Individual cubicles, a quiet work floor, and landline phones matched my expectations of work in CastleBranch’s Operations Department. Over the past 6 weeks I’ve gotten to experience true Corporate America; leaving the Sales Division and embarking on a quest through Operations.
CastleBranch Operations is split up into 3 different sections:
Background Screening, which includes:
- Criminal Records Analyst
- Vendor Oversight
- Quality Assurance
- Disputes and Discrepancy
Clinical Screening, which includes:
- Clinical Reviewers
- Clinical Auditors
- Drug Screening
Order Screening, which includes:
- Order Processing
- Order Alerts
- Ops Resource Center
All in all, this is CB’s largest department – 152 employees.
My first observation was that larger scale operations with more employees and more tasks necessitate a systematic approach. Iteration becomes that much harder, and innovation becomes nearly impossible. The difference between a mature company to a start-up is the ability for constant innovations and iterations. I believe a start-up must always adapt and innovate constantly until they figure out their ideal product and market fit – research, data, and calculated risks are everything. A mature company is too large and much of the time does not have the need for continuous innovations; but they must listen to their market and customers, and continually iterate their products and processes to keep a competitive advantage.
My second observation came from my inexperience. Simply put, I had absolutely no clue how much effort goes into the ordering procedures. Operations is the bones of the company. It isn’t always exciting – but of course, it is necessary. I did not realize the amount of work the company puts forth to maintain their 2-3 day return window, and their 99.9% accuracy rating. Each team strives on production and accuracy, and that was made obvious in my meetings with Ops management.
My last and arguably most important observation was of the management core themselves. Operations has three managers and one VP who oversees them (excluding the COO), all of whom are women. I thought this was interesting, yet awesome, and shows the true nature of the company’s vision and structure. Like Sales, all of the managers have different managing styles. Micro-managing versus laid back, or a little bit of both – I’ve gotten to see it all. What is interesting however, is the lesson I learned from the collection of shadowing these two departments. The employees in Sales were much different than those in Operations, more extroverted and open. The managers had their differences as well, but both sets had the commonality of being extroverted enough to be good leaders and people-persons. The lesson I came to understand is that – managing a team is not about yourself and your skillset or even how you want to operate.
It is about your employees.
The employee dictates the management style – what will motivate your employees to come into work with determination and drive to succeed every day? This is the key to becoming a great leader – understanding the true motivations of your employees’ drive to show up and work every day.
I appreciate all the managers and employees I had the privilege of learning from. Once again, the amount of career lessons and advancements I’ve seen and been taught since October 1st is truly mind-boggling. I’m excited to get a chance to shadow and consult with the IT and Engineering Division next… hopefully I get to put my Data Science degree to the test!