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SAS Case Study
Transcript of SAS Case Study
Unlike its competitors, the company designs its products to work on mainframes, midrange computers, workstations, personal computers and mainframe platforms.
It’s policy is to listen to customers and give them what they want
Attraction and Retention of talent is a key factor in the company’s success
“SAS is a knowledge-based business with continuing requirements to evolve and upgrade its software offerings.”
Companies seek to hire the best to “build and maintain its intellectual capital.”
Software development market is highly competitive and software talent is a scarce commodity
Unique sales proposition within the software industry where SAS sells annual licensing for its products
SAS has a 98% renewal rate
SAS can take a long-term view because it is private and does not have to report earnings to shareholders
30% of its revenues on R&D alone more than 2X the industry average
Company believes that SAS should be used everywhere
Therefore, it trades off margins in the short term for a greater level of market penetration
Customer-driven development process
Never turn down a product idea
Offer free upgrades with their licensing fee
No specific financial goals
Family-friendly environment/Fun working Environment
Little to no outsourcing - allows employees to know their jobs are safe
"SAS Institute's organizational structure is both flat and informal."
"One the norms of the company is that all managers are working managers"
Open door policy - Goodnight is visible in the company
Treat everyone fairly and equally
Trust the employees judgment in doing a good job
Make sure all decisions are long-term
Bottom-up decision making
27 units report directly to Goodnight - Messages get lost in translation
No clear description of job duties
"I think you can set short and long-term goals. And you can sit back and see if it happens or it doesn't happen."
Have someone who is direct assistant to Goodnight to filter messages
Find a way to make sure no messages are lost in translation
Descriptive work duties- spend more time on training
"Why fix it if it isn't Broke" -Innovation MGMT
The average tenure at SAS is 10 years; 300 employees have worked 25 or more
Annual turnover was 2% in 2009, compared with the average in the software industry of about 22%
Women make up 45% of its U.S. workforce, which has an average age of 45
4200 employees at North Carolina headquarters; an additional 7000 employees located in other countries
The typical week is 35 hours
Average number of sick days is two - not monitored by anyone
Many employees can set their own schedule
Two subsidized day-care centers for 600 children, and summer camp offerings
Centrally located health-care center - Last year 90% of SAS employees and their families -- Goodnight included -- made 40,000 visits
With a budget of $4.5 million, health center still saves the company $5 million annually
The business of doing business was (is) everyone's job
Recognizing employees for their value to the company was part of the early SAS heritage
Flexible work environment and some of the "trademarks" of the employee-friendly SAS culture - including M&M's and breakfast goodies - were born in the first months of the company's existence
Received awards from FORTUNE, Working Mother, BusinessWeek and Mother Jones magazines, along with prominent print and broadcast media coverage in the United States, Europe and Australia.
“Balanced lives mean good business and great technology” website
“If you treat people well, things will take care of themselves”
“Even in the sales organization, there is little emphasis on financial rewards. Account representatives are not paid on the basis of sales commissions.”
SAS Competitive Advantage Stems from the following three factors
“SAS Institute’s advantage is its level of integration and the range of product line”
Largest privately owned software company and 9th largest independent firm
97% of Fortune 100 run SAS. More than 80% of Fortune 500
SAS success metrics
1. The level of integration and range of product line
2. It’s ability to hire and retain top talent within the software industry
3. The companies business model
SAS success also stems from its business model
SAS success and competitive advantage stems from its ability to hire and retain top talent in the software industry
Alteryx, Knime, RapidMiner, Revolution Analytic
Big Data – Data Variety (Gartner, Kumar)
Benefits & Compensation
Primary threats to SAS’s successful business environment
Strategy for Work/Life Balance
Culture of SAS
Best Company to Work For: Employees, Family, Retirees
Is it Sustainable?
Where is SAS today?
The World's Top Ten Places to Work
It ranks with Google, Salesforce & Twitter
SAS is used by 93 of the top 100 companies on the Fortune Global 500®
$3.09 billion revenues, 13,660 employees, Customers in 139 countries
Please look over your Brochure!
What's the "DEAL" at SAS?
Flat and Informal
Privately Held, No Shareholders
Guided by Code of Ethics
Company With A "Conscience" - Sustainability, Environment, Public Policy Efforts
“With no shareholders demanding short-term returns, we are free to invest in a sustainable future. That’s why we invest in a dedicated workforce, sustainable operations and a strong community – to make everyone, not just SAS, successful" *
Reduces Distraction, Increases Innovation
Lowest turnover rate in industry (>4% vs 15%+)*
Happy Employees aka Productive Employees
Family-friendly and Fun Working Environment
“Take care of your people, they will take care of your company” - James Goodnight
*SAS ranks No. 2 on 2014 Fortune list of Best Companies to Work For in the US | SAS, http://www.sas.com/en_us/news/press-releases/2014/january/great-workplace-US-Fortune-2014.html
Egalitarian Approach to Management aka Employee Equality
Encouraging & Innovative - Creativity is "Competitive Advantage"
Cultural Philosphical Pillars - Trust, Flexibility, Values
“Because employees bring their whole selves to work, SAS strives to reduce stress and distraction so they can do their best" *
Gartner Chart 2014
Gartner Chart 2015