Edoc founder made his brainstorm become reality

Fairfield-based business links remote workers.

Fairfield resident Jim Mullaney has served as the president and CEO of Edoc Service since 1997. Edoc Service is a virtual company (people working remotely) that provides tools and services for greater business productivity and collaboration.

With a more than two-decade background in the hotel industry as a corporate accountant/controller, Mullaney took many of things he learned throughout the course of his professional career and applied those principles to the company he founded.

He built Edoc Service (Electronic Document Service) on innovative ideas, including a virtual environment and a positive culture.

“When we first started the business, we were doing strictly administrative, outsourced projects, including a lot of data entry work and marketing materials development and things like that,” Mullaney said.

Today Edoc Service has grown and evolved into four separate divisions within the company, which include Edoc Scriptus, Edoc Virtual, ESign by Edoc and Edoc Office.

Mullaney is also a part of Small Giants (www.smallgiants.org), an initiative of small business owners who want to stay small and privately owned but excel as giants in ethics, quality of products and customer service.

With Small Giants, he is actively involved in growing the community in Cincinnati. The next Small Giants gathering will be a dinner on Aug. 3.

We talked more to Mr. Mullaney to find out more:

Q: Tell me about yourself and the company.

A: The short name of the company is Edoc Service (www.edocservice.com). The official name is Electronic Document Service, but we always go by Edoc Service. We've been in business for 20 years. It was 20 years in March. I started this as an original idea. I was working for staffing company and realized the staffing company was having a very difficult time placing qualified clerical staff in all their branch offices, and the idea just struck me: Why don't we utilize people who want to work from home? I couldn't convince the CEO of that company to do it, so I put together a business plan and launched Edoc Service on my own, and that was 20 years ago. (It's based on) the idea of having a total virtual company. At the time, people thought I was a little crazy, but as it turns out, a lot of companies are using remote workers these days. So, we were very much ahead of the curve.

Q: Tell us about your positive culture and the virtual culture model?

A: We have a very positive culture in our company. In fact, we developed a virtual culture model, because what we've learned over the last 20 years is that when it comes to working remotely, or as a company with remote workers, it is much more about culture than it is technology. The mistake many companies make is they focus on the technology, rather than their culture, and what happens when they start remoting people is they're disconnecting them from the company. I have talked to several individuals that have worked remotely in the past, and they said it was a terrible experience, because they felt disconnected from the company. But, if you have the right culture, then everybody is working as a team, and everybody stays connected. At the same time, they are working remotely, so they are working from home, or wherever they want, and it gives them the ability to have a life. We're all about having a good, quality life. Not just a good, quality life at work. It's all about having a good quality of life. So, when we hire, we hire for culture, first. And, we hire for skills, second. Of course, we want to make sure people have the right skills, but we want to make sure they're a good culture fit. That's very important for somebody coming on board as a remote worker.

Q: What are some of things that have made the company successful?

A: The core element that's made the company successful is our emphasis on doing business with integrity. That's the No. 1 thing that's the driving force. The other thing is being able to keep up with the changing business environment.

Q: What are you most proud of, and what are some of the things that will move the company into the future?

A: We've reached a lot of milestones. All businesses have setbacks and hurdles. Like any other start-up, we've had our setbacks over the years, but we've always come out of it as a stronger company. … The thing I'm most proud of is that we've been able to get through various crises and stay strong as a company. I'm most proud of the team that I have right now. I feel so blessed. It's a wonderful team. Everybody is doing their part and everything is working well.

Q: Tell us about the Small Giants community in Cincinnati?

A: We've developed the virtual culture model, which we have given seminars on, and we've gone to other companies and have done consulting on how to operate a virtual culture. Plus, we are involved in Small Giants. As a local company here, we are pushing individual business owners, who are concerned about culture to be a part of Small Giants, because that's what Small Giants is all about. It's about having a positive culture. We give back by teaching people what it's like to run not just a virtual company, but a virtual culture company, and we try to be an example. We also like starting positive trends. Small Giants is a group of business owners that have formed a community and that's what it is — it is a community that's focused on having a positive culture.

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

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