We want to incorporate a fun,

hard working experience, while at the

same time acknowledging the need

for a cross functional, open-minded

approach from all of our employees.”

Security compliance comes down

all the way from the executive team

and board of directors. To this regard,

Mancini emphasises the importance

of leadership setting the example that

others should follow.

Security is a high priority to modern

consumers, but so is a frictionless

experience. Ultimately, it comes down

197

www.businesschief.com


RADIUS BANK

198

“Speed to

market is

critical, but

we also

need to

understand

there is risk

in the digital

space. It’s

about finding

the right

balance”


Joe Mancini,

Senior Vice President, Chief Information

Security Officer, Radius Bank

to providing customers with the

best experience possible in an allencompassing

single platform. Part

of engaging with new technologies is

acknowledging contemporary cybersecurity

needs. “Today’s cybersecurity

landscape presents a complex array of

risks with a growing list of technologydriven

tools to help combat those

threats,” Mancini says. The biggest risk

continues to be the human element.

Employees are still the main target of

malicious actors. “Phishing attempts

aren’t going away anytime soon.”

MARCH 2020


199

Mancini adds, “It’s about educating

employees and customers about these

potential risks.”

Partnering with fintechs puts Radius

Bank at the cutting edge of the industry,

meaning it becomes the company that

sets the precedent. Mancini states,

“rather than looking at it as a challenge,

we welcome the opportunity.” This is

particularly important moving into the

future, as the banking industry evolves

and becomes increasingly digital. Over

the next five years, Radius Bank intends

to continue being a leader within the

emerging technology sphere. It turns

towards international waters for inspiration,

absorbing concepts from the

advancing global technology. “We will

continue to strategically incorporate

high-tech driven initiatives,” Mancini

concludes. “We are an industry disruptor

and are excited for what the future

holds for Radius and our customers.”

www.businesschief.com


WRITTEN BY

SHANNON LEWIS

PRODUCED BY

SHIRIN SADR

200

Plymouth Rock

Assurance:

building up

from within

DECEMBER 2019


www.businesschief.com

201


PLYMOUTH ROCK ASSURANCE

We speak to Bill Martin, who

leads the Home Insurance Group

at Plymouth Rock Assurance,

about how being willing to

take risks for the sake of the

customer experience can lead

to sustainable growth

202

P

lymouth Rock Assurance, founded in

1982, is an insurance provider that had

historically focused on providing auto

insurance for the Northeastern USA. However, the

last two years have seen its Home Insurance Group

growing extraordinarily, all thanks to a decision by

the company to embrace homeowner’s insurance

as a growth strategy. “Our values are helping customers

solve their problems.” Bill Martin, who leads

the Home Insurance Group at the company, says,

“We go a little further than most companies are

willing to in order to do a better job.”

Martin was brought on to turn home insurance

at Plymouth Rock into a self-sustaining business

in 2016. “Coming into the home insurance business,

we already had established relationships

through our auto insurance connections, so we

had an embedded advantage. Our independent

agents and our distribution partners were already

committed and enthusiastic marketers of our

products,” he explains, “but it also provided us with

MARCH 2019


203

1982

Year founded

$1.5bn

Revenue in

US dollars

2,400

Number of

employees

www.businesschief.com


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Plymouth Rock:

Celebrating 35 Years

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:58

205

“What happens in the

background might be

very complicated, but

for you sitting on the

other end of the chatbot,

or our website, or the

phone, it looks like three

small steps”


Bill Martin,

Head of the Home Insurance Group,

Plymouth Rock Assurance

an opportunity to do something more

dramatic and sophisticated than what

was being done.”

The goal at Plymouth Rock was to

streamline the customer experience.

Traditionally, acquiring home insurance

is a complex process with dozens of

lengthy questionnaires full of “gotcha”

questions that either hike up the price

or justify denying the customer. “We

did something similar to what a startup

does,” Martin says. “We wiped the slate

clean.” This allowed the company to

establish a clear goal. “We wanted to

start with something very simple: what

www.businesschief.com


PLYMOUTH ROCK ASSURANCE

206

was the absolute ideal way for a customer

to buy and maintain their home

insurance policy?” Martin continues,

“Everything we do is built around that

specific experience.” Internally, the

quest for innovation saw the Home

Insurance Group completely remodel

its product manager role, following a

technology industry model. Historically,

product managers in the insurance

industry focus primarily on product

pricing. Plymouth Rock gave product

managers direct oversight for a variety

of employees, from data scientists to

technology IT professionals, user design

experts to business process engineers.

The resulting tool is called @Home.

While the average competitor takes

20-30 minutes to quote a home insurance

policy and find coverage, @Home

by Plymouth Rock Assurance can

do it in under five minutes. The quote

itself takes less than 30 seconds. “The

only way we can do that is by doing

our homework first,” says Martin. “We

try to answer all the questions about

the people and the houses that need

insurance before they even ask us for

a quote. We pre-rate all the homes

in our territory and figure out what it

MARCH 2019


www.businesschief.com

207


PLYMOUTH ROCK ASSURANCE

T

Plymouth Rock:

The future of Home Insurance is landing

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:11

208

costs to insure them for a basic coverage

package.” Everything delivered at

Plymouth Rock works alongside the

advent of technology. It is a learning

process, with customer experience

at the forefront. “What happens in the

background might be very complicated,

but for you sitting on the other end

of the chatbot, or our website, or the

phone, it looks like three small steps,”

Martin says. With Plymouth Rock’s new

tech platform, customers can submit

photographic evidence for simple

claims with the potential for instant

payments. While this isn’t possible for

every customer and every case, data

and analytics help the company define

when loss scenarios can be streamlined

like this. Customers can also

take pictures of their home and submit

them through an app developed by

Plymouth Rock when initially seeking

a home insurance policy. This removes

the need for inspections and allows

policies to be in force more quickly.

Plymouth Rock also focuses on the

importance of partial loss claims such

as ruined carpets or fire-damaged

MARCH 2020


kitchens. “Most home insurance companies

practically expect you to be

a general contractor, able to know how

much it’ll cost to rebuild your home

two years from now,” Martin says.

“Yet the majority of claims you make

aren’t total loss claims.”

The approach taken by Plymouth

Rock has had such great success that

it has started bleeding into other business

lines of the company. Plymouth

Rock’s home business has exceeded

internal expectations in terms of

both growth trajectory and business

profitability. While the insurance

industry grew around 3% last year,

the Home Insurance Group grew 57%.

Rapid growth is not the main challenge;

competitors can grow rapidly

by under-pricing the product. What

sets Plymouth Rock apart from the

many fast-growing insuretechs is how

it keeps growth in line with profitability.

Aside from a competitive market, the

company has had to face detractors

who operate traditionally and criticise

new methodologies. “There’s a lot

of mischaracterisation in what we’re 209

Bill Martin

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Bill Martin leads the Home Insurance Group at Plymouth

Rock and also oversees Plymouth Rock’s reinsurance

program. He joined Plymouth Rock in September 2016.

Bill has more than 30 years of experience in the property/

casualty insurance industry. He has held senior positions

at several companies including Farmers Insurance,

Progressive and Travelers. He has been involved in four

home and auto start-ups, most of which continue to

thrive today. Prior to joining Plymouth Rock, Bill was

President of Bankers Insurance in St. Petersburg,

Florida. Bill has a B.A. in political science from

Stanford University. He is an avid sailor, skier,

trombone player and sports fanatic.

www.businesschief.com


PLYMOUTH ROCK ASSURANCE

“While it takes a

little bravery to

do something

that’s dramatically

different, with

us, we’re less

brave than we

are strategic”

210


Bill Martin,

Head of the Home Insurance Group,

Plymouth Rock Assurance

doing,” Martin says, “but you make

yourself vulnerable to that whenever

you disrupt a market.”

This rapid growth has had its challenges.

Being at the forefront of

innovation means presenting unknown

processes to partners that might have

to change their workflow to accommodate

new systems. Meanwhile, finding

in-house talent to perform at the level

needed is an obstacle faced across

the industry. But it’s worth it. Plymouth

Rock’s quick processes allow agents

to spend more time talking to customers

about types of coverage instead of

price, ultimately selling more and more

often. “While it takes a little bravery to

do something that’s dramatically different,

with us, we’re less brave than we

are strategic.” Martin explains, “We use

a lot of data, advanced modelling, and

process technology behind the scenes.

MARCH 2019


211

It would be difficult for other companies

to replicate and deliver the results

we’re delivering.”

According to Martin, the industry

is on the cusp of major change.

“Five years from now, there will be

a shakeout of people who have

good technology but don’t have a

sustainable profit margin, leaving

only companies that are ‘doing it’

rather than talking about it.” Martin

concludes, “I think that will set us as

a market leader. Internally, it will be a

rollercoaster of making mistakes and

learning from those. Externally, for the

customer, it will be a lot more enjoyable

to buy home insurance.”

www.businesschief.com


212

WRITTEN BY

DANIEL BRIGHTMORE

PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

213


GREAT SOUTHWESTERN CONSTRUCTION

How Great Southwestern Construction

is training its teams to offer expertise

in EPC project delivery across a

range of substation, transmission

line and distribution system projects

214

S

ince 1977, Great Southwestern (GSW)

has successfully completed hundreds of

substation, transmission line and distribution

system projects throughout the United States.

During the 1980s company founder and Vietnam

War veteran Robert Martinez established the

company’s reputation on a series of power delivery

projects, securing government contracts with

the Western Area Power Authority and Bonneville

Electric while performing a substantial role in

the Central Arizona Irrigation Project. Expanding

into utilities projects, GSW became an operating

subsidiary of MYR Group in 2000. MYR Group

provides management expertise, resources and

financial backing that has allowed GSW to achieve

new levels of performance and the ability to take

on larger and more complex projects. This led to

GSW’s involvement in MYR Group’s largest single

project to date – the 235-mile, 345kV Cross

Texas Transmission Line, part of Texas’s US$7bn

Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ).

MARCH 2020


1977

Year founded

$1.6bn

MYR Group revenue

in US dollars

600+

Number of

employees

215

www.businesschief.com


GREAT SOUTHWESTERN CONSTRUCTION

216

“We want our employees

to feel as though they’re

part of a large team,

in a family where their

interests are looked out

for, that they’re valued”


Brandon Lark,

President, Great Southwestern Construction

“The acquisition by MYR helped

out a lot because it added the capital

resources needed to grow, supporting

the ability to buy equipment and bond

projects with capital backing,” recalls

President Brandon Lark. “Shared

resources throughout the group gave

us the opportunity to grow rapidly from

being a project focused organisation

that bounced around the country

focusing on single projects all won

through competitive hard bid, to an

organisation that is now regionally

focused with long-term MSA agreements

in multiple different regions

across the US.” Lark explains GSW is

focusing on overall market saturation

from a regional aspect and keeping

crews local to an area. “In the past

our crews would travel nationwide, so

this helps with our recruitment and our

employee development.”

RECRUITMENT & TRAINING

Since 2005, GSW has focused

on increasing the pace of its EPC

(Engineer-Procure-Construct) delivery

method. “We’ve prioritised developing

project management skills and capabilities

throughout our organisation,”

MARCH 2020


Great Southwestern

Construction, Inc

CLICK TO WATCH | 4:10

217

confirms Lark. “We have an in-house

development programme to develop

solid project managers across the

board. This has paid dividends in our

ability to communicate in a timely and

effective way with our clients. We

really like to have a very transparent

approach and, in order to do that, you

have to have a solid means and methods

of communication through project

management practices.”

Training is a key part of the process

at GSW where new hires will go

through a week-long orientation to give

them a grounding in the values and the

foundation of GSW and the organisation’s

expectations. Employees receive

industry training through MYR Group

going through the OSHA (ET&D) best

practice course to ensure safety is

paramount across all of GSW’s sites.

The continuous improvement of its

employees is important for GSW.

“Our employees have the opportunity

to take three paid Department of

Labor Bureau-accredited apprenticeship

programmes,” adds Lark.

GSW’s Transmission Lineman and

Distribution Lineman Apprenticeship

Programmes are provided through

www.businesschief.com


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“When we’re working towards

turnkey delivery methods

with our clients we want to

have sub-contractors, vendors

and staff that are working

with us repeatedly rather than

going out for the lowest bid

on every project”


Brandon Lark,

President, Great Southwestern Construction

T&D Power Skills, and are geared to

instruct electric utility line workers

with up-to-date, safety-related work

practices and technical skills related

to the installation, maintenance and

removal of transmission and distribution

systems. The company’s

Substation Technician Certification

Program is provided through the

Northwest Lineman’s College

(NLC) Power Delivery Program, is most

commonly used as the curriculum

component of apprenticeship leading

to journeyman certification, and is ideal

for adoption or endorsement by utility

company associations and state-wide

organisations. A third course focuses

on distribution alignment.

“Despite the fact we’ve grown tremendously

since the 1980s, we’ve

tried to maintain a family feeling, we

do that through our people first focus,”

says Lark. “We want our employees to

feel as though they’re part of a large

team, in a family where their interests

are looked out for, that they’re valued.

We do that by ensuring everybody has

a voice and understands it’s not only

a right, but an expectation, that if they

have questions they get the support

they need. We’re committed to helping

them improve their skill set to move

forward and grow as employees from

one day to the next.” Lark believes this

approach has helped GSW develop its

reputation as a solid organisation to

work for. “The transmission distribution

industry is a relatively small one,

word is spreading and people are

seeking us out.”

TURNKEY SOLUTIONS

GSW’s clients are increasingly looking

at outsourcing for the kind of specialised

expertise unavailable elsewhere

or over-committed in-house. “We must

be prepared to deliver turnkey solutions

to answer their call,” pledges Lark.

219

www.businesschief.com


GREAT SOUTHWESTERN CONSTRUCTION

Great Southwestern Construction:

Apprenticeship Program

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:10

220

Delivering these turnkey solutions often

comes in the form of EPC agreements,

prevalent on more complex projects.

EPC agreements allow owners to share

more risk and lower overall costs by

transferring a project’s engineering

design, procurement of equipment and

materials, and construction activities to

a single contractor.

To achieve this, Lark explains that

GSW takes an approach of partnerships

across the board. “When we’re

working towards turnkey delivery

methods with our clients we want to

have subcontractors, vendors and staff

that are working with us repeatedly

rather than going out for the lowest bid

on every project. The best way to show

steady improvement over time with a client

is by having a complete team that’s

all in and understands their key drivers.”

GSW’s in-house construction capabilities

secure the turnkey approach,

offering the opportunity for early stage

constructability analysis and the chance

to optimise value and enhance efficiency

to deliver the best overall design. By

directly managing all stakeholders GSW

enhances communication to minimise

impact on project schedules.

MARCH 2020


EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Brandon Lark

From Superintendent then Project Manager to Vice President

and now President, Brandon Lark’s breadth of experience at

Great Southwestern has given him a raft of hands on expertise

engaging with all facets of the organisation from the ground

up. “It’s given me an invaluable perspective on being able to

understand the challenges and the lifestyle that our folks lead

out in the field,” confirms Lark. “I understand the problems

they face day in and day out, and I’m always keen to get their

input on how we can improve. Our senior leadership team are

here to help ensure they have what they need to succeed

every day they go to work.”

221

“My hope is that the young folks out there

considering their careers and looking into

the trades can see from my career path

that you don’t necessarily have to jump

into a four-year degree and go down that

path right off the board. Actually, you

really can move into a trade and take that

route and it’s by no means closing a door to

the future opportunities that you thought

maybe your college degree would offer

you; there are other ways of doing

that and still achieving the

highest level of success

within an organisation.”

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GREAT SOUTHWESTERN CONSTRUCTION

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delivers optimal value while ensuring

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ability to prioritise economic, social,

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day-to-day operations.

“When we look at how Great

Southwestern promotes sustainability

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confirms Lark. “We seek out and

partner with renewable energy developers

to help bring solar and wind

energy projects to market. We come

into play to get their green energy

projects connected to the grid. We’ll

work on the high voltage side, and

the interconnection with the host utility.”

Driven by client expectations and

specifications, GSW has constructed

substations, transmission lines and

collector systems for solar and wind

farms throughout the US. The Magic

Valley wind farm in Texas (completed in

2013) was an EPC project consisting of

the construction of 258,000 circuit feet

of a 34.5kV underground collection

system and a new 138kV substation

including two 138kV breakers, eight

34.5KV breakers, all related steel, bus,

conduits, grounding, foundations, cable

trench, control building and site work.

“We’re seeing a huge drive on the

energy delivery front,” says Lark,

highlighting the chance for GSW to

capitalise on its expertise. “There’s a

big push to move away from coal and

towards more renewable, sustainable

energy. With that, there’s a lot of different

complexities that come into it. One

of the areas we really want to focus

on is that these renewable projects

223

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GREAT SOUTHWESTERN CONSTRUCTION

Great Southwestern Strengths

224

Cohesive Crews that Remain

Together from Project to

Project

A crew works best together only

when given the opportunity and

time to do so. This continuity

results in better performance,

greater efficiency and increased

safety – all factors that contribute

to the success of your project.

A Project-Based Focus on

Every Job

Our leadership and project

management teams are skilled

in all aspects of project controls

and reporting systems required

to efficiently and successfully

execute projects on-time and

on-budget. We have extensive

experience in design-build and

Engineer-Procure-Construct

(EPC) methods of project delivery,

and can also provide an array

of pre-construction services.

Our Attract, Train, Retain &

Grow Philosophy

We attract and retain good people

because we offer attractive

recruitment packages and provide

a firm foundation for professional

growth within the organisation.

Industry-Leading

Apprenticeship, Training,

Orientation and Safety

Programs

Our apprenticeship programs are

accredited by the Department of

Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

Great Southwestern dedicates

significant time and effort

to ensure our training,

orientation and safety programs

provide employees with the

latest, most comprehensive and

accurate information possible.

Extensive Resources

As part of MYR Group, Great

Southwestern possesses the

technical, financial and

managerial resources to install

multiple projects of virtually

any size and type.

MARCH 2020


generally drive much tighter timeframes

and therefore a higher degree

of need for solid project management.

We’ve got to be much more flexible,

be able to think out of the box and

accelerate projects to a pace that are

outside of normal utility delivery. We

really see an opportunity to be the

bridge between the developer and the

interconnecting utilities to help make

that happen.”

GROWTH MINDSET

“We’ve experienced steady and sustainable

growth,” says Lark proudly.

“Through that growth, we’ve been able

to offer opportunities for our employees

to grow too and improve their

positions within the organisation. We’re

in a growth mindset, which allows our

teams to set high goals and ultimately

go and achieve them.” Lark believes

that this mindset, coupled with GSW’s

commitment to safety and the value

that individual employees can bring, has

contributed to the company taking an

industry-leading role to become best

in class. “We’ve got a solid team of very

dedicated leaders across the organisation

and to me that’s a huge success.”

225

www.businesschief.com


GREAT SOUTHWESTERN CONSTRUCTION

“We seek out and partner

with renewable energy

developers to help bring

solar and wind energy

projects to market.

We come into play to get

their green energy projects

connected to the grid”


Brandon Lark,

President, Great Southwestern Construction

226

2020 VISION

“Projects like the Cross Texas

Transmission Line are huge undertakings

and show the industry what we’re

capable of,” says Lark. “When you look

at where we’re at today, we’re excited

about utilising those capabilities to

develop long-term relationships with

the likes of Oncor Electrics in Texas.

“We’re one of their primary contractors

and we have several hundred

employees on their system supporting

them day in and day out. It’s alliances

like these that we’re looking forward to

forging across the US.”

Looking to the future, Lark believes

the EPC model is going to be crucial in

bridging the gap to ensure deliverable

timeframes are met across a range of

MARCH 2020


projects, especially renewable energy.

“This not only helps from a developer

perspective, so they’re successful in

making sure that the timelines are met;

but also when dealing with the interconnecting

utility and ensuring all the

studies and standards of construction

are also met.”

“We’re reaching a point where a lot of

utilities don’t have the same in-house

capabilities that they used to have, due

to recruitment issues and staff retiring.

They’re looking at the EPC model as

a method of augmenting their project

delivery for their own capital projects.

That’s the other area where we’re looking

to fill the needs across the board,

and a lot of that is ensuring that we’re

bringing on that expertise in-house to

meet client expectations. We’re aiming

to balance the needs of both sides of

the fence and I think we are in a very

good position to be able to do that

moving forward.”

227

www.businesschief.com


228

DC BLOX:

SERVING LOCALLY,

CONNECTING

GLOBALLY

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH

PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

229


DC BLOX

JEFF UPHUES, CEO OF DC BLOX,

DISCUSSES THE COMPANY’S

GROWTH IN UNDERSERVED

MARKETS AND HOW IT EMBEDS

ITS TIER 3 DATA CENTRES INTO

THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

230

D

C BLOX was established in 2014 to

provide data centres to markets with

a distinct, but unfulfilled, need for them.

“I’ve been the CEO of DC BLOX for about three

years now,” says Jeff Uphues. “I originally joined as

a supervisory board member and then was asked

by the board of directors to come into the role and

lead the company in its expansion, placing these

data centres in underserved yet growing markets

throughout the Southeastern United States.”

Fulfilling this vision has required a focus on a few

core fundamentals. “There’s three things that we

do and stay focused on,” he says. “One is providing

in-market colocation, meaning the housing in a

safe, secure environment of servers as well as other

technology infrastructure. We provide robust connectivity

across our platforms with connections to

other cloud service providers, connections to the

internet, connections to other major markets. Then

we provide cloud services ourselves. Not all data

is created equal, and it’s critical to be able to store

it close to where it’s actually being consumed.”

MARCH 2020


231

2014

Year founded

HQ

Atlanta, Georgia

USA

35

Number of

employees

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DC BLOX

232

“WE HAVE ONE

VISION WHICH

IS TO SERVE

LOCALLY AND

CONNECT

GLOBALLY”


Jeff Uphues,

CEO, DC BLOX

There are currently four such locations

of consumption catered to

by DC BLOX, with data centres in

Chattanooga, Tennessee; Huntsville

and Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta,

Georgia. All are growing markets, as

Uphues explains. “We see a significant

migration of population and businesses

in the US from northern cities

down into the Southeast. What’s driving

them there is the cost of living or

quality of life and just good weather.”

What these diverse cities share, apart

MARCH 2020


DC Blox:

Connected datacenters

for digital business

CLICK TO WATCH | 1:47

233

from a relative geographic proximity,

is a burgeoning technology scene.

“Many of these markets are not known

as technology hubs, but they see the

benefits of the growth and they need

the core infrastructure such as the

data centres and network services

which we provide. Generally, our target

markets are below the radar of some of

the major national markets where you

find a lot of competitors, so they really

embrace us.”

DC BLOX’s data centres are all built

to Tier 3 standard, signifying a high

level of reliability. That’s achieved firstly

www.businesschief.com


DC BLOX

234

with quality infrastructure. “Our data

centres have to be highly resilient in

terms of network architecture and the

type of equipment that we use. We use

premium products, driven by premium

service level agreements. We build

our own private network across the

Southeastern US and then we connect

that back into exchanges and public

cloud providers. We really look at that

connectivity and the uptime of our

facilities as the core value that we bring

to our markets.” Achieving DC BLOX’s

high standards also requires a high

standard of construction. ”Beyond the

connectivity, it’s a question of how we

build these facilities to be Tier 3-rated.

It comes down to being concurrently

maintainable, meaning that if any one

system in the building fails, there is a

backup system that can take over. It’s

part of the design, it’s in the materials

and the type of vendors that we use.

It’s in the architecture for how we connect

them together.”

The pace of DC BLOX’s growth has

been steady, having launched a data

centre each year since 2017. That’s

not engendered any complacency,

however, with the organisation looking

MARCH 2020


to accelerate its growth. “We’ve spent

a lot of time looking at where we can

expand and how we can grow even

faster. There are 16 markets we’ve

identified, and we’ve lined up roughly

the next five to six locations. We’re

picking up our pace to put in at least

two to three data centres per year.”

The choice of a new location is only

arrived at after significant investigation,

however, as Uphues explains. “To help

us determine the size and scope of the

facility we’re looking to build, we look

235

Jeff Uphues

EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Jeff leads DC BLOX as a proven C-Level executive with deep

expertise in data centre infrastructure, hybrid cloud

services and the operation of communication

networks. He is responsible for setting and leading

the company’s strategy in driving the growth and

profitability of best-in-class infrastructure for digital

services. Prior to DC BLOX, Jeff held numerous C-suite

leadership positions in sales, marketing and operations

for Liquid Web, Cbeyond, Bandwidth, ACSI Network

Technologies and MCI. Jeff graduated from the Harvard

Business School, Rice University’s Jones School of

Business Executive Education program and

completed his undergraduate studies at the

University of Texas at Arlington.

www.businesschief.com


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“IT’S CRITICAL TO

BE ABLE TO STORE

[DATA] CLOSE

TO WHERE IT’S

ACTUALLY BEING

CONSUMED”


Jeff Uphues,

CEO, DC BLOX

at the size of the market, the amount

of fiber, the number of businesses

headquartered there. Then we look

at markets that are underserved but

growing. What does the competitive

landscape look like? How well would

we be received with our vision of serving

locally and connecting globally?

And then, finally, we work with state

and local governments and corporate

leaders to confirm the need for and

the advantages of what we do. Each

market takes us about a year and

a half to really get to understand it.”

237

DC Blox holds Birmingham

grand opening

CLICK TO WATCH | 3:38

www.businesschief.com


DC BLOX

238

“WE LOOK AT

MARKETS

THAT ARE

UNDERSERVED

BUT GROWING”


Jeff Uphues,

CEO, DC BLOX

MARCH 2020


www.businesschief.com

239


DC BLOX

240

It’s not just its technological capabilities

that have led to DC BLOX’s growth.

The company also prides itself on its

integration with the local community.

“The one thing that I know sets us

apart, because I hear it all the time, is

our community focus,” Uphues emphasises.

“When we come into a market,

we have one vision which is to serve

locally and connect globally. That

means we’re serving local businesses,

we’re serving with our time through

volunteering, we’re serving nonprofits,

we’re serving the community and

understanding their challenges and

their needs. We’re a part of the fabric

of the community when we come in as

well as contributing to the technology

environment.”

For the industry as a whole, Uphues

anticipates the importance of edge

computing, where facilities are built

close to where they’re needed, to only

increase. “For us, the edge is where

the application meets the network.

Trends like 5G, IoT and gaming mean

MARCH 2020


241

we need to push compute closer to

consumers. That’s going to require

more local and regional data centres to

handle all the data and best connect it

to the network.” As for DC BLOX itself,

the focus has been on edge markets

and the goal is to increase the pace.

“We know that gets harder and harder

as you get bigger,” Uphues says, “but

we’re a company that is doubling revenue

every single year and doubling

the size of our footprint of where we go.

It’s a great time to be in the data centre

business. It’s a great time to be doing

this across underserved markets. We

can become a strong partner for the

community, both in our ability to serve

locally and connect globally as DC

BLOX continues to expand across the

Southeast United States.”

www.businesschief.com

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