First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Brady Lewis: We’ve all kept healthy. We’ve been through all the normal stages of this very odd period. “New normal” is a pretty good life, other than I want to start traveling again!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Allmoxy.
Brady Lewis: In 2008, I was running the family cabinet outsource shop and needed a software solution. I saw an obvious lack of options for small business manufacturing software, so I began building our own.
As everyday problems would arise, we would solve them, systemize them, and write them into the new software solution. After growing 120% during the recession on the new platform, and being constantly questioned if it was for sale, it was clear that this new platform could be very valuable for others as well, and Allmoxy was born.
After a few years in use, and with crucial contributions from my brothers Bobby, Beau, Brett, and my father Lanny, we sold the family business to focus on helping other companies repeat our success by focusing on systems and people.
How does Allmoxy innovate?
Brady Lewis: At first, I would read books on successes in non-related industries and stretch the findings to apply to my business. Now that we’re a mature company with a list of clients, the process has changed. Our customers are very opinionated, and they request a lot of features. Every feature that comes in is treated with respect. I first look at it at face value, and then I try to unravel what they ACTUALLY are trying to solve and see if I can improve the feature. After that, I try to find connections to other features and see if connecting it, splitting it, stripping it, or making it bigger will make it more potent. I try to throw everything out the door and let my mind get into a creative flow where anything is possible.
Once all of that is done, I go back to the customer with the new version of the feature and HOPE they reject it. If they do, that means there is even more improvement to be had. When they respond, I repeat the cycle. It’s a hardback and forth, but it’s how we create something better than any one person could have created on his own. I try to never settle on thinking I know what is best, or that the customer even knows what they want. I have a very skeptical attitude towards every requested feature, and I always push it, poke it, and want it to be more than what it starts out as.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Brady Lewis: I have joked to my team that everyone will think WE were behind this virus. We’re in an industry (woodworking) that needed a little jolt to make the final move to the cloud. Corona was the final push to bring our industry into the era we’ve been waiting for them to be for years. Customers that have been kicking the tires for years are now beating down our door to get up and running.
We’ve gone through many iterations of how to work as a team. We use Slack and Zoom for day-to-day operations. We have a standup meeting once a week where we all report what we’re working on next, how the last week went, and what is standing in our way. Then we have 1 office day per week where we get our fill of social with a team lunch and have all our face-to-face meetings. Other than that, it’s all remote work. We haven’t “nailed” the perfect balance of in-person and remote, but I feel like we’re getting close.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Brady Lewis: I have a pretty high tolerance for stress, and I’m never anxious. I think the phrase “Productively Paranoid” (I think that was used in a Jim Collins book) fits my demeanor. If I do get stressed, I eat a burger or switch to a task that requires creativity!
Who are your competitors?
Brady Lewis: We don’t have any direct competitors in our space yet. Our biggest threat is industry adoption. We do compete against the status quo and legacy fragmented systems that work well enough to keep the business running.
Your final thoughts?
Brady Lewis: As we use technology to free up humans from mundane tasks, we should be very cognizant of where we reallocate the freed-up resources. If we simply capture the value and send it right to the bottom line (in the form of laying off employees, etc.), we will not get the real potential of the return on investment. Instead, Allmoxy encourages using the human capital gained to do things that only humans can do, that is, make human connections. Those tighter social connections will return exponentially in the form of loyalty, innovation, creativity, and brand exceptionalism. I believe the stand-out companies of the future will all understand this truth.
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