We talked to Graham Fell, Executive Vice President at FlexDev, a trusted advisor that helps companies set up their own delivery centers and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Graham Fell: Fortunately, the people I care about are well and have not experienced any direct issues relating to this terrible Pandemic.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
Graham Fell: I joined FlexDev to change the way companies looked at IT and Finance outsourcing. FlexDev has an exciting value proposition that has turned the traditional outsourcing model on its head. FlexDev is a forward-thinking company that is looking at the latest trends and technologies. We look closely at technology disruptors and monitor changing market conditions, and then we leverage technology and processes to change people’s behavior in order to get the desired cultural trait while also advocating diversity and inclusion to speed up digital transformation programs for their clients. Digital transformation is as much about people as it is technology, which is why I was interested in joining the FlexDev journey.
How does your company innovate? How have you managed to come out strong from the Pandemic?
Graham Fell: There is nothing slow about the global technology market. Those who want to succeed in such an arena must reflect the industry’s speed, adaptability, and dynamism. Not content with staying in one place, the market looks forever forwards. Onwards. To more. To better. While its most colossal paragons often define the technology landscape, its newest members make the largest waves. This is very much the case with FlexDev. We drive innovation and look at several areas such as
- Ambition and Drive
- customer Focus
- Diversity and the Ability to Spot Trends
FlexDev is an Innovative company and is always changing, always trying out new ideas and offering new services and products. Every product/service may not be a perfect fit, but they keep refining and adapting to their marketplace and learning. Trendspotting and diversity are essential characteristics of what we do.
In addition to the top three characteristics of innovative companies, there are other essential ingredients. We have a strong workforce that feels like an integral part of the company. Other essential characteristics include the confidence to take risks as well as the confidence to pull the plug. It is also crucial to be informed of the minutiae of all the latest variables that affect the marketplace.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Graham Fell: As a result of working in digital transformation [software development], we have seen our business double in size during the Pandemic.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Graham Fell: It is challenging to manage remote teams and to onboard new members. Connectivity is key to feeling involved with a company’s culture in parallel. In parallel, projects are being derailed and delayed. By leveraging the various technologies to connect people, of course, works; however, it is not the same as meeting face to face and grabbing a coffee, and catching up on business matters. A lot of team building and business colleague relationships develop while in the office, and due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this did not really happen at all in 2020 and going into 2021, we are still faced with the same issues.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Graham Fell: As our clients are everything to us, FlexDev’s success is balanced across three distinct pillars: Client-centricity, diversity of thought, and proactivity. For us to keep strong relationships, we have harnessed the usual suspects such as Microsoft Teams/Zoom/Slack, etc.
Your final thoughts?
Graham Fell: No matter how well prepared you are as a business, I do not think anyone could have predicted the devastating ramifications that this Pandemic has had on many people and many companies [ both large and small]. You could say that FlexDev was lucky as we work with the UK’s number one fashion retailer. It is no secret that the e-commerce sector was one of the few that emerged last year not only relatively unscathed but, dare we say it, more substantial than it entered. However, it would be remiss to put FlexDev’s enviable growth down to simple luck and to be in the right place at the right time. FlexDev has a core ethos that serves to differentiate it from countless others who struggled over the last 12 months – and that core is a dedication to client centricity and ability to adapt, and willingness to change.
No one was expecting this ironic twist in the last season of “Brexit” and pulling reference to the title of this article, “businesses are like biology” I would like to quote what Charles Darwin said “those who survive ‘are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change,'” I think this encapsulates what and how to survive in today’s business conditions.