Scaling a software organization is challenging, time consuming, and wrought with opportunities for missteps.
A couple of months back when my Ohanafy co-founders and I sat in a room dreaming about our future in building a software solution for Craft Beverage Manufacturing, we knew one thing… we wanted to be different.
All of our founders have held roles in product companies in the past. We have seen what works really well and we have also seen what can be improved upon. Here are some of the ways we have intended and executed on being different!
We don’t want to be forced to grow too quickly. Scaling a software organization is challenging, time consuming, and wrought with opportunities for missteps. Because of this, we made a strategic decision very early to stay small and work with the skillsets we have until we get the product into a stable version. This would ensure that we would have less “cooks in the kitchen” and give us the assurance that we are building the most impactful features and functionality our way. This adds less stress that normally comes with having a huge product development team full of differing opinions on architecture and code standards.
Our Head of Implementation has been alongside our Head of Product since day one, to help architect our solution. A lot of software companies think about implementation after the product has been developed and it’s only then that the difficulties with data architecture are really identified. By partnering implementation with product development, we’ve ensured that we keep implementation at the top of mind in every feature we develop. We are excited to see the efficiencies during implementation that we gain by making this move early. We know our customers don’t have a big appetite for complex projects and timelines. By keeping implementation and product development tightly aligned, we will create the synergies we need for successful implementations at faster speeds.
Our Head of Product has done dozens of implementations on the Salesforce platform. For the same reasons above, we believe that the people developing the product need to understand the project considerations when rolling out something as robust as Salesforce. Keeping this top of mind throughout the product development process remains top priority for so many reasons.
Our Chief Executive Officer has written the majority of our user stories. She goes out into the market, works in the breweries who welcome her to volunteer and then translates those requirements into user stories for our product team. She also helps architect our product and is our biggest “power user” who can test better and faster than most celebrated software testers. We believe firmly that everyone in our organization needs to firmly grasp our mission, objectives, and product. Who better to demonstrate this value than our CEO!
Our Head of Sales used to be in charge of purchasing software in other companies he’s worked at. We believe that our messaging needs to appeal to our buyers and having our sales teams really understand how software buying decisions are prioritized and decided on will help make sure our messaging hits the mark and that we are always focussed on value over features. Our Head of Sales is also doubling as Head of Operations which means he understands intimately what every dollar of revenue means to our growing organization.
Our entire team knows the platform on which we have decided to build. The Salesforce platform has a lot of “pros” but if you don’t intimately know and understand it, you can often overlook out of the box features and over-architect your solution. We don’t want to over-architect anything! Our team works hard to ensure we take advantage of every feature we can possibly derive directly from Salesforce without spinning our wheels recreating new functionality.
Our Head of Customer Success has a masters degree in Digital Marketing. We know that our customers will benefit tremendously from having support and guidance specific to marketing, social media, and digital marketing. We looked into the market for someone who knows and understands marketing and business development as much as she understands Salesforce.
While we still have work to do and a big mountain to climb as we take our first customers live on the software, we believe we have done everything in our power to streamline the implementation and customer success components of our business. We have aligned our priorities toward making our customers successful as quickly as possible.
Ohanafy made a strategic decision to undoubtedly “be different” through our business development and processes. We truly believe and live our core values and mission everyday, and we are ecstatic to be on this journey together.
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