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30 Most Valuable Companies to Watch 2019

Creative Realities: A creative technology company that designs, develops, and deploys marketing technology experiences

Creative Realities: A creative technology company that designs, develops, and deploys marketing technology experiences

Just like the industrial revolution, digital revolution has made a mark on the society, it signals a new era, and alters many aspects of our lives. Digital revolution brought about a change in terms of communication and digital computing and it also has modernized the way things are done.

Creative Realities established in the year 1997 was formerly known as Digital Signage Company. Its core offerings include supplying Content Management Software (CMS) platforms that aimed at distributing content from a centralized location, to anywhere around the globe.

When talked about the company’s developments, Rick Mills, CEO, gave us details about his firm.

In 2014, the organization acquired two software capabilities. The first one to manage complicated content management demands, the second  one to handle highly compressed video files.

In 2015, the firm procured Conexus, by upgrading its delivery of white-glove installation services and also extending its technology capabilities to deliver powerful digital networks.

Soon after the acquisition, the firm opened its West Coast office in Los Angeles and expanded its Warehouse and Engineering capabilities at its Louisville, KY HQ. Rick Mills said, “This year, we expanded our HQ facility in 2018 to 30,000 sq. ft; to unveil a best in class showroom and executive briefing center, as well as acquired Allure from Christie-Digital enabling our expansion to new verticals, and adding a depth of bench to our Analytics offering and a new CMS platform – all to set the tone as an industry pacesetter.”

Let’s have a detailed conversation with the CEO, Rick Mills…

What is your company’s vision and how effective is it?

Our vision is to become one of the top 3 enterprise-level, digital signage/solution providers in the market place. We expect to achieve that goal in 2019. Our definitions/success drivers include:

  • Be recognized as an industry thought leader
  • Drive in new referrals and repeat business
  • Be a go-to partner for our suppliers

How frequently does your firm assess its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to understand the present business climate?

This is an ongoing process for our company. We engage the top 10% of our workforce in a series of offsite/get-a-way meetings to ensure we maintain our progressive thought leadership position.

What products and services do you render?

Creative Realities is a creative technology company, part systems integrator – part marketing services partner. We design, develop and deploy marketing technologies that solve business pain points either by inspiring action or by bringing branded content to life across the journey – always in a way that’s contextually relevant, and appropriate for the particular environment.

We are a technology-agnostic, digital marketing services organization that is solution focused, vs. product focused. We recommend a set of technology experiences that are grounded in behavior-based requirements that can be measured and tracked, and tie back to ROI metrics. In doing so, we can better justify the role of technology for commercial purposes vs. than just for the sake of doing something new, different, or as a gimmick.

How well does your firm analyze the competition in terms of product capabilities?

We analyze the industry in terms of how well our competitors deliver both basic digital signage, as well as more innovative intelligent solution. We’ve experienced success with a Vertical strategy approach, which enables us to engage clients with credibility, specific knowledge and extensive use cases on how end users consume and utilize digital where it matters most within and across that vertical.

We can pull from specific knowledge base, use cases, and experience in key categories: Retail Transportation > Retail, Airports and Transportation Foodservice, Banking & Finance, Stadiums and Arenas, and Corporate Communications are a few of the verticals we have strength in. By understanding how consumers and shoppers use digital as they engage in those categories that give us insight on how to deliver tools to capture their attention, create value, and help expand or deepen their relationship with the brand relative to the category. Apart from working more closely with our Partners who are also pursuing similar verticals, and doing so with more concentrated collaboration, we intend to keep this business development strategy in tact as we move through 2019.

How does your company utilize employees to stay competitive, and strategically meet the goals?

We follow consumer, digital, and technology trends through primary and secondary research materials as well as thought leadership created by Deloitte, L2, Accenture, Pew Research, Gartner, Forrester, Bazaar-Voice. From this, we can create informed, insight-based considerations and recommendations for design thinking and technology solutions based on existing data and use cases.

We attend about 8-12 trade shows and industry events during the year, that allows us to keep close track on new innovations, the digital signage product pipeline, the new applications of software, design applications and ways to transform environments through connected ecosystems. We take advantage of thought leadership opportunities through panels and speaking engagements that allow us to put forth our ethos, point of view, and perspective on the business of the business. Our Partner Marketing activities with our Manufacturer partners allow us to go to market from a position of strength, as well as capitalize on press opportunities that come from designing solutions to our clients’ challenges.

How effective is your organization’s delivery model?

Generally speaking, our organizational process and delivery is a well-oiled machine. We have a diverse mix of seasoned leadership with vast experience in strategic planning, digital design, CMS and custom software platform development, Operations and Field services. Entrepreneurial in spirit and consultative by nature, we have the intelligence and discipline to collaborate with clients, partners, and vendors in a way that removes the noise and worry from the process. We are 100% committed to putting the Client first, bar none.

We bring a level of insight, strategy and design thinking that is not always associated with integrators or resellers of our kind. Our ethos and approach to digital solutions can be summarized in this way:

We put humans at the center of the technology, not the other way around Our strong design DNA yield digital experiences that are organic to the space and beautifully integrated to virtually any environment Solution-centric has us solving meaningful pain points for our Clients Remaining Technology-agnostic allows us to solve the problem, not sell a product We work well with other vendor partners – quiet and painless From pilots, to flagships, shop-in-shops to digital signage networks that scale, we have size covered Committed to ROI and map success according to our Clients’ requirements

How loyal is your customer base? How are you improving it?

We’re proud to say that at least 95% of our Clients are repeat customers year on year, and trust/regard us as their digital experience planning partner. Our business model tends to be very sticky – we rarely lose a customer, but the best way to improve it is to bring value to the customer.

Each Contract, Master Service Agreement, Service Level Agreement or Project Agreement is be-spoke to the requirements of a particular set of deliverables with a clearly defined scope of work. There are certain instances where we’ll set pricing or deliverables around certain volume levels of commitments in order to create value for our Customers. Our base line going in is to develop contractual work engagements that are priced at market value, are fair, and offer our clients added value as a whole or at any particular part of the relationship.

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Rick Mills presently CEO/Founder of Creative Realities has over 30 years of industry experience in IT, telecommunications, staffing, and digital media. He is an accomplished founder and executive. His achievements are lined up below:

  1. 2x founder, both resulting in successful strategic sales
  1. History of driving organic and acquisition growth
  1. Turnaround/rollup expert

He has worked as small and large public company executive with less than 10 years of experience in publicly-traded organizations. Earlier, he also served as COO and board member of Pomeroy Computer Resources (PRMY), CEO of SARCOM, CEO of Cyberswap, Inc., President & Director of Beacon Solutions (BEAC).

In his career, he completed and integrated more than 20 acquisitions, and has been a significant shareholder value creation from acquisition synergies and valuation uplift.

Rick Mills merged two companies ConeXus and CRI in October 2015, and was named CEO of the conjoined companies.

“Creative Realities has created thousands of digital solutions that transform the consumer and shopper journey into intelligent, responsive, aware and immersive experiences.”

“We specialize in Experience Planning, Experience Design, Experience Content, Experience Integration, Digital Strategy, Digital Wayfinding, Digital Shopper Marketing, Digital Systems Integration, and Content Management.”

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