Why Being a Family Business Matters
Why Being a Family Business Matters
The image at the top of this post is a print that hangs in our Integral Group office. We didn’t write the quote, but it speaks to who we are as a family business. For our customers, there are tangible and intangible benefits to working with a family business, but the essence of that distills to integrity, trust and moral clarity.
Benefits are, of course, subjective and not something that can be assigned globally: The attributes we are going to talk about do not necessarily apply to all family businesses but certainly do to Integral Group. As to the value to you? … You be the judge.
Our company began its life as Integral Consulting. Integral Consulting Inc. was started December 12th, 1986 by Emma Perlaky along with 2 of her IBM colleagues. In time, Emma bought out her partners, formed Integral Group and eventually Integral Consulting and Integral Group folded together. Emma’s eldest son, Zoltan, headed up the Consulting Division until his retirement in 2019. Emma’s younger son, Tamas, began working at the family business before he was 16 doing EDI mapping and today, he is the company CEO. He and his wife, Andrea, are pivotal and dynamic forces within the company.
So … what does that mean to you, our customers (and potential customers)?
Integral Group is in it for the long haul. The business is not a stepping stone on the way to something bigger and better. The goal – every day – is to make Integral Group bigger and better. And, it is important to note, that ‘bigger and better’ is not about head count and profit statements. We continually increase the scope of our offerings, look for new solutions and enhanced ways to support our customers. Because we aren’t accountable to shareholders, we have the latitude to make sure our pricing model is simple, fair and equitable. We are not trying to squeeze the last dollar out of every customer; rather, we put considerable time and effort into looking for ways to add value and reduce costs.
The obvious advantage of our being nimble is that there is no cumbersome process, with laborious hierarchical approvals, required to get things done. When an immediate decision is required, it is 10 feet down the hall at the open door of Andrea or Tamas. But nimble is also more than that. It is about creating an innovative culture. It is about setting the bar high and choosing only very dedicated and passionate employees and treating them well. It is about staying attuned to both the business environment and the health and well-being of our customers. It is about watching our numbers carefully and staying financially strong (thanks, Andrea!).
While we are not a company that tries to be all things to all people, we are always open to new challenges. Because we are a team with diverse skills, we happily mine that talent pool to come up with new solutions. Every team member does what needs to be done to achieve our goals and meet our commitments. One thing you never hear at Integral Group is “that’s not my job”. Success is everyone’s job.
In the two generations that Integral Group has been in business, we have learned a great deal about the industries we serve and, in fact, have been a small part of the growth and diversity of EDI solutions overall. We do this because we are invested in the work: We love what we do. We work hard – at the everyday tasks of servicing our customers and at the vision for what we will achieve in the future.
Values and Principles
As mentioned, our culture forms a strong foundation for our success and longevity. Although we have long lived our values and principles, we set them out in a more formal way in our Integral 2020 comic book, in 2017.
Without a single exception, we have a great team here at Integral Group. Everyone is committed to the values and principles that guide the company:
We try very hard to be exceptional – doing just what is expected of us is never enough. Every one of us at Integral Group feels accountable to the history of this family business, to the present and to what comes next. In turn, the resulting experience for our customers is exceptional, too: That is our commitment to you.
We are always pleased to hear from happy customers, so let us know if things are going well. But we also know that sometimes things stumble – and if that happens, please never hesitate to reach out to us so that we can take steps to improve. And, to all of our future customers, does Integral Group sound like an EDI service provider that you’d like to have supporting your company?
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