Familiarity Breeds Better Solutions
Finding a better way is sometimes just a matter of wandering the aisles.
I’m writing this from the heart of SSCS headquarters in Salinas, California. There’s a lot going on here, as usual.
Next to me a technical writer talks to a software developer to ensure the documentation on a new product is as accurate as possible. If more clarification is needed it will be easy to get it—the two sit across from each other.
Then I hear the voices of our support department, drifting over to me from their side of the building. They’re helping customers, staying on the phone until every last detail of an issue is resolved. I get up and see a quality assurance specialist sitting next to a support technician. She listens to the call, gaining insight about a problem that will help refine her QA testing approach. If she needs more info, she can pick the brain of the programmer that created the software, because he’s just one row over.
Down the hall in our sales department one of our reps—a former installer with a wealth of hands-on product experience—advises a long-time user in how to maximize the potential of our feature-rich C-store back office software. The sales rep’s understanding has been crafted in part by countless informal conversations he’s had with support. Later that rep may give the training department a call and suggest some refinements to class curriculum.
My point? While the modern trend seems to be flinging company departments thousands of miles away from each other, SSCS has committed to the opposite: intermingling them. Working side-by-side makes it possible for us to “wander down the aisles” to share knowledge with each other. It makes us well-rounded professionals and creates a synergy that allows us to become more than the sum of our parts. This environment plays a big role in our success, and it fosters a sense of well-being in our customers who know we’re here, we’re real, and we’re united in our commitment to help their businesses succeed.
At SSCS familiarity doesn’t breed contempt; it breeds better solutions. That’s why it’s such an important part of our culture.