By Patrick Thean, CEO and founder, Rhythm Systems, Special for USDR
In 2000, AvidXchange was a small company providing reverse auction software for the real estate industry. Today, it’s a fast-growing software company with more than $30 million in revenue, hundreds of customers, and plans to expand exponentially over the next five years.
When co-founders Mike Praeger and David Miller first came up with the concept for reverse auction software, the market was ripe for this type of product. However in just two years, the market opportunity had drastically diminished and customer demand kept dropping. During a sales call, a prospect made one comment that changed the future of the company: although he wouldn’t buy the product, he said that he loved its invoice presentment module.
Praeger and Miller saw the opportunity to pivot and build a new product to help the company not just survive, but thrive. By this time, they had begun working with a company that provided a cloud-based strategy execution platform along with one-on-one coaches that were experts in helping them achieve airtight execution – Rhythm Systems. Changing its flagship product would not be easy, but with the help of Rhythm’s “Think, Plan, Do” methodology and software, it managed to build its new product, grow at a fast pace and become a leader in accounts-payable software.
It soon came time to pivot yet again. However, this time the AvidXchange team was ahead of the game. The team had gotten into a regular schedule of meeting every year and each quarter to map out growth strategies and execution plans. As part of the Rhythm Systems method, they committed to working regularly to come up with strategies called “winning moves,” ideas that would help the company double its revenues in the next three to five years.
This commitment to a regular “thinking” rhythm paid off. AvidXchange identified a winning move that could help take the company to the next level. Because the company already had strong relationships with its customers’ vendors to validate invoices, it recognized the opportunity to provide an online bill-pay system for businesses.
When AvidXchange wanted to develop and launch this product – AvidPay – in record time, it once again turned to Rhythm Systems’ strategy and software to help. “Destination Postcards,” or visualizing where they wanted to be and working backwards to figure out how to get there, helped AvidXchange plan the launch of the product in just six months. Weekly Dashboards in Rhythm Software helped the team track its 90 day plan to make sure the launch stayed on track. By communicating this execution plan to the entire company, everyone was able to work together towards this common goal, and AvidPay launched in January 31, 2012. The launch generated $650,000 in revenue from this new product in 2012 and helped position the company for incredible growth.
“If it wasn’t for Rhythm, we would not have been able to hit our objectives with the same frequency or execution discipline to allow us to launch our product this quickly,” said Chris Tinsley, CTO at AvidXchange.
With the launch of AvidPay, the company experienced immensely fast growth. In fact, AvidXchange grew 60 percent in 2014 alone. It has also hired 150 people in the last year and plans to add 600 more over the next four years. Thanks to this growth, AvidXchange was recognized by the North Carolina Technology Association as the winner of the Fast Growth Large Company award. Today, AvidXchange is one of North Carolina’s fastest growing company and investors are poised for a big return in the event of an IPO or exit.
Patrick Thean is the CEO and co-founder of Rhythm Systems, a cloud-based strategy execution software platform that facilitates airtight execution and measurability for mid-market CEOs. A serial entrepreneur, bestselling author and frequent speaker, Patrick is best known for helping companies accelerate their growth by focusing on great execution.
As founder and CEO of Metasys, Inc., he grew the company to a ranking of 151 on the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing companies. His tools for accelerated growth are part of the curriculum for the Entrepreneur Organization’s world-renowned Entrepreneurial Masters Program held at MIT, where Patrick also served as program co-chair.