Check out this interview from 每日商业内幕 with 基思•尼尔森, 总部位于爱丁堡的软件公司首席执行官, Craneware.
ike many other offices these days there is plenty of elbow room for the handful of workers dotted around the expansive open plan floorspace at software company Craneware’s Edinburgh headquarters. 很少有证据, 事实上, that this is the hub of a business underpinning the financial performance of more than 2,000家医院 and other healthcare institutions across the United States.
“越来越忙了，”接待员说. “那要看你是哪一天来的.” It’s a story told across the country since flexible working became the norm. 基思•尼尔森, Craneware的创始人兼首席执行官, says it’s also the case that two-thirds of its 750 staff are in the US “where they are doing a lot of the face-to-face work with clients”.
Craneware is unusual by having its head office in Scotland but all of its business overseas. It provides software that enables the privately-run US health service to function more efficiently. It serves 40% of US hospitals which spend half a trillion dollars every year on operational and administrative costs.
Asked what they think of having a company from Scotland working to improve their balance sheets, Neilson says Craneware has two offices in the US and staff spread across the country. 至于成绩单, he tells a story of one hospital that would have been forced to close its labour ward if it had not made the savings generated by Craneware.
“我们退回了1美元.5 billion to the sector through improvements to their systems,他说. “所以我们正在做出改变. 这不是性感的东西，但我们确实得到了很酷的结果.”
明年4月, Neilson will mark 25 years since he set up the business with his friend from school days Gordon Craig who is also still at the company. 他承认，这一定使他成为科技行业的资深人士. It certainly means he is one of the longest serving CEOs in any industry, which includes 16 years as head of what is a stock market quoted firm.
“I’m still passionate about the business and excited about starting the day,他说, 不愿让位的. 该公司 is currently valued at £540 million on the Alternative Investment Market and, 在一个更乐观的时期, 最高达到10亿美元, making it one of the Scottish unicorns that was never given the recognition it deserved.
尼尔森对软件的兴趣可以追溯到他的学生时代, 涉猎编码和创造自己的游戏. He studied optoelectronics at Heriot Watt and joined a graduate enterprise programme that he really enjoyed and gave him a taste for running his own business. He applied for the graduate scheme at IBM only to be be told on the day of his interview that the scheme was being closed down. He ended up working for the firm as a contractor “which meant doing much the same thing”.
A recruitment business followed and the idea for Craneware came about while he was in the US with his American girlfriend, 后来他的妻子, 参加感恩节晚宴.
“I met a healthcare consultant and was blown away by the size of the market. 这是我读MBA时写的.”
顾问正在手动输入扇区的数据. Neilson wrote a software programme for her and a working partnership developed that saw her later join Craneware, 他和克雷格在1999年创办了这家公司.
They raised money from Bank of Scotland and the Lothian Investment Fund and set about targeting hospitals, 赢得合同，建立良好的收入来源. 该公司, 总部设在坎农米尔斯的坦菲尔德办公室, 在2007年上市, 当顾问卖掉股份离开时.
在AIM上市让该公司更受关注, 他说, though he has mixed feelings about the market’s ability to track the company’s progress.
“We have driven up revenue and Ebitda but the market cap is half its peak,他说. “Some of it is within our control, but there is very little liquidity just now.
“成为一家上市公司的原因之一是获得M&A capital but I am not sure the London market will supply that for a little while.”
He says the market needs to change to help small and mid-cap companies, including the regulations around research which is no longer so widely spread and leaves retail investors at a disadvantage.
The market also provided him with a lesson in dealmaking when in the summer of 2020 his attempt to buy a business was scuppered in the final minutes when it was snatched by a rival.
“The investment banker had been playing the two of us off each other,他说. “It made me look a bit naive and I had to take it on the chin because our exclusivity had run out. 但我们最终还是抢走了他们的生意.”
He was able to learn from that exercise a year later when he made a successful $400m (£282m) cash and shares swoop on Sentry Data Systems, a Florida-based provider of SaaS solutions which simplify the complexity of pharmacy procurement. 它还提供商业情报和咨询服务.
它增加了10个客户群,000家医院, 药房及诊所, 包括600多家美国医院.
至于英国, 公司不能在这里经营, 但他表示，它间接受益于美国的医疗保健服务.
他说:“有如此多的资金流向新技术。. “药物在美国进行试验，然后进入其他国家. If we can help keep these US hospitals open then there is a global benefit.”
教育: Balerno High School, Heriot Watt University (degree in general science)
职业生涯突出: IBM(承包商), 检查点证券(销售及市场推广), ran a recruitment business; set up Craneware in 1999.
When we were 10 or 11 years old me and Gordon (Craig) wrote computer games and sold them around the school and neighbourhood in Ratho. 我们从一本杂志上的代码列表中学习编程.
有两个故事. 一个是我在麦芽 & Hops with Gordon watching the Karate Kid when there is a crane kick to win a fight. The other version is that it takes the first letters of Craig and Neilson. 可能两者都有.
If you could invite anyone to a fantasy meeting or dinner party who would you choose?
- 并尽可能减轻负担 罗宾·威廉姆斯 和/或 比利·康诺利