The Silicon Review
Less than three years ago, PDI began the journey to achieve its vision of becoming the leading global provider of enterprise management software to the convenience retail and wholesale petroleum industries. Fourteen acquisitions later, the company that began during the dawning decades of the Digital Revolution is well on its way to transforming an industry.
Today, PDI’s ERP, fuel pricing, logistics and marketing cloud solutions are serving customers’ holistic needs across the value chain in over 200,000 locations and more than 50 countries around the world.
Creating a Healthy Workplace for Employees
Fast-paced growth on this scale is only sustained by fostering a rewarding work environment that builds lasting employee relationships through competitive compensation, ongoing professional development and career advancement opportunities, to name a few. It’s something PDI strives to do every day. In fact, part of its stated mission is to help employees thrive, so you could say employee engagement is woven into its corporate culture.
We recently spoke to PDI’s CEO, Jimmy Frangis, about how his company creates a great place to work by engaging employees and offering benefits that go beyond compensation.
In conversation with the thought leader, Jimmy Frangis
Q. What would you say are the biggest assets to your organization?
I know this is going to sound cliché, but our people are our biggest asset. When employees know they work for a company that cares about them, they take ownership of the vision and mission, and that translates into high performance, which ultimately results in our customers’ success.
In addition to high performance, values in business are very important. For us, those values are honesty, fairness, respect, transparency and compassion. They’re more than words at PDI. It is the daily embodiment of those values that inform every decision we make, compels us to deliver on our commitments, and pushes us to re-imagine what is possible for our customers.
Q. Two-way communication is the key. Employees need to feel they have an outlet for sharing their observations and ideas. How is this true with your company?
Two-way communication is absolutely essential in any company, and that is particularly true when a company is growing at the rate PDI has in the last several years. Companies improve and refine their cultures through open, honest feedback from their team members. From live, monthly associates meetings to an employee engagement survey to our open door policy with the leadership team, PDI provides multiple opportunities for team members to express their opinions and ideas. We also have an active HR department that, in addition to creating a trusted environment for employees to discuss their concerns, has implemented training programs for managers, coaching them on how to create open dialogue opportunities for their teams.
Q. How well do your employees know their role in contributing to the team’s and company’s success?
Our strategy centers around delivering value to our key stakeholders, which include our customers, employees and investors. And it’s important to clearly communicate those goals to every team member. Something that has worked well for us as a global company is recording annual kickoff videos, which are then disseminated to the entire company. In these videos, each executive communicates his or her vision and goals for the year. The goals are then communicated at the department level, and each team member is responsible for meeting with their manager to align their individual goals with the company’s goals. Not only does this ensure we are operating as one PDI, but it enables employees to see how their daily contributions are integral to the company’s overall success.
Q. How do you bring the best out of an employee? Do you give them enough autonomy in work-related decisions?
Autonomy and accountability are both important to bring out the best in an employee. No single person has a monopoly on innovation. Innovation is born in the marketplace of ideas, and our goal is to create a collaborative environment where employees are given the autonomy to present fresh, bold ideas and are supported in their endeavor to pursue them. Our stated mission is to help our customers and employees thrive, and we strive to fulfill that mission every day by the way we treat our team members, apply their input to our strategy and encourage them to be the best high-values, high-performance version of themselves they can be.
Q. How do you manage to offer professional development opportunities for your employees in your company?
Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” We can all learn something new , and we encourage that at every level of our organization. In fact, we budget for professional development training every year, and many of our employees take advantage of it. From management training for new leaders to programming classes to keep our developers’ skills sharp, we are committed of offering our team members the very best work experience possible, and that means investing in their success now and in the future.
Get to Know the Visionary Behind the Success
Jimmy Frangis, CEO
Jimmy Frangis joined PDI in 2016 and is responsible for setting the strategic vision and direction for the company. As CEO, he brings more than 20 years of experience in retail software. Prior to PDI, Jimmy served in various leadership positions at NCR Corporation, including vice president and general manager of the global petroleum and convenience retail business. Prior to joining NCR, he held multiple leadership positions at Radiant Systems. Jimmy began his career at Arthur Andersen. He holds a B.B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia.
“Our team members are the driving force behind our ability to provide industry-leading customer service and create innovative solutions that solve customer problems. They are ‘The PDI Difference’ people experience every day.”