Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thinking Out Loud

Every morning around 9am I gather together with around 10 of our key team members for morning briefing.

It's something I picked up from my days working in hospitality where each morning the executive management team would sit in the General Manager's office and each manager would give a quick summary of what was happening in the hotel that day.

Attendance was compulsory.

As Teamwork Oz grows I have become reliant on these briefings to keep me in touch with our clients, our team members and our suppliers.

But what I love the most about these briefings is what I call thinking out loud.

The glass wall doubles as a whiteboard
Some of our best ideas come from these briefings. The simplest comment from a staff member can spark a discussion that turns our 10 minute briefing into a 30 minute discussion and brain storming session. 

Each morning, the briefing points are documented in our team room, which is an electronic collection of all Teamwork Oz meeting minutes, weekly summaries and reports, ideas and action plans.

To support and encourage the team to think out loud we adopted some initiatives that help to generate an atmosphere of comfort to ensure team members have the vision to know what needs to be talked about and to offer suggestions and solutions.

We have whiteboards in every office and area in the building. But i love to just use the glass in the boardroom when I am thinking out loud.  Sometimes I'll just wander into the main office area and start thinking out loud. Somebody is always willing to join in.

The leisure area is a relaxing place to meet
We have also recently created a leisure area for team members to relax in. They can take their work in there, they can eat their lunch there or they can have meetings in there. As long as it is used, I am happy.

So, as I continue on the exciting path Teamwork Oz is taking me down, one of the things that keeps me excited and engaged at work is the ability to keep our organisation and its service offerings at the front of the pack. 

And not just coming up with new ideas but following those ideas through.

Robert Saltalamacchia

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Continuing to invest in the latest technology.

You may have read a previous blog about my determination to find a True Cloud accounting package.  We gave the Quickbooks online offering a trial, which in reality was just their standard software solution dished up to the web using a terminal service or Citrix.

Well I think I may have found what I have been looking for.  Xero is a true cloud offering so it meets our ICT strategy perfectly.  It is simple to use, completely web based and even has an iPad app to allow me to check things on the go - which I never do.

This is not an ad for Xero.  It's just that I love when technology is affordable and can make a difference to productivity.

Some of the things Xero will allow us to do is fully integrate with our Enterprise solution. We are very proud of our purpose built software solution, however, it still requires some duplication of work to ensure our accounting software is up to date.

We are working at the moment with our IT team, TLA Software Solutions to share information between the two systems which we are confident will generate significant efficiencies within our organisation.

These efficiencies also flow through to our competitive pricing model ensuring we offer value-for-money on the services we provide.

Xero already allows us to do a number of tasks that previously weren't available to us including
  • Online payslips available for viewing by staff.
  • Online annual leave requests.
  • Daily bank account reconciliation, using the online bank feeds
  • Eileen, our payroll officer loves that payroll can be saved so she can work on other things and come back to where she left off.
Xero doesn't do everything we would like it to :
  • Job costing for individual jobs
  • Past payslips are not easily accessible.  The pay officer must find the actual pay run to find the payslip for the individual.
Overall we are pleased with our decision to switch from Quickbooks to Xero.  Please feel free to comment on this blog and thanks for reading.

Robert Saltalamacchia
Teamwork Oz Pty Ltd

Monday, July 30, 2012

Goodbye Telstra, Hello Vodafone

One week has elapsed since I ported our mobile numbers from Telstra to Vodafone and the sky didn't fall in.

When I mentioned to some people that I was changing I got some puzzled looks. It seemed that many people questioned my decision with one person asking whether I valued my business.

Yes I am well aware of the problems Vodafone had with their network.  Yes their network had severe issues, but do you realise that was back in 2010.

In the end, their offer was to good to refuse.  I stand to save thousands of dollars over 2 years.  Each time I raised an objection they simply shut it down by upping their offer. 

I know the mobile phone is integral in both business and in my personal life but there are alternatives.  Just hours before writing this blog my mobile phone went flat while on an interstate trip.  No problem, I had skype,and email as backup. Still plenty of ways for me to keep in touch and people to keep in touch with me.

And to the people who questioned my decision I ask, would my customers really hold me responsible for any problems of my mobile network provider?  

My switch to Vodafone should save me thousands and if it means a few drop outs well I guess I am doing my bit to keep the industry competitive.  Really, where would we be if we were still at the mercy of just Telstra.

I have my fingers crossed and I am sure Vodafone wont let me down.

Please let me know what your mobile network provider is like.