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It’s All About Execution: Q&A With Journyx CEO Curt Finch

Journyx, a company that provides Web-based time-tracking and project management applications, also offers its customers a back door into customer service. That is, its application lets users track what a customer cost. That is a number that is oftensurprisingly miscalculated or not calculated at all, said CEO Curt Finch.

In this economy, relying on back-of-the-envelope cost projections for anything is not smart. “Companies don’t have the money to coddle customers that are not profitable in the first place,” Finch told CRM Buyer. “For the good of the customer and the company, those relationships need to be severed. The customer can find a better provider, and the company can focus on what it does best.”

Journyx will continue to focus on cost analysis with its current product line, but it is also branching out to expand its own customer base and reach. The company has invested about a quarter of its revenue in new product development and plans to unveil its expanded lineup very shortly.

CRM Buyer: How is Journyx weathering the economic downturn?

Curt Finch:

Our revenue only slightly increased in ’08 compared to ’07. It was almost flat, in other words, which is obviously not what we are shooting for but still a lot better than what GM did.

CRM Buyer: What are some of the cost-cutting measures you’ve taken?

Finch:

We haven’t had to cut costs, but we have enhanced our focus by splitting the company into two divisions: One is focused on new products, and the other is focused on existing business. We have also hired some new people — so, in actuality, we have increased our costs a little bit.

CRM Buyer: How can your products help your customers’ bottom lines in the near term?

Finch:

We develop time-tracking and expense report software aimed at understanding costs on a per project, per customer basis.

Understanding costs is key during a downturn. A lot of executives say ‘we will cut 10 percent across the board, cut 20 percent across the board’ to keep their companies afloat. But are those cuts the smartestthey can make, the most necessary? They can cut more precisely and more intelligently with our product.

CRM Buyer: What are some of the brightest spots for your company right now?

Finch:

We are getting ready to release a new product. We’ve been showing it to customers and others in the industry, and we have been getting positive traction and feedback for it — more positive than we had expected, given the economy.

CRM Buyer: How will your company look a year from now?

Finch:

I expect we will see some significant revenue growth from our new product. We have new partnerships with project execution blackbelts like Cognitive Technologies, an IT consulting company that specializes in project and program management for the federal government andFortune 1000 companies. A year from now, we are hoping we will be seen as the go-to source for staffing and executing hundreds of projects simultaneously.

CRM Buyer: Okay, tell me more about this new product. What exactly does it do?

Finch:

It is a resource management and project execution application for companies that are handling a large number of projects and lots of people working on those projects.

CRM Buyer: There are other vendors in this space — Oracle, SAP, Primavera, Planview. What are you doing that will be different?

Finch:

Those companies are focused on planning — we are focused on execution. Plus, we have a lighter-weight solution that costs a lot less and can be rolled on in less than a month.

CRM Buyer: Isn’t this a departure from your time-tracking and project-tracking applications?

Finch:

No. Many of our customers are project-oriented, so this is just delivering more planning and execution functionality to them.

CRM Buyer: Do you see demand for this type of application right now, given the economy? There is not a lot of new business under way at the moment.

Finch:

Absolutely we see demand. Execution is more important than ever. Planning organizations are getting hit hard — we are enabling PMOs (project management offices) to be more successful, enabling IT directors to run a PMO on the cheap. There are academics in the project management field, and then there are executors. This product is for the latter.

CRM Buyer: What’s the difference between the two?

Finch:

An academic has a lot of certifications and goes to many classes and training sessions every year — but if ask him what were the last 10 projects he completed on time and on budget, he couldn’t list them for you. An executor can.

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