Q: Describe your company.
A: ABD was established in 1982. We develop software specifically for the staffing industry. ABD offers a complete front and back office solution with portals and mobile capability; cloud hosting; software implementation services; training and software support. Our customers are nationally located. We are one phone call for everything they need to run their staffing business utilizing our software.
President/CEOAutomated Business Designs Inc. (ABD)
9450 W. Bryn Mawr, Suite 120, Rosemont, IL 60018
Local office: Rosemont
Industry: Software Development
Number of employees: 30
Family information: Husband and 2 children (boy-28 and girl-24)
Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: Absolutely. We are actually in the process of moving to a larger office; contracting for a new build out and purchasing all new office furniture and phone system. This is all in anticipation of additional hiring and attracting more talent. We have half of the first floor in our office building now but we have outgrown it. We want to add some great new features for our employees like a Wi-Fi lounge; huddle room; fitness center; etc.
Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: To find high quality employees that are experienced in our technology.
Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?
A: The cloud and web-based portals.
Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie CEO, what would it be?
A: Never forget it's all about the people. The people that work for you and the people you service.
Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?
A: We write 100 percent of our code in-house by our own W-2 employees. It is a tough job especially because we offer payroll and OnBoarding with electronic forms.
The new I9 is one example of a challenging project we recently completed for electronic signature on our OnBoarding. Many of our competitors outsource such work.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: Yes. "Do whatever it takes."
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Write; watch movies and sports; volunteer; go to the city and I attend a fitness class. I am also a Judge Judy closet fan.
Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?
A: Our clients who I have seen in startup mode and who are now at the top of their industry.
Q: What book is on your nightstand?
A: "The Making of the Wizard of Oz." I have been a Wizard of Oz fan since I first saw it when I was 5. You learn amazing things from the most basic books.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Trying to figure out what the next technological breakthrough will be so that we can get ready to embrace it.
Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: I would be in interior design.
Q: What was your first paying job?
A: I was a Dictaphone operator for Equifax on summer break from college. It was great. I was a very fast typist.
Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?
A: Chicago Cubs, of course.
Q: What is one funny thing that has happened to you in your career?
A: I was 23 and working for a large IT company called EDS. I showed up to teach a manufacturing class to a large group of factory workers at one of our clients. I could see the doubt in their eyes when I walked in. Nobody expected a petite young girl was going to be their instructor.
I was prepared for that because I knew who the audience would be. They quickly found out I really knew my stuff and totally engaged.
Funny thing is I had only been employed by EDS for 3 weeks. Several years later that client's vice president of manufacturing ended up working for me.
Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why.
A: Honestly, my marketing team handles my Twitter account. I rarely tweet. I am too wordy to fit a message into 140 characters. I am more of a LinkedIn person. On LinkedIn I follow my clients and industry organizations. I can't say enough about my clients. Every one of them has an interesting story to tell. It is important to know the stories if you want to fill the need.