Keeping Things Simple
In 15 short months, Chris Lybeer, chief strategy & marketing officer in Revel Systems, has played an integral role in shaping the provider’s present and future success plans. The basis of these strategies is simple: keep things simple.
This headline comes from a 25 year career spanning the retail technology industry. During this career, Chris has developed a passion for driving customer satisfaction, while also driving innovation and value to the marketplace.
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As a continuation of our website series comprising Revel’s leadership group (check out our previous interview with CCO Leslie Leaf), I sat down with Chris to find out more about the way he defines the present makeup of Revel’s distinguished DNA, and where he thinks we are headed as both a business and an industry.
Q: you’ve got an intriguing fusion role here in Revel Systems. How can you define your position as chief strategy and marketing officer in your own words?
A: I do have an interesting role, and it is also fun. At the end of the day, my job is to find out which markets Revel could find success in, and how we can better support clients in these markets. At Revel, we are big believers that it is far better to be focused on where we could be quite valuable, instead of just build and promote a solution to the masses. Therefore, a significant part of my role is truly dialing in on the way to deliver value to a particular customer set, and then launch the company to accomplish that mission.
Q: thinking of the intricacies involved in successfully running a business, large or small, how does Revel Systems help simplify the procedure?
A: Two things jump out to me instantly. The first is that we’re a company that will partner with you every step of the way. Though we’re a tech company at our center, we are also a people company, and I feel that’s essential to stand by in this area. Whether you are a merchant or restaurant, you will need access to more technology than ever before, and it could easily be overwhelming. Business operators wish to work with a business that’s going to encourage them as technology continues to evolve.
The next thing that comes to mind is that we’re extremely good at growing companies. Our solution is quite old, and we have hundreds of companies which are working with Revel solutions at 20 or more websites. According to customer feedback, I believe we do an excellent job of helping companies continue to scale . A whole lot of our competitors are less focused on growing with you.
A: It is always interesting to discuss the future knowing we will probably be 50% wrong. However, here is what I know for certain. The growth of technology is simply speeding up, and the guessing game lies in understanding which technology will prevail. I believe voice recognition will get much more attention concerning how people engage with ordering. Drive-thrus will be altered if soon we are talking to a machine, as opposed to a human, to purchase. There are a million different ways customers want to participate, and we have to stay near our customers to help develop the ideal solutions.
We can not claim that we know precisely what’s coming, but we can say that we are going to partner with our clients as closely as possible. What we’re focused on now is making sure Revel includes a POS that does the job for you, giving operators moment back to conduct their business. Our newest product launch will go live later in October, and we are eager to share valuable new capabilities.
Q: You said that Revel’s cloud-based POS makes it easier than ever for business operators to adopt all its rich functionalities. In your opinion, what’s Revel’s market differentiator?
A: We’ve got a comprehensive solution for someone that wants to completely manage their business, and we have made it very easy to use. If you would like to get a POS system merely to make credit card transactions, we are probably not the best choice for you. If you’re trying to find something that’s going to handle stock and employee monitoring and suggestions, seamlessly integrate with dozens of third party partners, and much more, we are a excellent solution.
We are focused on the simple button and the intelligent button.
Q: Revel Systems has experienced exciting growth in the past few years. On your tenure, what’s been one of the most defining moments?
A: I believe I’ll have to choose two defining moments. The first is that we have made the critical transition from being an entrepreneurial company, meaning we’re making mistakes and learning from them, to being a company known for quality merchandise and strong implementation. Our client feedback is much more positive than ever before, and that is a really excellent position to maintain.
We have also experienced rapid growth lately, despite the Atlanta office just being one year old, we were named among Atlanta’s”Best Places to Work” at the 16th annual ranking of 100 metro area companies by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. I believe that is a testament to our clients, and if we are going to be good at providing service to our clients, we must be great at looking after our employees.
Q: As a particular interest, you are known for driving and building best-in-class culture at work. What does office culture mean to you?
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A: That is a loaded question. Although cliché, I really do not believe that you can grow a fantastic company without great individuals. At the end of the day, if teams and people care for one another, and individuals working across groups have a common objective of doing the perfect thing for the client, terrific culture emerges. Within our walls, there is a whole lot of power and fire, and we attempt to set the ideal example in the top down and the bottom up. I believe that’s contagious.
Q: What’s been the most important lesson you have learned during your career and direction?
A: I have learned plenty of things, fortunately and unfortunately. The thing that I probably hang on to the most is to keep things simple. I think it’s very tempting to overanalyze, overthink, and over-strategize. Keep reminding yourself, and your staff, to be very deliberate about maintaining your goal in mind.
Q: What are some interesting facts about you?
- I have six children, making my family a real Brady Bunch. My wife and I love to keep busy, and enjoy spending time with our children and traveling together.
- Both myself, and lots of people in my family, love competing in bocce ball, and we frequently find ourselves at the Atlanta City Championship. We’ve got a courtroom built in our backyard, and we participate in leagues year round.
- That is more discerning than intriguing, but I am a cancer survivor. I now have a different type of compassion and approach to the way I live my life and it has changed how I operate. It instilled in me a large desire to return and treat everyday like it is the last. My youngest daughter is called Hope since I had been diagnosed with cancer shortly after we had our first child, and we weren’t certain if we would be able to have more children.
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