Volt Office Team – Welcome to 2015!

Welcome back from vacation. I hope you all had a wonderful time. I hope you got the chance to enjoy your family, the silence, the craziness and all those other joyous parts of Christmas and New Years!

This blog post has some goodies for everyone on the office team, so please read it before you get started on work.

This happened while you were taking a well deserved Christmas break!

First of all, a quick update to you guys on what have happened over the holiday period. It is not by any means complete, so make sure to ask questions at lunch!

Wholesale orders
Sophia, Simon, Trygve, Rune, Aimee and I have been working on pitching in Volt as a wholesale product to a few companies. We are working on closing some big sales of 3.000-10.000 batteries. It is promising, and we are closer than we have ever been before, but nothing is certain yet. Currently we are focusing on closing a deal, rather than making huge margins. Just to get some more experience with wholesale!

CES Conference
Trygve has been attending the CES conference in Las Vegas to find new potential hardware suppliers – eg. on Volt Chargers and cables. Trygve and I have had some really good Skype meetings, and it is quite promising. These potential new suppliers might be able to bring the price on hardware down with some dollars, while also being able to provide shorter production time, more options for charger pack sizes, good Apple certified cables, new magnetic charging technologies and so on. If we could cut just $2 off the charger production price, it would mean more than 1mDKK improve on our yearly hardware cost! Trygve will provide more info once he is back.

Allan and Ruchieka has been working intensively on finishing the bookkeeping for last year. Now only a few things are missing, and it seems like we end on something like 16,5 mDKK in turnover and – maybe – a small profit. The turnover is amazing, and the bottom line is a lot better than last year. We can certainly be proud of this. On the financial side a lot of decisions were taken last minute this last year, so I personally believe that just small improvements will be able to increase our profits significantly for 2015. This year, we have had loads and loads of chargers that were given out without them being paid for. A lot of them have probably been given out as promotional gifts – but this is definitely an area where we will be able to improve for 2015.

Festival situation
In 2015, we will mainly focus on existing festivals and improving sales on these. You should not expect a lot of new festivals added to the Volt 2015 tour. Why are we not taking on new festivals this year? Well, last year we felt that we were very busy bringing on new festivals during the season. Ultimately, all this last minute festivals are truly making it difficult for us to do efficient operations. This year, rather than bringing new festivals to the table just before the season starts, we try to increase the number of festival goers using the service pr. festival, rather than taking more festivals on.

Who is in the office?

Quick update on all departments:
HR: Say welcome to Rasmus Dahl. You know him as festival manager, and he will be working in the office with a crossover role between production and HR! Nanna is back from the 19th ish. Tobias will be OoO (Out of Office) with Rasmus at Eurosonic from Wednesday 14th until Tuesday the 20th.
IT: Ulrik is already back, and Trygve is back on Wednesday or Thursday the 15th from CES in Las Vegas. I do not know when Andreas Moldow is back – check his calendar.
Finance: Ruchieka is back on the 21st from her vacation in North India. Allan is already back!
Sales and Production: Rasmus is back already. Rune will be back on the 19th from his vacation. Asger – I do not know exactly (check calendar).
Biz and product dev: Sophia is back – almost full time! Simon is back part time also – check their calendars for more info
Support: Bettina is our new awesome support girl! Check her office hours in the calendar
Cleaning: Adomas’ wife Laura is making sure our office is super nice. And she is doing a great job. Leave your tables somewhat clear before the weekend, and she will make sure they look nice monday morning.
All over the place: Miranda! Don’t know when she will be back in the office – but do write her, if you would like her help with stuff :)

I probably forgot someone.. Sorry about that!

Prioritizing might be the hardest part

“I’m back in the office. I have 1.000 emails and 10.000 asana updates. What the fuck do I do?” Welcome to Volt. The rest of your year might very likely look like that… Here is how to go about it, in general terms:

1. Understand and investigate until you figure out what is most important thing to work on
2. Work on that and try to forget everything else for a moment

If you are in doubt what to work on, set up a meeting with some from the team and have them helping you prioritize. I will do that myself with Sophia this afternoon – she will help me prioritize my crazy list of tasks! Having others to help you choose what to work on is not a sign of weakness – it is a sign of strength and will to collaborate. It will help you understand Volt as a whole. So – anytime, if just for 5 minutes, don’t be afraid to ask the person next to you, me, or someone else to help you decide what to work on. As you have just come back from vacation, I have tried to make it easy for you to get started on work – at least for now. Read on.

Guide on how to start off your 2015 in Volt

1. Settle down.
Arrive. Get updated on your colleagues. Grab a cup of coffee or tea. Make yourself comfortable – being here should feel right.

2. Urgent stuff?
Check with your department if there is something urgent that needs to be done, before starting on 2 and 3 in this guide. This could be checking new applicants in Podio for an HR person, and dealing with this year’s financial report if you are in finance. Whether there is urgent stuff to be done or not, is something you should judge yourself together with one or two of your closest colleagues.

3. Clean up Asana and email
a) Empty your inbox. If you havent already set it up according to my guide, I think you should do it. It will sure ease how you go through emails: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B22_v4gzpvQrM3NZR2ZpeHJySVU&authuser=0
b) Over to Asana. Go through all of your Asana task list. First, remove all tasks not anymore relevant. Check them off, simply. If you are in doubt if something is important, remove the deadline, and put the task into “later”. Next, update deadlines on the rest of the tasks, so the deadline reflects the latest day a task should be done. Put all tasks into the section “Later” or “Upcoming”. Tasks with deadlines in more than 2 weeks ahead goes in Later. The rest goes in upcoming. Now, your new tasks and “today” tasks should be empty.
c) Check you Asana inbox for new messages, and reply where necessary
d) This is an important one: Go through the workgroups that you are a part of, and close down all Asana projects that are no longer relevant. Remove tasks that are no longer relevant – simply put just clean up. It will be so much easier for the full organisation, if every part of Asana is always as up to date as possible.

4. Involve in HR
January and February are the months to plan scale up the organization. If you feel you need more people in your department before the season of 2015 starts, this is the time to act. Don’t wait for someone else to take action. Do as follows:
Talk with fellow office crew to estimate what you need in your team. Maybe someone has already created those job openings online? Check if they are online. If not, connect with me to estimate resources available for the new position you are imagining. Connect with Nanna or Rasmus Dahl to setup and coordinate the recruitment process. Spread the word about new positions everywhere. Follow up all the way, help with reviewing candidates, and bringing the new profile onto the team.

Basically, I encourage everyone to help with making sure that we get the right profiles on the team. This, I believe, is the one most important part of the work we do. The strength of the team is in the end determining our success.

Probably these tasks above will take you a day or two to get through. That is completely okay. After that you can continue with those other important tasks in your recently updated Asana to do list.

This year we will be great!

My goal for 2015 is that we will be profitable and make Volt an all over even nicer company. Here is my quest to you: What can we as a team improve in Volt? Should we have more flexible office hours? More company events? Greater lunch? More responsibility? And what about the business – are we heading in the right direction with what we do – or do you have suggestions for improvements? How do we achieve these goals – what are your ideas for an action plan to make this reality?

Discuss new directions and ideas in work time, over lunch, whenever, as long as you feel you are creating value. Feel free to setup brainstorming nights, hacking events, discussion sessions or whatever you feel like we need. Such stuff is great for long winter evenings. Volt will be happy to support such initiatives with food!

Let’s make 2015 the year where everyone at the office involve in the management of this company. We have started the employee board meetings, which is the first step towards a self managing business. But this can become much better, and it will only happen through your active involvement in what we do. If you want to join the employee board, just send me an email. We are gradually taking new people on board!

Volt should be the best possible place to work. That is my highest goal!

Okay guys, end of a very long story. Welcome back. Enjoy your monday morning – I will be in the office from around 1pm on the 12th!

See you in a few hours! Wohoo!

1 love from Tobias

Oh, btw. Here is a few pictures that might remind you why we are doing this. Fresh from Roskilde 2014.

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… and 2015 is going to be just as great. The party is starting right around the corner.

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