Automating Management Exponentially Increases Productivity

Projects can be completed 30 percent faster and companies realize a 31 percent improvement in quality by automating management, according to a recent survey.




Automating management results in projects being completed 30 percent faster, employees saving four hours per week – 200 hours per year – and companies realizing a 31 percent improvement in the quality of project results, according to a recent Cardwell survey.

“Taken as a whole, we estimate that companies can significantly improve bottom line, organizational effectiveness, and quality through automation of management processes,” says Jim Cardwell, CEO of Cardwell. “It also frees up leaders for the real job of leadership – such as strategic management and decision making, and building bench strength with their executive team.”

State Employee Credit Union (SECU; Linthicum, MD, $1.2 billion in total assets) was recently profiled in Bank Systems Technology for its investment in management automation software. “Our executive team proceeds with 10 projects a year that are major corporate wide initiatives,” says Ed Blickenstaff, IT Projects Manager of SECU in the article. Blickenstaff explains that, prior to implementing Connections Online, every department worked independently and often-repeated technology and other functional efforts. “It didn’t take into account organization wide issues,” said Blickenstaff. Joselie Wright, AVP of human resources and organization development, agreed and added, “It has become a great partnership between departments.”

Automation of management is a unique software niche, yet a growing trend in credit union management. It was once only a savvy management tool affordable to the biggest companies, through software packages such as SAP or PeopleSoft. The management automation software package Connections Online was selected as CUNA Tech Council’s Best of Show during the 2004 Bank Administration Institutes (BAI) Retail Delivery Conference and Expo. The criteria were: an innovative solution for credit unions, demonstrates a commitment to both the industry and open standards, and prices products to deliver value to a broad spectrum of the marketplace.

Credit Unions Coast Hills, Sandia, Pennsylvania State Employees, and Washington State Employee’s were also recently profiled in Bank Technology News for using a collaborative web-based application that integrates with Microsoft Outlook to automate their management processes. Coast Hills CEO Jeff York noted optimism “from a superior understanding of his business” as a result. Washington State Employee’s CTO Ben Morales notes that WSECU uses it to “complete its ‘one Washington service’ brand initiative – a three-year effort tied to improving web-based banking and overall customer service and sales.” Pennsylvania State Employees uses it to “minimize slippage” according to President/CEO Gregory A. Smith. All credit unions profiled were using Connections Online.

“Adoption of such collaborative management tools is not just for executive assistants and their bosses anymore,” says David Coleman, managing director at Collaborative Strategies in the article. The “market should reach $9 billion by 2005” for such tools, he says.

About Connections Online
Connections Online 3.1 is a fully-integrated software suite designed for web deployment and includes integration with Microsoft's Project and Office Suite. Modules are applied to organizational leadership (Organization Connection), project management (Team Connection), people management (Individual Connection). The Connections Online solution from Cardwell starts at just under $30,000, which includes 200 site licenses, a “Quick Start” set up, training, review by top Cardwell consultants, and first year’s maintenance fee. For more information about Connections Online, call (800) 395-1410 or visit

Cardwell is a software development and management consulting firm that helps clients succeed by improving organization-wide alignment and cross-functional collaboration. Jim Cardwell and Karla Norwood, the firm's current CEO and President, founded Cardwell in 1983 as a leadership development and management process consulting firm.

In response to strong client demand, Cardwell set out in the mid 1990s to transfer its extensive knowledge in these fields into a stand-alone software product. In 1998, the company launched Connections Online, one of the first organization-wide software solutions designed to address executives' challenges to leading companies towards their strategic goals.

Currently installed in more than 60 organizations across various industries, Connections Online consistently improves profitability and leadership effectiveness.