Serving Others through Customer Relationship Management

By York Galland

As a supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, I often think about the organization’s tenets and how they apply to life beyond scouting. One tenet in particular, that of Serving Others, seems relevant to the work I do through Innovative Matrix, the customer relationship management (CRM) service my brother and I founded and now run.

At its core, CRM provides businesses with a system for demonstrating to customers how much they are valued. In the days before the Internet and globalization, most business owners could handle CRM on their own by chatting with customers who came through the door. Today, though, technology allows us to conduct most of our transactions without ever seeing one another.

By implementing a CRM system like the ones offered by Innovative Matrix, companies can, as the Boy Scouts suggest, “do a good turn daily” for their customers. CRM systems allow sales and marketing representatives to address small concerns and problems before they grow, helping employees at all companies give their customers the kind of attention they might receive at the corner store. Of course, the Internet has changed the way customers behave as much as it has changed businesses.

The new “social customer” might blog, tweet, or post about a retail experience that was particularly good or bad, thus spreading the message to potentially thousands of friends or followers. CRM systems that incorporate social media can help companies reach out to vocal consumers and even participate in the conversation about their products or services. More importantly, though, a company with an effective CRM system can leverage the information it gleans through social media to better serve its customers.

About York Galland

York Galland and his brother Adam founded Innovative Matrix with the goal of improving existing retail technology through CRM. Galland splits his time between Provo, Utah, and Laguna Beach, California.


Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by York Galland

By York Galland

While some people dismiss the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin because of its florid Victorian sentimentality, I believe the book’s statement remains timeless, although the its tone may have conformed to the stylistic conventions that have lost favor. Dominated by the avowal that slavery is both immoral and sinful, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic novel invokes a devotion to God and his expectations for us while driving home her message that slavery should be abolished. Other views of the time that still hold true today include the importance of family and motherhood. In trying to make her point about slavery and other evils in the antebellum U.S., Stowe wrote in no uncertain terms that she believed mothers had a clear duty to instill in their children the best behavior and a sense of decency.

An astounding bestseller in its day, Uncle Tom’s Cabin served as fuel for the anti-slavery movement that helped drum up support for the Civil War. Although a number of factors led up to the bloody battles of that epic war, abolitionists who might have been anti-war under other circumstances felt that their crusade against slavery represented an important cause for which to fight. Uncle Tom’s Cabin does not state that slave owners are born evil. Instead, Stowe indicates that even good people are influenced to perform monstrous acts when a human being becomes property. Kentucky farmer Arthur Shelby owns a number of slaves, including Uncle Tom. Although he and his wife proclaim to be fond of their slaves, especially Uncle Tom and their maid Eliza, Arthur Shelby’s debts prompt him to sell Eliza’s young son Harry and Uncle Tom to save the farm from foreclosure. Tom bows his head in resignation to his fate, leaving with a slave trader who plans to sell him further south down the Mississippi River. During the riverboat journey, Tom rescues a young girl named Evangeline St. Clare, or Little Eva, after she falls into the water. Eva’s grateful father purchases Tom, and he moves with the family to their home in New Orleans. Meanwhile, Eliza decides that she will run away with her son to prevent their being separated. She leaves at night, and Mrs. Shelby finds her note of apology the next morning. Eliza meets her husband, George Harris, a runaway slave, and they make plans to try to escape to Canada. While they are spiriting away through the night, a slave hunter tries to catch them. In the ensuing struggles, George shoots the slave hunter, though he and Eliza later bring him to a Quaker community, so he might receive medical treatment. Eventually, George and Eliza make it safely to Canada. After a few years in which Tom and Eva have cemented their friendship, Eva succumbs to illness. In her last moments, she shares her vision of heaven with those gathered around her, which results in them vowing to change their lives for the better.

Although Eva’s father promised at the time to free Uncle Tom, Eva’s father dies unexpectedly, and his wife sells Tom to Simon Legree. Legree embodies the most despicable of all slaveholders, whipping slaves, selling children away from their parents, and causing fear through his indecent and cruel behavior. Although Tom perseveres because of his Christian faith, Legree’s mercilessness sorely tests his resolve. A vision of Jesus and Little Eva together restore his courage, and he encourages two enslaved women, Cassy and Emmeline, to escape. In retaliation, Legree orders his overseers to beat Tom, who forgives his tormenters even as he is dying. Just as Tom dies, George Selby, the son of Tom’s original owner, arrives at Legree’s farm to repurchase Tom. The moral of Uncle Tom’s cabin stands as a lesson that our good intentions are not enough to ward off horrific consequences; even slave owners who believed they were “kind” to their slaves still committed unspeakable harm against them. If human beings are allowed to be treated as mere chattel, people lose their ability to protect themselves against unforeseen events. These lessons still provide guidance in today’s world, where many people still experience oppression, and others do nothing to help them.

Brigham Young University Honor Code: A Discussion, by York Galland

I always feel pride when I think about my choice to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, for both my Bachelor’s degree and my Master of Business Administration. The school traces its roots to the pioneer days of Utah, when so many settlers worked so hard to eke out a living in a harsh environment that they eventually tamed to create thriving communities that have sustained future generations. Based on the belief that education should combine secular learning with studies of the scripture, the school first opened its doors in 1875 as Brigham Young Academy, a co-educational institution that focused on secondary coursework and opened its doors to all children in the fledgling territory.

Over the ensuing years, the school moved to new facilities, and in 1903, it adopted the name Brigham Young University (BYU). Currently, BYU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in such programs as education, engineering, liberal arts, life sciences, management, and law. Nearly 98 percent of the student body professes membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, although the school welcomes students of all faiths. No matter what their creed, the school requires all students to abide by an honor code. This honor code, which applies to all aspects of students’ lives and not just their activities on campus, mandates that students behave with integrity by submitting their own academic work and not cheating, maintaining a clean-cut appearance, and abstaining from alcohol, drugs, profanity, and extramarital sex.

Although the school did not officially adopt the honor code until 1940, a Domestic Organization composed of teachers visited students in their homes to ensure they lived according to the moral expectations of the school. This honor code has served as the subject of much discussion in recent months due to the decision to ban a BYU athlete from participating in games because of a violation of this oath. I believe that adherence to this code, especially in light of the fact that all students sign the oath and meet yearly with a faculty member to discuss any breaches, serves as a valuable life lesson for all BYU students and alumni like myself.

Read more about York Galland

The Paths to Becoming a Commercial Pilot

By: York Galland

Commercial pilots have various paths to licensure. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that commercial pilots hold at least a private pilot certificate, pass a knowledge exam, demonstrate skills in a practical flying test, and accrue a set amount of flying experience, depending on the type of aircraft and commercial class rating desired. Those interested in becoming a commercial pilot must therefore first obtain their private pilot license by attending a flight school or seeking an equivalent form of training. These schools may also offer training for operating a smaller commercial aircraft. To learn how to fly jets and passenger airliners, potential pilots must generally attend one of the few schools that specialize in advanced pilot education. Most of these schools are found in the southern states, where pilots in training may fly in good conditions all year. Those who wish to fly passenger airliners for a major company often must complete that airline’s proprietary flight school.

Cost hinders a number of people from obtaining their pilot’s license at any level, since school tuition has become very high. For those unable to make such a large investment, the Air Force offers a free way of learning how to fly many different types of aircraft. Since the service will have paid for the newly minted pilot’s education, he or she must fly with the Air Force for a set number of years. Afterward, the pilot possesses the education and experience necessary for flying several commercial aircraft and would need to take only a few short courses to learn how to operate other commercial planes.

For more insight into becoming a commercial pilot, check out the following video:

The History of the Helicopter (Part I – Early Attempts at Vertical Flight)

In addition to his work with companies such as Kingsley Management Corp in Provo, Utah, York Galland enjoys flying helicopters in his free time. Although the helicopter in its modern form remains largely a 20th century invention, the mechanics of vertical flight trace their origins back as far as China during the 4th century B.C. Written records from this time suggest that early engineers created a system of rotating bamboo blades powered by leather straps.

In the late 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci designed a machine that used rotating overhead blades to power vertical flight. Da Vinci never built a full-sized copy of his machine, largely because there was no way to stop the whole machine from rotating during flight rather than just the blades. Many ensuing designs for vertical flying machines drew upon the Chinese spinning top example rather than da Vinci’s aerial screw.

In the mid-18th century, Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov developed a new tandem rotor and presented it to the Russian Academy of Sciences. Lomonosov suggested that the rotor, which used a spring to power its rotation, be used to lift meteorological equipment into the air. In 1782, French inventor Christian de Launoy and his mechanic used turkey flight feathers as blades in two counter-rotating rotors, an invention they soon presented to the French Academy of Sciences. Sir George Cayley used a design similar to Launoy’s to create a feather model powered by rubber bands. Although all of these early attempts did produce vertical flight, they relied on a small scale and energy sources unsuitable for sustained flight.

The word “helicopter” came about in 1861, when French inventor Gustave de Ponton d’Amecourt operated a small steam-powered machine made of aluminum. In 1878, Enrico Forlanini developed an unmanned helicopter that reached a height of some 40 feet and a flight time of about 20 seconds. Shortly thereafter, American inventor Thomas Edison received a considerable grant to study vertical flight, which he used to create a machine powered by an internal combustion engine. Edison’s prototype met an explosive end, severely burning one of Edison’s assistants in the process.

The History of the Helicopter (Part II – The Modern Helicopter)

York Galland of Innovative Matrix Discusses the Ironman Triathlon

In my spare time, I enjoy taking part in several types of athletic activities. One of these is the Ironman Triathlon, a long-distance race organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The Ironman Triathlon consists of swimming (2.4 miles), biking (112 miles), and running (approximately 26 miles). Generally, the Ironman Triathlon must be completed within 17 hours, though some races allow only 15 hours. The Ironman Triathlon arose from a dispute between athletes of different disciplines following a race in Hawaii in 1977. Athletes in one discipline argued that they were more fit than those in the other two disciplines, so the Ironman Triathlon was developed as a combination of three existing races to determine overall fitness. The first Ironman Triathlon consisted of the Honolulu Marathon, the Around-Oahu Bike Race, and the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. The first edition of the race took place in February 1978, with 15 participants, most from U.S. military backgrounds. Of those contestants, 12 completed the race, and the winner was Gordon Haller, a Navy Communications Specialist who finished the event in slightly under 12 hours. The Ironman Triathlon quickly grew in popularity, receiving coverage in a number of sports publications and drawing new adherents. The location of the Ironman Triathlon now changes regularly, but the Hawaii edition of the race is still regarded as one of the most prestigious. The WTC, current owner of the Ironman Triathlon brand, was established in 1990 when a group of businessmen bought the brand from the previous owner, the Hawaii Triathlon Corporation. The WTC continues to produce the official Ironman Triathlon races, although other Ironman-length competitions take place regularly. The International Triathlon Union has never officially sanctioned the Ironman Triathlon, so the winners of Ironman Triathlons unfortunately are not considered world triathlon champions.