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I’m in Love with my Car (Workforce)

July 23, 2014

mystery-suvTonight I’m headed to my local Acura dealer to begin exploring a replacement for my 2008 TSX. I love the car, but as it nears 150,000 miles, I don’t want to push my luck on longevity. Their upcoming TLX looks interesting, but it’s a first year model, plus I may be going SUV this time around unless the TLX sedan comes with an ejector seat. I’m not naming any names, and all I’ll say is that it’s not getting any easier for one of my passengers to extract themselves after a long drive… Tonight I’ll check out the Acura RDX and the larger MDX. Any other suggestions?

Like most industries, auto manufacturing is competitive, and car companies look for every advantage they can get along their complex supply chains. Forbes just put out their list of the top 10 global automakers, and the majority of them are Kronos customers. One of them, Agustin Salas, human resources manager for Volkswagen in Mexico said, “We have saved nearly $900,000 through maintenance and overtime control and other efficiencies with Kronos. Kronos enables our plant management to secure accurate and on-time data on labor costs to help improve overall budget management.”

Hmmm… maybe I should check out the VW Touareg.

In other news… We just announced our third quarter results, and of course there was this:

“The Kronos Cloud is experiencing significant growth across all market segments. 77 percent of new customer bookings were from an array of Kronos Cloud offerings, bringing the total number of organizations leveraging the Kronos Cloud to nearly 12,000.”

As an employee, it’s difficult to not sometimes take this continued success for granted. In my 14 years, we’ve grown consistently and profitably from $200 million to over a billion in revenue. It’s been a great ride, and it’s comforting to hear our CEO, Aron Ain say, “the best days are still ahead for Kronos.”

Who are the People in Your Venn Diagram?

July 22, 2014

people I most enjoyReaders of this space will know I appreciate the value of content curation out here on the World Wide Web. The thing about sharing stuff on the internet is that good form dictates assigning attribution to the content. In other words, you tell your audience how you found it, and whose original content is it.

The Joyce's - (Work) and (Play)

The Joyce’s – (Work) and (Play)

This morning, my social media pal, and former co-worker, Kelley “Liked” this Venn diagram posted by Linkedin CEO, Jeff Weiner. Now I can’t tell if the pic is Jeff’s original creation, but if it is, it makes his gig even cooler. I don’t typically sit around creating Venn’s, but Jeff went to Wharton, so maybe he does. In any case, it’s cool, Kelley helped me find it, and it is a perfect intro to my lovely afternoon of golf yesterday to help our pal Barb and Kronos raise money for the local UMass-Lowell hockey team.

Pete repairing one of only two ball marks created by team Kronos...

Pete repairing one of only two ball marks created by team Kronos…

It was a great day spent with three favorite people who live in the middle of my concentric circles, (Play)Joyce, (Work)Joyce, and Pete Broderick, the owner of a sweet golf swing, and the guy that hired me at Kronos (in spite of his denials). We had a ball (and lost many) while finishing dead last. I could easily blame it on the ladies, but since they outdrove us all day, that wouldn’t really be um, up to par. Hey, it’s a tough game that can crush the will of any man. Late in the day after a particularly rough hole, Pete said, “I want to play from the ladies tee.” Yeah, the game can be crushing.

There are a lot of people in the “People I Most Enjoy Working With” at Kronos, like Barb, (Work)Joyce, and Pete, and many others, plus we’re always looking for more. So who are the people in the middle for you? More importantly, are you in the sweet spot for them?

Do You Have Kronos Ingenuity?

July 21, 2014
ISEE-3 Reboot Project

ISEE-3 Reboot Project

Yesterday I read a fascinating New York Times article about how a small team of volunteers and aerospace engineers have crowd-sourced nearly $160,000 in financing to rescue a spacecraft launched from earth in 1978, but since abandoned by NASA. The bootstrapping team signed an agreement with NASA to take over the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, or ISEE-3, and so far have been able to: contact and control the spacecraft, obtain telemetry data on things like position and speed, and fire up the ISEE-3’s engines. The team wrote software to replace the functionality of old ground control hardware, long lost to time. They’re still trying to attain consistent control of the engines, and when they hit problem solving obstacles, they use their Twitter account to ask for help. Then they get inundated with responses from thousands of fans and supporters. I found it an inspiring story. The scope of human ingenuity is limited only by our imagination.

The tale got me thinking about our thousands of customers and millions of users. I wonder how they’re extending the utility of our solutions… If you’re supporting/using a Kronos system, please comment on:

  • What unique interfaces to other systems have you created?
  • Have you written any interesting custom code as “bolt-ons” to Kronos?
  • What unique reports have you designed?
  • Have you used the broad configuration options in Workforce Central to track things other than time?
  • What else have you done with Kronos that you consider unique or cool?

Also, if you’ve worked with customers creating these unique solutions, let us know in the comments what you’ve seen/done. I’m sure there are some amazing customer built solutions out there. I’m just not sure my SETI signal is strong enough to reach them.

 

(Employee) Ghosts in the (Cloud) Machine?

July 18, 2014

Kronos Empty OfficesThis week Newsweek has an article titled Cloud Computing Is Killing the Traditional Office. Is that where everyone is today, in the mystical cloud machine? Walking the halls this morning has a creepy slasher-film vibe to it. Between vacations and working from home, this place is a ghost town. I worked from home yesterday, and enjoyed a more productive day than I typically have here. We have a liberal work from home policy, and among the many benefits WFH provides, Kronos gains high employee satisfaction and engagement. It’s become a part of our culture that allows employees to better focus on serving our customers and each other instead of commuting and worrying about our kids. It doesn’t matter where we work. It only matters that we can best focus on it. I love this quote from the Newsweek piece:

“For many companies, then, the most valuable assets have become creativity and culture. The companies with the best ideas win. And the companies that can carve out an identity and image win.”

Speaking of being Out of the Office…
We’re teaming up with SHRM on August 7, 2014, 2:00 PM ET for Heavy Lifting: How Hidden Absence Costs Add Up – and Weigh You Down, a free webinar to explore how automating absence management can help you:

  • Efficiently manage scheduled and unscheduled absence
  • Identify and rectify costly absence trends
  • Use real-time data visibility for quick fixes to last minute absences
  • Minimize compliance risk associated with FMLA

If you’d rather be in Vegas than In the office…
Today is the last day to save $300 when you register for KronosWorks, November 9-12 at the ARIA Resort in Las Vegas! I’ve already mentioned that KISS will be in town rocking a rock residency at the Hard um, Rock Hotel & Casino for nine shows beginning Nov. 5, but really that’s just frosting on the KronosWorks cake! Hey, you don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to these fine folks preview the big show!

Only 4% of companies offer this…

July 17, 2014
(Work)Joyce's Volt being charged at the office

(Work)Joyce’s Volt being charged at the office

Yesterday morning, my daily email alert from HR and Payroll Answerforce™ (part of our customer.kronos.com portal), included the story, “Four percent of employers offer electric car charging stations to employees, SHRM survey finds.” Hmmm… I know (Work)Joyce charges her fancy Chevy Volt outside, so I guess we’re in the 4%. I slipped outside to grab a pic. As I approached, the photo frame revealed itself  to include our campus building across the street housing all the smart people in product development and support. I was glad (Work)Joyce wasn’t at her desk. She usually makes me carry groceries out to her car…

I hustled inside so she wouldn’t see me away from my desk, and checked out the picture. Nice… I cropped it a bit, then expanded it to 100%. I wondered if I could see anyone in the windows across the street, then WT…!? Just above the Kronos logo… Those eyes… That rage… How the hell did she get on the roof?

Anyway, I expect you’ll be seeing a job opening for a Services Marketing Director here soon. Hey, I still recommend it. The cool building designs and plug-in stations are just a couple of the benefits of working at Kronos. In the SHRM article, Bruce Elliott, SHRM manager of compensation and benefits said, “Corporate social responsibility is a trending practice among companies. Adding this benefit is yet another example of that. Additionally, the needs of employees are changing, and in response, companies are adapting to meet those needs.”

Yeah, my needs are changing. I wonder if Kronos will offer an employee version of a Witness Protection Program?

Bloggers note: Hey, I kid (Work)Joyce. She’s a lovely woman, my friend, and really like my (Work)wife (see: “groceries” above). In fact, we’re playing together in a charity golf event on Monday with (Play)Joyce, and Petey, the guy who hired me. I think I’ll have some blog fodder for Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

How NOT to do Customer Retention

July 16, 2014

CableGuyCustomer retention is critical to the success of most companies, but especially service providers who depend on customers paying them over a long period. Retaining customers is best achieved by providing an excellent experience for those you serve. Recently a customer of a large cable TV provider requested an end to their service. For about 20 minutes the “customer service” rep interrogated the customer about why they were leaving. The tele-shakedown went on for about 20 minutes, and the customer recorded the last 8… Although the company did issue a public apology, I wonder how many customers they’ll lose over the behavior of a single rep trying to retain one?

In light of this viral disaster, there are customer service lessons to be learned

Net Neutrality Public Comment Deadline Today!

July 15, 2014

john-oliver-FCCI first wrote about the net neutrality issue about 6 months ago, including my concern that an FCC ruling against net neutrality could increase prices for consumers and businesses on many internet services including SaaS and cloud computing applications like our own Workforce Ready and Workforce Central SaaS. This morning I was reminded via public radio that today is the deadline to submit comments to the FCC regarding the issue. If you’d like your opinion heard, you can use the FCC’s Web- form, or email them directly at openinternet@fcc.gov.

In case you’re not familiar with the net neutrality debate, comedian John Oliver spends about 13 minutes explaining his position on Last Week Tonight. Warning: He’s pretty passionate about it, and says some bad words…

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