Q: Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.
e2b teknologies was formed as a business software consulting and development organization focused primarily on enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems. The company specialized in supply chain solutions primarily for discrete manufacturers. The ERP landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade as business software product lines were acquired, sold, and antiquated due to newer technologies. In addition, many companies replaced their ERP systems prior to 2000 in fear of the dreaded Y2K phenomena that never really happened. This caused an unnatural cycle in the replacement process for new businesses systems. These factors coupled with a weak economy and commoditization of the business application market led to a tough environment for companies like e2b teknologies who built their businesses solely on sales and services around enterprise business applications. The economy hit the manufacturing sector harder than other business segments seizing most major capital expenses in business applications.
e2b noticed these business changes several years ago and adjusted its strategies – all with close consideration for the company’s strengths, heritage, and resources. The first change involved expansion of our product portfolio to provide business applications for other business segments such as service management and wholesale distribution. The company then added CRM, Human Resources, Warehouse Management and other business applications to complement its existing portfolio with products that could be sold to existing customers or any business wishing to expand on their current ERP platform.
A third and bolder strategy involved leveraging the company’s primary strength – application development. e2b launched a credit and collections management product in 2008. Currently branded as Anytime Collect, the product has evolved with technology and is currently available hosted or on-premise and scalable for small companies with a single credit and collections employee to larger, more sophisticated businesses with dozens of credit and collections personnel. Partnerships with major ERP suppliers allows e2b teknologies to sell Anytime Collect to virtually any business using popular accounting and ERP business applications available from Intuit, Sage, Microsoft, Epicor, and other leading publishers.
Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?
Anytime Collect is a prime example of the company’s innovation. There are many credit and collections management products available on the market but most are designed for larger businesses and are too sophisticated and too expense for small and medium-sized companies. Anytime Collect is the only major credit and collections management application that scales for small to mid-sized businesses. Further, its intuitive design is similar to popular email systems allowing customers to learn the product in hours instead of days or weeks. Additionally, the product is launched “in the cloud” from a website with an option for a hosted database via Microsoft SQL Azure. These innovations make the solution virtually hands-off for the IT department and reduce installation and configuration.
Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned and how have you applied it?
We have learned that business needs and technology are continually changing. We must continually seek-out new opportunities and technologies that help us to better serve our customers and to grow our business. We need to look forward with a cautious eye on where we’ve come from so we don’t neglect what has made us successful in the past.
Q: How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?
Formed in 2005, e2b has grown rapidly to employ 32 people in its Chardon, OH and remote business locations. Recognized as a previous Weatherhead 100 winner in 2009, e2b made its first appearance on the prestigious Inc. 500/500 list in 2010 as published by Inc. magazine. We bring both employment, revenue, and national exposure to Northeast Ohio. In addition, along with other growing members of the Northeast Ohio Software Association (NEOSA), e2b is a major contributor for retaining and growing technical talent in Northeast Ohio.