Thomas Karlsson is the CEO and foundingpartner of Omnitas Consulting. Throughout his career, Thomas has been working with organization, processes, and workflows. Through his systematic and scrutinizing "no-nonsense" approach, he tends to effectivize most organizations. With a background in the Swedish armed forces (Director of personnel) and later as the COO of a Growth Consultancy Bureau in Stockholm, Thomas has acquired more than his fair share of experiences in management consulting. He has today positioned himself as one of the, if not the, leading consultant on monday.com and workflow enhancement.
One of your superpowers is that you can quickly understand the profound and underlying problems companies have and then take them from being stuck to scaling. Can you share an example of this with one of your clients?
All superpowers come from passion. I have always been allergic to bureaucracy and meaningless administration. By focusing on the actual workflow (not the software) and optimizing them we are able to work with any kind of company, in any vertical. The process of describing and analyzing a sales process looks the same as mapping and evaluating a production workflow. The difference comes in the end when we choose which software to use in order to support the new workflow. We tend to gravitate towards monday.com because it is an excellent value for money, and it is very agile and allows us to tailor it to almost any workflows and processes. We at Omnitas Consulting always try to cater to the client's corporate culture and help them achieve greater transparency and visualize the workload in a tangible way, which is known to have a positive impact on the workplace environment and employee satisfaction. We have many success stories. The effect our clients have in common are:
Elimination of internal emails
Better delivery and deadline fulfillment
Handover processes are automated, which means slimmed production times.
Clearly identifying bottlenecks and having the tools to deal with them.
One of my favorite examples is a company that produces bespoke kitchens and stairways. Before approaching us, they were managing everything analogue, over email and in Excel spreadsheets. Now they are managing their whole sales process, with automated emails to the client at important milestones. They track drawings and payments and also communicate with their factory in Indonesia and automatically provide them with all the information they need to produce the goods. Shipping to Scandinavia on freight containers is managed and tracked on monday.com. Quality assurance before delivery and installation and aftermarket support are also being managed in monday.com. This is a company that understands the value of gathering all their workflows in one place. They are saving time with up to 100 automated emails each day, and they can always provide the client the correct information about their order no matter where it is in the process.
You are born and raised in Sweden, but you’re operating worldwide, and the majority of the people and companies asking for your expertise are outside of Sweden. United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, to mention a few. What do you think is the reason for that?
I think the nature of our services and the special workflow niche that we have carved out for ourselves makes us quite unique. It is a service very few management companies can offer. I would say that our success internationally is based on our approach. We treat every single client the same way, no matter if they are a 10 man operation or a big global enterprise. Smaller companies are getting a level of attention and service they aren't used to getting. This has led to great word of mouth. The majority of our international clients approach us thanks to referrals and positive word of mouth. We do no marketing outside of Sweden. Instead of making our clients fit into ready-made solutions or models, we like to collaborate together through an agile approach. We will always work to create a tailored system that adapts the best solution based on their desired effects. This way of thinking makes us rather unique on the market. Again, approaching the challenges from a workflow perspective, rather than a system use case, means that we are able to understand each company's unique corporate culture and cater to their way of working, as an approach that is quite rare internationally. With that being said, we know that there are many people out there who want to work more flexibly for various reasons. Our strong belief is that companies, no matter the size, can manage this challenge without losing the efficiency in their projects and workflows. You just need to find tailored tools, and we can help implement those to reach the full potential of use.
There are lots of companies looking to digitalize more effectively to save money or scale. This is something you’ve been very successful in doing. What are your 3-5 best tips on digitalizing effectively, and what should you avoid doing? Organizations of all sizes have varying wants and needs, and meet different challenges in different projects. Managing a portfolio of all the projects is a complex process, but there are some hands-on Do's and Don'ts in project and workflow management that me and my colleagues think that every organization should have in mind while building a successful workflow.
What to do:
Analyze your requirements and clearly separate wants and needs. Make sure to connect your challenges to desired effects.
Plan your workflows. Make sure you have the bigger picture before you start to build your workflows. It´s otherwise easy to miss out on important details and avoid miss alignment between business and project objectives.
Connect cross-functional processes in your workflows and make sure the handover process is supported and automated.
Make sure your software can integrate to the tools you are already using and to get a master system, a work Operating System (workOS), that collects the data from all your separate tools. Either natively or through API or connectors such as Integromat, Zapier or Flowize.
Get the technical support you need to get started. You don't need to navigate this ocean on your own. There is help to be had.
What to avoid:
Don't use unknown software or software from a too small supplier. Choose something that may last and that will be updated over time. I have seen all too many companies choosing "smaller" solutions but ending up without one due to issues in regard to them not being kept up to date or further developed. monday.com is a good example of a good platform, they are constantly developing the platform and new features and functions are continuously added. It's also a company with several hundred employees, it will not disappear without anyone noticing.
Don't set requirements based on isolated functions. Set requirements based on scenarios and processes instead.
Avoid unnecessary administrations. Automate work for efficiency and make time for your priorities.
Don't use separate tools for different use cases and teams. Find a system that covers all your needs and supports all pieces of the operation.
Don´t make it harder than it looks! Implementing a new system into the organization doesn`t need to be that complicated. Not with a little help.
What is the next big goal or project for Thomas Karlsson? What do you have in front of you?
Omnitas Consulting is constantly growing and trying to become better geared to helping our clients constantly evolving needs. We are getting ready for a more aggressive international expansion as well as strengthening our position in Sweden. We are looking at an expansion with 4 new co-workers before summer and probably 2 more during the fall. On a personal note, I am about to become a father. We are expecting a daughter, Freja, within the next 6 weeks. My biggest upcoming project will be tackling the challenge of combining parenthood with running a company. I look forward to finding ways to be an active and present parent while still continue to deliver quality workflows and solutions to our clients. We are still scaling up ourselves and nowhere near full potential. I look forward to what the future brings with open arms. I love meeting new companies and talk to them about their challenges, and understanding how we can help them achieve their desired effect. We are really making work-life better, one company at a time. We know that great performances come from people that are happy with their work-life balance. It becomes more and more important for companies to tailor a system that gives them the transparency they need to succeed with their workflow. Sign up for our newsletter and receive many more hand-on tips on how to manage project workflows in the best suitable way. You will also get information about new work tools and app launches.