Kristina Damschen Spina is the Vice President of Product Marketing at Indow, a cleantech company that is disrupting the window replacement industry. With window inserts that simply press into existing window frames, Indow helps clients reduce noise and improve energy efficiency. In her current role, Kristina is responsible for driving resource allocation and project planning to successfully launch new products. She has over 17 years of experience in media and event production and has worked with prestigious companies such as the English National Opera and Bonhams Art Auctioneers.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Kristina Damschen Spina explains what makes Indow stand out from the competition
- The steps Indow’s team took to effectively grow internally and how systems and documentation improved the transition
- Kristina and her team’s favorite automated tools
- How to cultivate an improvement-first workplace culture
- Kristina talks about pivoting during the pandemic and how Indow helped employees adjust to remote work
- Kristina’s advice for succeeding during difficult times
In this episode:
Why are systems so essential for your business to succeed? What are the best automation tools to document your processes? And, how can you systemize your organization to thrive during major transitions?
Kristina Damschen Spina knows the ins and outs of creating effective systems for business success. As the Vice President of Product Marketing at Indow, she is the key behind the company’s documentation processes and growth strategies. Today, Kristina is here to share the systems she uses to improve Indow’s internal growth, workplace culture, and major transitions.
On this episode of the Systems Simplified podcast, Adi Klevit talks with Vice President of Product Marketing at Indow, Kristina Damschen Spina. Kristina discusses what makes Indow stand out from the competition, how documenting systems has improved the company’s internal growth, and her tips for succeeding during difficult times. You don’t want to miss this exciting episode!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Adi Klevit on LinkedIn
- Business Success Consulting Group
- Kristina Damschen Spina on LinkedIn
- Indow’s Blog
Sponsor for this episode:
This episode is brought to you by Business Success Consulting Group.
At Business Success Consulting Group, we create custom processes and tailor-made management systems so businesses can thrive.
Businesses simply can’t survive without workable systems and well-documented processes. That’s why our team of experienced professionals takes care of it for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor, and cut the chaos out of your business.
Adi: [00:00:00] Well, hello, Adi Klevit here, and I’m the host of systems simplified podcast, where we interview founders, CEOs and thought leaders about systematizing businesses. And this episode is brought to you by business success consulting group and business success consulting group. We document processes and procedures and create management systems.
So businesses can thrive. Do you know Kristina that without systems businesses can really, they cannot survive.
Kristina: [00:00:32] Wholeheartedly agree with that.
Adi: [00:00:33] Absolutely. And that’s why, you know, we hear our clients say that they can now sleep at night. They can expand, they can sell the business and they can achieve a lot of their goals.
So if you’d like to contact us, it’s bizsuccesscg.com B I Z. Success CG for consulting group.com. All right. So now today I have a special guest. Then I’m really happy to have you here, Kristina so what would you introduce yourself? So tell us about yourself and your company.
Kristina: [00:01:04] Yeah. So I’m Kristina Damschen Spina.
I am the VP of product marketing over at, Indow. I’ve been with the company for eight years now working in a variety of roles from sales and then over to the marketing department.
Adi: [00:00:00] Well, it’s great to have you here. And let’s get started. So tell me a little bit more about how Indo got started. How did the whole idea came about?
Kristina: [00:00:10] Yeah, our founder, Sam Pardue lived in an old craftsman home in Portland, Oregon. And if you’re familiar with craftsman style homes, they have these gorgeous windows in them that are well under, over a hundred years old.
And so he wanted to preserve them. But when looking at the options for window replacement or storm windows, he just wasn’t. Satisfied with any of the solutions. So he came up with , which is a great way to allow you to keep your historic windows, but make sure they’re upgraded to provide better energy efficiency by air ceiling, adding insulation.
And that also ended up having an impact on a noise and getting that reduced.
Adi: [00:00:59] That’s great. And I can tell you, I looked at your product and went on the website and it is absolutely amazing. It’s just the best. I’m going to, wow. This is an amazing product I didn’t know about, and I definitely want to get some myself, so I definitely encourage everyone to resistant to us to go and check it out.
It’s definitely a great product.
Kristina: [00:01:19] Thank you. I mean, it takes a lot of work to make something that’s so simple looking in the end. I mean, one of the objectives was to make a product that was really low profile that sort of disappeared once it was installed, but to do all those things, we have to make sure that it fits just right out of the box.
So the consumer doesn’t need to adjust things when it gets into their window. And the whole process is really easy for the client.
Adi: [00:01:47] Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you know, you told about the growth of the company, which is very impressive and that’s really, no, this podcast is all about systems and processes and how to make it more efficient.
So tell me about how that happened. Like, tell me about a little bit about the history of the growth.
Kristina: [00:02:05] Yeah, there’s, there’s two major components to what makes endo unique. One of them is the compression tubing system that we have. And that’s something that’s gone through many iterations of design improvements which is great to see that process of.
Creating a product, understanding what the consumer is experiencing out of it, understanding where your efficiencies could lay in your production process and then creating something better. And then the other portion is our measurement system. So in order to make our. Product, we need six measurements within the window and we do that with a laser.
So we actually send our consumers a kit and they take six data points within the window. We have an online portal and they enter those in and they can get live feedback. If those measurements validate or not. So we first created a process that we would train people on what that measuring process would be, and they would become certified dealers and they could even access this program offline, but as we wanted to grow and access more areas than a single company could provide in a dealership, we offered up a self measure program and made our online measurement system available to consumers across the country.
Adi: [00:03:26] Wow. So that’s probably brought a lot of expansion.
Kristina: [00:03:29] Yeah. It, it brought a lot of rapid growth. Since, you know, each dealer there, they can only travel so far, but then self measure allowed us to help customers and more rural areas and cities at a rate than we that much faster than we could have done with a single dealer.
Adi: [00:03:50] Interesting. Okay. So how did you handle the growth internally? What was some of the measures that the company took in order to actually grow correctly and expand correctly?
Kristina: [00:04:01] You talked about systems before, and that was so key. It’s all about creating systems and there’s so many great tools out there these days, especially around automation.
So you can do things like build a system that will all.
Statuses to capitalize on. Your leads that haven’t converted into sales and also your purchasers who you’re trying to make sure return and make a second purchase or tell their network about you. So that’s kind of on the marketing side, but on the operational side, there’s also so many great systems and tools that you can build with making sure that a certain process is being followed.
That you have the right documentation in place and that you can circulate that to your employees at the right stage. So you don’t have to overload your training time with knowing everything right out of the gate.
Adi: [00:04:58] Absolutely. I agree with you. I mean, that’s what we do is we document those processes and procedures.
So I am very familiar with that and I agree with you 100%, you have to have documentation and then you have to use automation in order to increase productivity. So what are some of the automating automation tools that You use the, if you can share that you like that you recommend, or you like, or you found it made the biggest impact.
Kristina: [00:05:23] Well, so we have, Salesforce was huge for us. There were so much, and building workflows that helped our company and allowed us to scale without having to substantially increase our staff. So whether it’s Salesforce or another CRM, I think that’s a must marketing automation. We use part audit and which integrates with Salesforce.
So you can do some really interesting automations to your clients and then JIRA for project management, which you can also automate your workflows and how you’re handling work and communicating with their teams.
Adi: [00:06:00] Absolutely great. That’s great. And so you, do you have. Your systems documented throughout the company.
Kristina: [00:06:09] Yes. Yes and no. I think it’s, it’s always the struggle right. Of a growing business where there’s just some areas where you go, okay, I’m moving so fast. I don’t have time to document this and that. So then you go through cycles of cleanup when you realized, Oh, we didn’t document this process. So we need to go back and invest that time.
And it’s so invaluable to make sure that you do that right from the beginning. And. We’re at a stage where we’re doing that way more consistently, but I think it’s great that if you’re a business considering, Hey, I need help in documenting my processes. You should absolutely invest in that. It’ll help you so much in the long run, not only with training with your staff, but it makes sure that.
Any technical debt that you might have as well-documented. So if you bring in consultants or you hire people to help with those issues, you have a clear line of why you made those decisions and what the effective processes can be. As you’re making improvements.
Adi: [00:07:11] Absolutely again. Can I agree with you more?
That’s very true. You just explain it exactly as I would. So thank you for that. And let’s talk about the culture of the company. You know, if you go to your website again, it’s endo.com, right? I N D O w
Kristina: [00:07:29] in a windows.com
Adi: [00:07:31] right in the windows.com. Really suggest our listeners to go there and take a look at the culture part.
There is a part where there is a video. I believe it’s the founder, right. And the staff and you also happy and jumping and it just looks that amazing teamwork and a great place to work. So tell me more about the atmosphere, the culture, and, and how do you maintain it?
Kristina: [00:07:55] Yeah, we have a great company culture that is founded on continuous improvement.
First and foremost, that’s always been in our value chain. So it’s about saying, how can we make this better? Whether it be, how can we make the product better? How can we make working with our customers better? Or how do we. Make our internal communications better. And that involves you know, candor. You want to have radical candor.
You want to have direct communication and processes where you have opportunity to give feedback and retrospectives for how things went and how each individual wants to see it improved. So we’ve made some great progress in that area. I think the company culture over the last year, Has been particularly focused on DEI initiatives.
And that really was kind of spurred by, by the events that our society has encountered in the last year. And it’s been great to see how Indo has responded to that and the positive feedback our staff has given around us taking that up as a priority, making sure that. All voices are heard that we’re putting effort into recruiting diverse perspectives in our company.
So we don’t just feel comfortable getting the same opinion mirrored after time and time. Again, we want to have people that have very different perspectives because that’s how we can really make sure that the needs of our customers also have lots of different perspectives are equally met.
Adi: [00:09:31] Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, one of the things that you mentioned when we were talking before, before the interview is really adjusting and adopting, like, you know, I guess the word people think is so overused, but it’s really creating that change, you know, to what is needed from your customers.
Right. And now we have. We’ve seen the change in the workforce in terms of having to work from home and different aspects of that. And I’d like to discuss a little bit about that because you know, we here at business success in a, we published several Articles about working from home and adjusting and how we can actually support teams, better women in like, how can the business owners, the founders, the company can support employees better when they’re working from home, how to maintain the team.
And it has to do also with the environment, right? Because you have to have a good environment to work from and distracted and making sure that you feel comfortable working from home so you can be productive. Because that’s also goes along with you know, following the processes, you can only do that if you are actually able to produce.
Right. So tell me a little bit more about how you shifted to that, to this new environment and what are you doing to help your customers accomplish that?
Kristina: [00:10:48] Well, we have definitely in the past, we were working with a lot of commercial spaces that wanted to reduce noise for their workers. This was when we were actually going into the office a lot.
And there was this. Startup that we engaged with in Maryland that was in a historic space that a conference room that was always getting traffic noise. And so we had outfitted their office with inserts and it worked great. They were happy for many years. And then after the pandemic they contacted us because they had decided to break their lease.
And they were no longer in that space, but their workers were now at home. And instead of the normal traffic noise from the office, they were now kind of impacted by neighborhood noise. Or some staff were located next to a highway or a train and they, each individually had issues. So because we can easily kind of shift from.
A commercial client to a residential one. It was no problem to say, all right, well, how about we give everyone at your company a discount and they even collaborated with them on putting a stipend together to help with those costs. And they were able to get inserts into several of their staff members’ homes.
And through that, they’re able to focus more on meetings, make sure that their calls are interrupted and just generally be more productive and comfortable during their day.
Adi: [00:12:14] That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. And I hope some of our listeners get inspired by it and decide to do the same, or so if they have questions, definitely reach out personnel, how can we reach out?
What’s the best way to reach out to you?
Kristina: [00:12:27] Go to our website. You’ll see that there’s a chat, but it’s not some robot or a person that we’ve hired external to the company. There’s a real staff members who know about the product. Well, as, as in addition to just the general environmental needs. So I highly encourage, if you have any questions about either a product or just.
Your space in general and how we can help with comfort go there and just get connected with us.
Adi: [00:12:57] Awesome. Okay, good. And you know, you also mentioned that you provide resource for business owners and for customers just free resources on your website. So tell me more about that.
Kristina: [00:13:08] Over the last year, especially, we’ve been trying to produce as much content as we can.
And we’ve collaborated with energy efficiency professionals acoustic consultants just people who very much understand the pain points that our customers suffer from. And we have free resources anywhere from we have a free download right now on how to have better zoom calls. And another one on a checklist for energy efficient ways that you can improve your home.
And so if you go to Indo windows.com and look at our blog, you’ll be able to see a great feed of all of the things we have to offer.
Adi: [00:13:48] Excellent. That’s great. So I will definitely check it out as well. And in closing, before we close this interview, now we come to the end of the interview. Anything else you wanted to mention or any inspiring or hopeful message to our listeners in terms of surviving these times and extending and doing well?
Like what, what are some advice that you can give.
Kristina: [00:14:15] I would say that. Systems have cycles. Right? And so in order to succeed and do better, you’re going to have to go through some pain points of realizing that some of the assumptions you previously held or the ideas you had, weren’t the best ones. But that doesn’t mean that you’re failing.
It just means you have a great opportunity ahead of you. So. I mentioned the dealer program before and how we transformed in to a self measure offering that was really important for us to first admit, okay, we might have made a decision or assumption that wasn’t, you know, with the full information that we have now, but it’s that willingness to be humble in it and say, well, let’s go ahead and invest in going down this new path that can really open up new possibilities.
And we’ve had tons of moments like that in, in our company history and every single time, the thing that makes it successful, it goes back to systems and documentation planning and goals. So those are all essential.
Adi: [00:15:24] Absolutely. I agree. 100%. So I really hope that our listeners get inspired by this and if they are putting off their systematization and documentation projects that they get on with it, and if they already have it, you know, just know that that is a key to success as is definitely obvious from your story.
So Chris Smith, thank you so much for being a guest on this podcast. You were your information that you shared is fantastic. And again, I encourage all of our listeners to go to in the windows.com and take advantage of the free resources that are there and check out the product. I mean, if you see the product, I know if you have windows in your home, you’re going to say, Oh, I need that.
Or I know somebody who needs that. So definitely go to that, to the website. And thank you again.
Kristina: [00:16:14] Thank you.