According to Stephen ; “That first project made us think: woah! Both of these companies seemed to want the same thing, but there was no easy and effective solution available that they could use. So we decided to make a product that filled this gap. We realized there was nothing accessible or user-friendly for the smaller business market.” (Markowski, 2012) In the modern digital age the need for better software, constant updates, patches and new technological capabilities are ever increasing. (Lewis, 2012) Supporting the 10x rule, where a little is not enough, to gain market traction a product must be exponentially better.
This works towards their advantage because they work in the exact opposite way of their inventory competitors. They have no sales people and treat their software as designer grade without the designer price tag, while at the same time being a free to test and try packaged software deal. In short, creating a competitive advantage in the billion dollar software industry.
Although they are on the fast track to even greater success it wasn’t without its challenges. Designing and building the system wasn’t the problem, which is usually the case when it came to programming software. It was the distribution and marketing. Since the product was free it took a while for people to take notice and start recommending it to other businesses. But Stephen and Louis didn’t give up and continued to further upgrade their system from its original beta version. (Markowski, 2012) This goes to show that both Stephen and Louis have high adversity quotients.
Having worked for Google, ranked #1 by CNN as the best company to work for (CNN, 2012) Stephen realized that in order to create a great work environment one must strive to make the workers feel like they are stakeholders or agents of change within the company. Workers receive stock of the company while at the same time receiving perks such as choosing to work from home at least 2 days a week, a gym membership, extra healthcare benefits and paid lunch once a month. Furthermore, both Stephen and Louis being social entrepreneurs, donate a portion of their profits towards helping third-world entrepreneurs via Kiva.org as well as giving large discounts to non-profit organizations and sometimes hosts their own donation drives. (Archon Systems, 2008) These modern day work culture trends that are observed seem to work well as opposed to back in the day factory, industrial pre-digital era years where authority was to be respected and worker values non-existent. Moreover, it was stated on their site that they have had a hard time hiring people because of the need for teamwork and co-operation. Stephen and Louis valued their employees, with their strongest asset being camaraderie; according to an anonymous employee survey with everyone responding extremely positively. “Happiness leads to productivity and creativity” (Archon Systems, 2008), was one of the core values that the company had which was mainly brought on by the two founders and entrepreneur’s Stephen and Louis.
I felt that the strategies in terms of work culture and corporate culture were among the best I have encountered especially for a small to medium sized locally owned business. It goes to show that the younger generation has a different mindset in terms of work ethic and industry work culture. Since I am in Business Technology I understand the need for excellent teamwork in terms of designing and programming software if these were not the top qualities of the specific worker than it would hinder the whole project and potentially cause it to be immensely delayed. By creating a stress free work environment and allowing their employees at least 2 days a week where they can work at home it makes the staff feel more inclined and motivated to work for the company. Not to mention workers also get stock within the company so the better work they do, in a sense the better the company will be and the more money they will make. Furthermore, their corporate culture in terms of helping charities, giving discounts to non-profit organizations and helping out startup businesses for new entrepreneur goes to show that they people / company that everyone would want to work for, just like Google.
Archon Systems. (2008). Founders; Stephen Fung and Louis Leung. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
Archon Systems. (2008). What work is like for us everyday. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
Archon Systems. (2008). Our Story. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
CNN Money. (2012). 100 Best Companies to Work For. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
Lewis, R. (2012, August, 21). Canada Home to the Most Heavily Downloaded Inventory Software. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
Markowski, J. (2012, October, 15). Made in Canada #4: Archon Systems. Retrieved February 6, 2013.