The Silicon Review
Based in Bentonville, AR, Movista LLC is SaaS Company, which is defining workforce mobility with its proprietary software MVRetail. Founded in 2010, it creates, designs, and builds powerful solutions to support and empower field teams and their managers in many industries including retail, installation, and service.
Created by a team of retail veterans, managers, merchants and innovators, Movista is driven by its mission to generate creative technical solutions that will drive increased sales, cost reduction and maximize efficiencies for its clients.
In Conversation with President, Stan Zylowski
What led to the inception of the company?
We formed the kernel of what would become Movista while in grad school at the University of Arkansas. We didn’t choose the vertical as much as it chose us. We had more than thirty years of retail experience and it was our aggravation with the perils of trying to manage a remote workforce that led to our creating the company.
What were the instrumental factors that paved the path for Movista?
For my co-founder, April Seggebruch, and me the instrumental factor was meeting in grad school. April is a detail-oriented, intensely organized person. I often tell folks in jest that if you need someone to talk about something Stan is your guy, but if you need real work done, please call April. It may not be quite that extreme, but our skills and personalities make a great balance and, combined, make us a formidable team.
Furthermore, we were fortunate to study business planning under Dr. Carol Reeves at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Reeves is a preeminent expert on business formation, funding, and planning. Her program not only aided us in creating the right structure, it also exposed us to resources, financial and otherwise, we still work with today. Mentors and stakeholders are necessary for our minds. We love sharing the ideation and the results with our community. They were instrumental in our launch and remain so.
Brief us about your initial project.
Our beta launch was with Tempurpedic Mattress Company. They were amazing to work with and needless to say very patient. In addition to our releasing the first version of our application, which we now refer to as “Pong”, they were using the first-generation iPad. It was a tough deal. In the end, they stuck with us and we were able to help them get their field force organized, improve inventory counts and save them significantly on operational costs.
How customer-centric are Movista products?
Our platform today is the direct result of our client’s needs and feedback. While you could say the form that feedback took wasn’t always complimentary, we would argue it was all positive in the sense it made us better. We are proud to say we have grown almost completely organically. 85% of our client base today is from either referral or through usage within a single retailer that resulted in expansion more broadly.
Can you talk about the obstacles along the way?
We have learnt from our mistakes and we have grown. We underestimated cost and time to create our MVP. As a result, we raised fewer funds than we should have, almost died on the vine and went through some fairly dark times in our business, both caused by goofy things we did and factors far outside our control, but we never quit. When we ran out of cash, we borrowed more. When that was gone, we sold things. Additionally, we were not very good at pricing our solution. However, if you believe in what you are doing, you stay with it. It is hard, scary and completely worth it.
What is the future roadmap for Movista?
Movista’s big news for 2018 is the release of our 3.0 Application. We have had two major version releases since 2015 and this is the most powerful, capable and beautiful yet. The design team has been working for more than a year to nail the UI/UX and we are pumped. The app will increase usability and enablement with the addition of biometrics, enhanced scanning, expanded item ordering capabilities and more. We take a great deal of pride in the experience of our end users and this release will extend our lead as best in class.
We have doubled in revenue the past three years and should again in 2018. With our addition of a Growth Team to drive sales, we might even do better than that. Retail has always been our focus market, but our platform would run just as well for companies in the energy, pharma, health or service industries, so look for Movista to add verticals and continue to thrive. We are right-positioned and excited about our future.
The Fabulous Founding Duo
Stan Zylowski, President: Stan started his career in direct sales and then joined the corporate ranks as a field merchandiser in 1999. For the next 11 years, he enjoyed success in a variety of roles, including brand management, sports marketing, major account management, and operations. He left his corporate job in 2010 to start Movista. He credits this background with helping discover his absolute passion for providing amazing customer service.
Stan holds a management degree from Troy State University and received his MBA from the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton School of Business.
April Seggebruch, Vice President: April is directly responsible for Product Development and Deployment, as well as the Finance arm of Movista. Before co-founding Movista, April held roles in marketing for Nike’s Chicago office, Tyson Foods Corporate Strategy, and Development group and transitioned to various roles on a selling team dedicated to the Sam’s Club and Walmart businesses.
April holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She then went on to get her MBA from the Sam M. Walton School of Business.