The Future of Work

The Factory Model, Enabling Massive Scale Across Business Functions

by Crossover
The Factory Model, Enabling Massive Scale Across Business Functions

Crossover is an industry leader in partnering with remote workers to drive innovative software businesses. The company was founded by CEO Andy Tryba who believes that “the best candidate for your job may not be in your zip code.”

If you are an experienced software developer, engineer, marketer, product manager, finance professional, sales executive or customer support specialist, you need to be familiar with Crossover, no matter where you live. A job with Crossover could change your life.

Crossover’s mission is to democratize access to impactful, high-paying jobs. The company recruits and screens people with exemplary skills and the drive to work with the world’s best businesses. Then, Crossover matches top talent around the world with opportunities to manage all types of initiatives: from software development to quality assurance to growing solution roadmaps.

Crossover’s clients acquire companies at a massive scale — they integrate as many as one company per week into their growing portfolio. How are Crossover’s remote workers able to manage onboarding new products at such a swift pace? They leverage the processes and principles used in a concept called “software factories.”

The Factory Concept in Software Development: Elegant Simplicity

The factory model is a massively scalable and standardized software development process. It helps software managers decrease time-to-market and costs, and aids in improving product quality.

CXOToday.com said, “The ‘Factory Model’ enables organizations to manage globally distributed functions or services efficiently, through a combination of virtual shared services organization, process standardization, and re-use.”

The magazine also noted, “The ‘Factory Model’ …is called so because of its resemblance to the manufacturing assembly line, where efficiencies and quality improvements are driven through standardization of processes.”

The factory model pertains mainly to DevOps, but Crossover applies it to other job categories in Engineering, Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Customer Support. DevOps (a clipped compound of Development and Operations) emphasizes the collaboration and communication of both software developers and other IT professionals while automating the process of software delivery.

Why does this model work?

This model allows Crossover teams to work at scale with thousands of people owning specialized tasks and processes across numerous products and functions. Each group is guided by the mantra of “elegant simplicity.”

Simplicity is embodied in the company’s software, its deployment of teams, its organization, and its metrics. Simplicity allows the team members to debug more efficiently, make decisions quickly, and enables managers to focus on the project’s priorities.

And while some companies apply these principles to software development, Crossover’s clients apply them across all business functions: finance, engineering, professional services, marketing, sales, operations, customer success, etc. When our clients integrate new companies into their portfolios, they integrate every business function into their best-in-class factories. This enables them to deliver significantly improved products and services to their customers.

Faster Results

The software factories enable Crossover professionals to work on the core principles fundamental to building a SaaS business, including the development of a minimum viable product (MVP), revenue and profitability, and creation of a launch plan.

In an interview with RemoteTips.com, Mircea Strugaru, the man behind Crossover’s software engineering, said, “We have 4 major internal software factories: Feature, Faster, Easier, and Maintenance. When we acquire a company we take those top performers and get them within those teams (Feature, Faster, Easier, Maintenance) and then we run a pair work program so that their knowledge is spread across the group.”

Strugaru said, “This uniform way of doing things across all products gives us an opportunity to optimize and see who are the best people in a large team. This is what’s generating an economy of scale. We’re becoming very productive and we’re able to identify who is the top talent across more than 100 contributors.”

The results speak for themselves. “Our standard, which is very rarely missed,” said Strugaru,”is that we improve 25% quarter over quarter, which is our mantra. So, if you’re running compliance on a team, you’re expected to deliver at least 25% cost per unit reduction which means that your team is 25% more productive. And if you do it for a year, obviously you’re more than twice as cost-effective and productive.”

With this kind of improvement, when Crossover’s clients make acquisitions, the client can immediately find ways to reduce operating costs.

“We have a successful track record of cutting the operating costs for more than 95%,” said Strugaru. “So imagine our client is acquiring your SaaS company. If you were spending $1 million a year for operating your product, we can get it down to $50,000 a year.”

Little wonder that Crossover’s clients have been making so many acquisitions. Crossover has found ways to keep simplicity in software, in deployment, in team organization and in its metrics. This simplicity “allows you to make decisions more quickly, and to understand what you need to pay more attention to,” Stugaru concluded.

Benefits to Crossover Partners

The term “software factory” might connote “software sweatshop” to some readers, but that could not be further from the truth. In fact, the factory model offers unique advantages to our partners’ careers at Crossover:

  • Factories allow people to develop deep and thorough expertise in their area. The global economy favors experts, not generalists, and owning the execution (and optimization) of a particular process allows our partners to become experts in that field.
  • Factories give rise to more creativity, not less. People might think that working on one process reduces it to a bland routine. However, holding oneself accountable for increasing the productivity, effectiveness, and quality of one task (that one fully owns) gives rise to innovation. Instead of glossing over details when owning multiple unrelated processes, people are able to focus on developing changes that make their single operations more effective. All of these innovations add up to Crossover teams delivering best-in-class solutions for our clients, and Crossover individuals getting to be a part of building industry-leading processes.
  • Factories allow partners to learn from each other when scaling.Aligning teams to a “factory” model enables partners to identify best practices for similar processes across verticals. Take, for example, our method of defining metrics for our teams. Our metrics must follow a strict standard to be considered strong metrics, and that same standard is applied across all verticals in the organization (finance, engineering, professional services, finance, marketing, sales, operations, customer success, etc.)
  • Crossover partners get to work on a wide variety of products. Whereas other companies (not operating in the factory model) often have people owning multiple disparate processes relating to a single product (or small handful of products), our clients have hundreds of various types of products (and technologies) running on the same factory processes. This means that as a Crossover partner, you interact with products serving a variety of different companies and industries, from telecom solutions to aerospace software to sales and marketing tools. You interact with more products in a year at Crossover than most people will work on in their entire career.


Hear from our Partners

The feedback Crossover hears is gratifying and stimulates us to spread the word about our innovative ways of working with software factories.

“I learned in 7 months at Crossover what took me 7 years in my previous role. I could see myself staying at Crossover for the rest of my career and never feeling stuck.” Emre Aldemir, C# (.NET) Chief Software Architect.

“Only the global top talent with the right tools can deliver amazing results! All previous workplace seem terribly inefficient compared to Crossover. I am learning skills that will benefit me for the rest of my career.” Ahmer Arsalan, Sales Director.

“I have grown professionally at Crossover much more than I expected. I’ve got the opportunity to face challenges I never imagined before.” — Prateek Rastogi, Senior Technical Consulting Manager.

Look ahead in your career and explore opportunities at Crossover. You’ll never look back!

Credits: Kathleen McKay