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Bringing consumer-friendly tech to the workplace

Logical Design Solutions says longtime clients like Boeing, eBay recognize its selective growth strategy

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    Mimi Brooks says Logical Design Solutions enjoys ‘a lot of repeat business’ from its clientele.
    Mimi Brooks says Logical Design Solutions enjoys ‘a lot of repeat business’ from its clientele. - (AARON HOUSTON)

    Logical Design Solutions is adding staff and clients as it continues to steadily grow its revenue, but the Florham Park consulting firm's chief executive isn't interested in wild expansion.

    “We are pretty selective about the clients we take and the work we take,” said Mimi Brooks. “We do this one thing really, really well, and we stay within our brand. We have a lot of repeat business from existing customers.”

    The one thing LDS does is find ways to bring the user-friendly experience employees enjoy through consumer tools, like iPhones or iPads, into their daily work lives, to help them accomplish goals.

    “We work with global corporate clients that often have well more than 20,000 employees,” said Brooks, a former AT&T executive who founded LDS in 1990. “What they are trying to do is to bring that (consumer) user experience inside the business, so that they can foster better teams and create better collaboration and connectivity across the organization.”

    A typical LDS client is a global giant like Boeing, Colgate-Palmolive or eBay, which hires the consulting firm to help their employees, who may be scattered around the world, to go online to share information, communicate with colleagues, and get their work done. Revenue is in the tens of millions of dollars and growth is in the high single digits, said Brooks, who expects to hire a half dozen people this year.

    The company designs intuitive online technology to accomplish workplace goals, creating business ecosystems “to improve operations, improve relations between the back office people and the front office people, connect the retail stores to the home office — those sorts of things,” Brooks said.

    LDS has about a staff of about 100, many of whom have advanced degrees and expertise in areas like human factors engineering, enterprise knowledge management and organizational psychology.

    The first step in designing an online corporate environment is for LDS professionals to visit the company to gather information about the day-to-day work life.

    On one field visit, LDS found the production workers at a huge process plant have limited time to spend at their computer. When they take a break and come into the office to get a cup of coffee, they only have about 15 minutes to look at a computer screen, Brooks said. To create the right online tools for these workers, “we needed to know what information they really needed to see, and then design around moments of use that are really very short.”

    Another client needed a way for its employees to get approvals for purchasing and hiring, but the managers who approve these requests usually are on the road.

    “We downloaded the approval (software) to their mobile devices, so they can approve them while they're traveling,” Brooks said. “We have to understand where people are working, how much time they have, what they want to do at work — and what they want to do someplace else.”

    E-mail to: beth@njbiz.com
    On Twitter: @bethfitzgerald8

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    Beth Fitzgerald

    Beth Fitzgerald

    Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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