Inside the Mind Of… Jason Meugniot

jason meugniot
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Jason Meugniot was at ground zero in Silicon Beach as ecommerce first emerged.

Today, as owner and CEO of Guidance, he’ll celebrate 24 years at the helm of the North American leader of omni-channel commerce solutions.

He is the driving force behind Guidance’s corporate strategy, an unequaled track record in the industry. In 2017, he is focused on expanding Guidance’s offerings in Strategy, Testing & Optimization, B2C and B2B. In 2016, Guidance was named Magento’s Digital Commerce Partner of the Year.

Jason and Guidance are widely known for cultivating and maintaining a remarkable culture and legacy in a continually evolving market. And, for six of the last eight years, the Los Angeles Business Journal has honored Guidance as one of The Best Places to Work in LA.

  1. How would you describe your job?

My job is to provide a clear strategic direction for the company and set an operational plan that meets our revenue and profitability objectives, and is focused on delivering the highest quality digital commerce solutions for our clients in the industry.

  1. What is the elevator speech for Guidance?

Our clients chose Guidance because we design, develop and deliver innovative commerce solutions that meet, or exceed, the highest quality standards in the industry to growth oriented retailers, manufacturers and distributors.

  1. How is Guidance different from competitors, or what is unique about Guidance?

Guidance is a unique commerce service provider (CSP) due to the many different business verticals they serve in the market.

For example, our competitors may specialize in a specific platform or business vertical such as fashion and apparel or B2B.

But Guidance, for the past 24 years, has successfully built a digital commerce practice among several different platforms such as Magento, Episerver, Insite, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Sitecore and SAP Hybris and over a broad set of verticals like, fashion and apparel, health and beauty, food and beverage, electronics, baby care, automotive, music, and so on, for both B2B and B2C.

  1. What’s some advice you’d offer to entrepreneurs or startups?

At the end of each new employee interview, I always ask candidates, “You’ve learned a lot about Guidance in recent weeks.  What have you learned so far that makes you want to join our team the most?”  For over 20 years, the answer is always some flavor of, “It’s the people.”  In a service industry, that’s the value you offer.

So, surround yourself and your business with the best people possible.  This goes for employees, partners, and clients.  While you grind and inch closer to your next milestone, there will be certain people who catapult you forward.

They may not be a part of your overall strategy.  And they may not know the role they will play in advancing your success.  But you’ve treated them with respect.  You’ve offered an internship to their daughter.  You’ve left hand-written anniversary cards on their desks.  You’ve helped to shape their lives.  And without warning, the best people will do the same for you.

Figure out early on if yours is a “sprint” or a “marathon.”  For me, Guidance has always been a long-term play.  Our successes and failures have occurred over a longer arc. Knowing this and maintaining consistency and patience helps to keep us focused and grounded.  We have been laser focused on profitability for the last 15 years (versus growth 10 years prior).  And maintaining consistent profitability affords us “optionality.”

Regardless of your time horizon, be ready to take your ideas and turn them into value.  It’s gritty work.  Remember, strategy is free.  But execution is sold separately.

  1. What are some new developments for the company?

After two of the most significant global market ascents and crashes during our almost 25 years in the market, maintaining our relevance and value to B2C and B2B companies remains a constant focus.  Years ago, we coined the phrase, “Content. Commerce. Community.”  It was way ahead of its time.  But today, that’s a large part of the market.

We’ve added a strategy consulting practice which helps emerging and growth-oriented businesses to chart their course.  As data and analytics have fueled customer insights, competition and business performance, we’ve added solutions to help retailers, brands and manufacturers measure their KPIs.

As innovation, infrastructure and scale have disintermediated hosting companies, and the cloud has “become a thing,” we’ve shifted our focus from providing “Hosting + Managed Services” to providing “Managed Cloud Services.”

Of course, at the heart of it all is quality.  We’re known in our industry for being the “quality solution provider.”  So, for every new offering or service we we’ve added along the way, quality is driven into its core.

Much of our business today comes from clients who have grown out of their solution provider, and are looking for steady, consistent performance.  And since 1993, Guidance’s focus on quality has earned us a spot as a market leader, driving billions in annual GMV with clients who go back over 20 years.

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Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in more than a hundred publications globally, over the course of twenty years. More about him can be found at DaveGordonWrites.com