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APRIL 2017

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All in the Family Business 

By Scott Bidwell, President/CEO

As I write this month's article, I'm looking toward the PRISM Annual Conference coming up May 8-10th. I'm also reflecting on the recent NAID event, held in Vegas at the end of March. These are the keystone events for anyone operating a RIM services business or, like ASI, providing products or services to those who do. I've been attending both events for too many years to count - seriously, let's not. In this time, I've witnessed the ebb and flow of what we call "mom-and-pop" independent businesses versus corporate businesses. While in Vegas attending the NAID conference, I had the opportunity to enjoy a number of conversations with CEOs and presidents of both camps and have a great deal of respect for both. Having said that - and perhaps it's due to the fact that my RIM roots are within what began as a "mom-and-pop" startup - I'm always particularly interested in how some of our industry's most successful independent, family-run businesses maintain that competitive edge. Running any business has its challenges. Running a business where your employees may be sitting around your Thanksgiving table adds a whole new layer of complexity. As I think about this, I'm reminded of an article I read (again, many years ago), that I feel offers excellent advice regarding what it takes to build a successful family business. If you fall into this category, what would be your top tip for building an enduring family business? I'd love to hear from you by email or drop by the ASI booth for a chat if you plan to attend the upcoming PRISM conference.

TECH TIP: Client Portal Now Central Hub to Access All ASI Support & Documentation

If you've had reason to visit the "Support" area of the ASI website recently, you might've noticed some changes. Specifically, access to all support and help documentation has been consolidated within the customer support portal.  The portal is where ASI clients create support tickets and check the status of tickets. With this change, it is also where clients can access all support documents from one site.

This is another step in our 2017 plan to improve client service through improved communication tools. If you're unsure whether you're registered, simply click the "forgot password link" to receive an email with login instructions. If not registered, simply click the "Register"  link. If you have questions or would like assistance please contact ASI Support.  

What is ASI Universal Services?

By Kevin Baird, ASI Director of Programming & IT

Last month's Tech Tip referenced ASI Universal Services and mentioned we'd provide more detail this month, so here goes...

In a nutshell, ASI Universal Services represents an assortment of tools that exist between our applications and are what perform all the actions. For instance, when the scanner communicates with VCK-SQL, it "talks" to ASI Universal Services. It does not communicate directly with VCK. The action occurs within Services. In the past, ASI deployed certain web-based services at the customer site (Veri-Shred or VCK Driver scanning, for example) and some at ASI (WebSync Services). A few years ago, the ASI development team began the process to consolidate these services under one application. Today, it is referred to as ASI Universal Services.  

Ultimately, ASI Universal Services is a middle tier of the business logic, and determines the “rules” of what happens with the data. It also makes development faster and more organized, which in turn, benefits ASI clients - a win-win for everyone! 

5 dimensions

The 5 Attributes of Enduring Family Businesses

By Christian Caspar, Ana Karina Dias, and Heinz-Peter Elstrodt, McKinsey & Co. , January 2010

Family businesses are an often overlooked form of ownership. Yet they are all around us—from neighborhood mom-and-pop stores and the millions of small and midsize companies that underpin many economies to household names such as BMW, Samsung, and Wal-Mart Stores. One-third of all companies in the S&P 500 index and 40 percent of the 250 largest companies in France and Germany are defined as family businesses, meaning that a family owns a significant share and can influence important decisions, particularly the election of the chairman and CEO.

As family businesses expand from their entrepreneurial beginnings, they face unique performance and governance challenges. The generations that follow the founder, for example, may insist on running the company even though they are not suited for the job. And as the number of family shareholders increases exponentially generation by generation, with few actually working in the business, the commitment to carry on as owners can’t be taken for granted. Indeed, less than 30 percent of family businesses survive into the third generation of family ownership. Those that do, however, tend to perform well over time compared with their corporate peers, according to recent McKinsey research. Their performance suggests that they have a story of interest not only to family businesses around the world, of various sizes and in various stages of development, but also to companies with other forms of ownership.

To be successful as both the company and the family grow, a family business must meet two intertwined challenges: achieving strong business performance and keeping the family committed to and capable of carrying on as the owner. Five dimensions of activity must work well and in synchrony: harmonious relations within the family and an understanding of how it should be involved with the business, an ownership structure that provides sufficient capital for growth while allowing the family to control key parts of the business, strong governance of the company and a dynamic business portfolio, professional management of the family’s wealth, and charitable foundations to promote family values across generations

For a family business to be successful, five dimensions of activity must be working well and in synchrony.

Learn what five dimensions of activity are required to build an enduring family business. 


PRISM International Annual Conference
May 8- 11, 2017
Tucson, Arizona 


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