From, “It’s too risky,” to “You’ll never get that approved,” to “No one has the bandwidth for that,” there are countless reasons our clients could give up on their project. We’re grateful they don’t. We’re thankful for their passion around problem-solving, courage to challenge the status-quo, and grit to get things done. These are some hard working people from some awesome organizations and we’re grateful we get to work with them. That’s why this Thanksgiving we want to give special thanks to some of our clients.
Lexmark is an international manufacturer and provider of laser printers and enterprise software. Despite their corporate size, they move fast! Due to advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behavior, the printing industry is shrinking, but this doesn’t scare Lexmark. Instead, they’re embracing disruption. After engaging in a Discovery, Design, and Planning Sprint, together we are in the development of a product that leverages their access to data and analytics to appeal to their preexisting retail customer base.
Differential is so grateful for the supportive, productive, and fun environment the Lexmark team helps create around this project. We love the enthusiasm they bring to their work and appreciate their effort to have in-person meetings often - both at their place and ours. We’re also thankful for their willingness to chat about things outside the project so that we’re able to know each other as real people, as opposed to just a client/vendor relationship. It is a true partnership!
**2. Grupo Bimbo**
Grupo Bimbo is the world’s largest baking company headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico. They operate more than 100 trademarks, among which are: Bimbo, Tia Rosa, Wonder, Sara Lee, Mrs. Baird’s, and Oroweat. This year, Differential partnered with Grupo Bimbo to craft a decision-making tool for Bimbo’s highest level executives (and to see if we could get some free pastries out of the deal). This tool shows up-to-date information regarding sales, returns, and equipment by leveraging MongoDB’s big-data capabilities and our high-performance development patterns.
The Bimbo team shares our belief in breaking paradigms. When they approached us, they weren’t looking for just another consulting firm; they were looking for a team that could execute change inside their company. We are grateful for their support and flexibility throughout this project, both in making the most out of their pre-existing technologies, as well bridging the gap with new technologies to reach the product we both wanted to see. This year, as we gather around the office table to eat our Sara Lee Sweet Hawaiian Rolls, we’re especially thankful for you, Grupo Bimbo!
Batesville is a breath of life in the death industry. Corny play on words aside, we mean it. Their mission is to help “families honor the lives of those they love,” which they do by providing caskets and other funeral products for grieving families, as well as technology tools and training resources for funeral professionals. Through the practice of design thinking and a lean startup approach, they’re pushing the industry’s status quo by developing real solutions to aid in life’s most difficult moments. This past September they were Voted #1 in Product Quality, Service and Innovation. Based on the work we’ve done so far and the path we’re on, we believe they’ll be repeat winners.
Crossroads was the fastest growing church in the country in 2015, with a regular weekly attendance of over 20,000. People are flocking to this church because they’re the real deal: they practice what they preach, they have a real and relatable “voice,” and their coffee is really really good. They first came to us with the goal of re-inventing the traditional church model for growth by asking what it would look like to scale beyond building size. They’ve been a partner of ours now for several years, and many of our team members consider Crossroads their church home. This year we’ve been working together on a mobile app designed to help users build better spiritual habits into their daily lives and equip small groups to explore big topics together in community.
The app is just one example of the innovative and intentional approach the church takes to make their message and community accessible to people of all walks of life and in any physical location around the world. We are so thankful we work with such a committed team. A new version of the Crossroads Anywhere app is scheduled for release in January and will be available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
**5. Big Ass Solutions**
Big Ass Solutions manufactures fans, lights, and controls for industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential use. We’re currently partnering with them on a Discovery & Design Sprint project to help bring another innovative product vision to life. We believe it has massive potential, and if their customers and executives agree, we’re hopeful it will move forward quickly into full development.
Big Ass is obsessed with improvement. They engineer, design, test, re-engineer, re-design and re-test until they get their products just right—and then they start all over again. We’re grateful to be working with a team that takes pride in their work as craftsmen and understands the iterative nature of innovation. But why we’re really grateful, is that because of them we get to say things like, “I have a Big Ass question,” “I’m working on a Big Ass design,” and “Where’s that Big Ass document?” in the office on a regular basis.
**6. Organized Living**
Organizing a closet is on most people’s “Top 10 Least Favorite Things” list. That’s why Organized Living exists. They make designing a closet space and buying shelving storage easy (and maybe even a little fun). Organized Living has been a partner of ours for the past few years. We partnered with them to build the first and only digital tool that makes selecting or designing custom closets simple, paperless, and hassle free. This year the upgrades we made to the web app has enabled them to forge deeper relationships with custom home builders, who are now integrating the Organized Living design tool into the home customization and sales process.
We love working with such a strategic, motivated team. Organized Living thinks long-term when building solutions and brings passion to their work every step along the way. Happy Thanksgiving, Organized Living, we’re grateful to be partners.
**7. High Alpha**
High Alpha is a venture studio that conceives, launches, and scales next-generation enterprise cloud companies. This year, among other companies, they launched ClearScholar, a cloud-based technology company aimed at improving student success in higher education through personalized mobile engagement. In partnership with Differential, this fall they released a product on Butler University’s campus: a mobile app that provides students with personalized news feeds, unified calendaring, instructor-driven polling, emergency notifications, and a secure student identification.
High Alpha is a smart team that’s passionate about solving real (validated) problems with technology. We love working with them because, while they’re big dreamers, they’re also actionable and consistent. At every step along the way they’re looking to provide new bits of value to their customers. Happy Thanksgiving, High Alpha! Thanks for all the work you’re doing.
What we do wouldn’t be possible without our clients. From everyone at Differential, Happy Thanksgiving! We hope it’s a time of joy and peace. You all have earned some rest.