Dane County Small Business Awards: Small business, big impact
We honor six local companies that embody the best in Dane County small business.
(page 6 of 6)
Yahara Software: Innovation drives growth
What stands out about Yahara Software are the different ways its custom software is deployed. From customizing business systems for clinical trials to reducing childhood mortality around the world, its software developers accommodate sophisticated medicine.
Innovation is a key business function when you’re customizing software, and when Yahara Software developed a flexible platform that allows clients to blend proven architecture within a customized system, it found a growth driver. Not only has the company grown its expertise in focus areas such as life sciences, transportation, education, and agribusiness, it has tripled its revenue over the past seven years, with 36% growth in revenue last year alone. To handle this growth, its staff has grown to 35 employees.
“It’s a great honor. We like to feel we’re making a difference in what we do as a business, both in the clients we work for and what we do for the community and other organizations that serve the community. Recognition for those efforts are always very much appreciated.” — Kevin Meech, CEO and principal, Yahara Software
CEO and Principal Kevin Meech attributed the flexible innovation to a combination of experience in the market, listening to clients about their needs, and looking for similarities across clients. As Meech explains, you start to see a lot of trends in core foundation pieces that are used on every project. “With our experience of seeing that every project we do needs similar things, we cut that initial cycle down so that in a matter of days we can develop functionality that is specific to the client and not worry about things that are more about the infrastructure every application needs,” he says. “We’ve got those in place, they have been used over and over again, and they’ve been tested.”
The company’s focus on innovation is a recruiting and retention tool. Since it designs custom business systems, Yahara Software provides opportunities for employees to be innovative, something the workforce welcomes. When you work in the global health space and help solve a problem, it carries the kind of human impact that makes employees feel more invested in projects.
Company perks include monthly chair massages, a break room with a pool table and pinball machines, a lounge area with video games, and getting teams together for charity runs, which adds to the fun. However, the emphasis is remaining on the cutting edge. There are many differences between the small companies that are trying to be innovative and disruptive and the larger, more established companies that have a larger market share and more control, but they have one thing in common. “At the end of the day,” Meech notes, “they both are trying to use technology to bring more value to their end customers.”
Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.