Facilisgroup Holds Hackathon To Solve Business Needs

Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664), a Saint Louis, Missouri-based software-as-a-service company and partnering community within the promotional products industry, recently concluded its first Facilisgroup Hackathon; an opportunity for cross-functional teams of Facilisgroup employees to come together to conceptualize, ideate, develop and present innovative ideas with the possibility of future implementation. The two top-performing teams were awarded prizes for their good work.

Approximately half of the Facilisgroup workforce elected to participate in the Hackathon, which combined elements of empowerment, teamwork, innovation, speed, experimentation and curiosity into a two-day time frame. Nine teams comprised of three to five members from a minimum of two different departments, each took their two days of dedicated Hackathon time to focus on solving a problem, creating value, building a prototype and ultimately presenting the concept to a panel of seven judges. Ideas presented covered a broad range of concepts including data utilization, industry training, marketing, machine learning and more.

“Innovation is one of our core values at Facilisgroup, and as a SaaS organization, it is the life blood of who we are,” says Matthew Lamb, executive vice president of research and development at Facilisgroup. “But if innovation was the responsibility of just one person, we’d surely fail. The Hackathon is designed to bring cross-functional teams together to implement what we talk about—to serve as a catalyst to turn ideas and discussions into action. There’s a lot of magic in getting a small group into a room and just letting them go to work, without restriction. It takes dedicated time and commitment—and with the Hackathon, we’re trying to bring that together in one event.”

From the original group of nine, four teams progressed to a final round, presenting to the Facilisgroup executive leadership team. Based on criteria of creativity, business value, feasibility and presentation, a final winner and runner-up were named—each earning a cash prize.

“The opportunity to designate time for the sole purpose of creativity and innovation was what was most attractive to me,” says Jim Manno, director of communications, and a member of the winning team. “It afforded our team the opportunity to devote time and energy to an idea that we believed strongly in, but that otherwise wouldn’t fall within our daily responsibilities. To see that level of teamwork and ideation happening company-wide was truly inspiring.”

There are plans for the Facilisgroup Hackathon to become a regular event, but in a statement, the company notes that its ultimate goal is to identify how those qualities can carry over into the day-to-day culture at Facilisgroup.

“Half of Facilisgroup is on the tech side, with the other half on the business side,” says Lamb. “They all possess great skillsets, but often operate in a vacuum, which can be stifling. So, the sheer fact that the Hackathon has brought business and tech together, empowered to drive change, has truly been a great win in my book.”

filed under November 2021 | Facilisgroup
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