President Jason W. Taylor of Code Authority finalized a deal in October 2019 that would impact the trajectory of the company he founded as a 28-year-old in 2001.
With the business and its people remaining top-of-mind, Taylor chose to merge the company with an enterprise located a mere three miles away from Code Authority called Improving.
So, why was it the right time to merge with Improving? What factors were considered before the transaction took place? And how would the decision impact Code Authority’s clients, employees and founder? We’re sharing these answers with you in this behind the scenes interview with Jason W. Taylor.
While the press release you may have already read sheds light on professional matters, Taylor’s decision was also based on personally bettering the lives of others both inside and outside of the company.
Code Authority has relied on organic growth and one business line of credit since its founding in 2001. In his 19th year as the president and CEO of Code Authority, Taylor began to understand that, “since our metrics – including number of employees, sales, etc. – were reaching all-time highs, the restrictiveness of our cash flow was also reaching all-time pressure."
Obligation arguably follows success. Fulfilling his responsibility as the founder of the business meant Taylor needed to provide for those he promised to serve, including Code Authority’s clients and employees.
“I was having to look in the mirror and ask, ‘am I really going to be able to live up to this?’ said Taylor. ‘Am I gonna be able to double again in the next 24 months, add new space, extend our lease [at Hall Park] by years, which mean millions of dollars of new liabilities over the coming years?’”
The answer was becoming clearer to him as he considered all that has been accomplished, as well as everything he hopes to achieve in the near future.
“I had to find a way to take some of my chips off the table,” said Taylor. “I knew it would help Code Authority actually have power and room to grow, which would fulfill the promises that I’ve been making to our team as they’ve come on.”
His daughters were a significant factor when considering the possibility of a merger, too. One of his children will be enrolling at the college of her choosing in just a matter of months. Taylor’s youngest daughter is also excited to attend college soon after her sister leaves.
As we know, college is an expense as well as a reward. Taylor knows he will be footing a large amount of the college admissions, supplies, housing, and tuition bills for his children.
Furthermore, Code Authority Vice President John Anderson's 10th year of working at Code Authority was just around the corner in November. Once an intern, Anderson made his way to becoming vice president of the company following his junior and senior partnership status at the business.
Taylor knew it was time for his business partner to get something out of his commitment to the company, its people and its clients. Anderson is the only one out of a handful of senior partners that devoted himself to the business in times of both success and disappointment, making him a steadfast and loyal businessman worthy of acknowledgement.
Improving is a tech management business that offers services such as application development, training and coaching, consulting services, recruiting and more. Like Code Authority, Improving also offers an all onshore, face-to-face model and builds a lot of technology on enterprise class stacks such as Microsoft and AWS.
Not only are the services our businesses provide alike, but the organizational cultures and values upheld at our workplaces align with one another. When you walk into the Improving headquarters located in Plano, Texas, one can notice that the pop culture, open workspace, and numerous other features are similar.
Our similarities surpass what meets the eye, too. Code Authority and Improving share numerous values, including work/life balance. Code Authority has always prided itself on conveying the importance of workplace and homelife balance, which translate positively to workers and ultimately increases productivity among employees.
Taylor recognized the same values held by the executives and employees at Improving.
“You can feel it, sense it,” said Taylor. “A similarity and culture that binds everybody together.”
With a variety of business aspects in common, there were also some differences that Taylor acknowledged. For example, Code Authority offers some services that Improving doesn’t offer and vice versa.
Taylor recognized that slight differences in offerings could pose a great opportunity, as the Improving enterprises located throughout the nation could begin providing clients with services they hadn’t been extended before.
So, merging with Improving was based on the similarities that connected the two companies, as well as the differences that would make the organization stronger upon joining Improving.
Now that Code Authority has joined Improving, some changes have and will be made. As one of the Improving enterprises, Code Authority is happily leveling up our CodeLaunch impact, adding new services and meeting needs of clients we couldn’t help with before.
One of the first points Taylor reassured Code Authority’s employees of during an all-company meeting on October 31 was that no one would be losing their job. Displacement is often a factor that is considered by people looking to merge with another company.
Merging with Improving also meant Jason W. Taylor would step down from his role as Code Authority’s CEO after 19 years of maintaining the title.
“I actually went 19 full years without a boss,” said Taylor. “Now my phone rings, I look at my phone, and it says Curtis Hite, and I think, ‘My boss is calling. I have to stop what I’m doing and answer this call.'”
While Taylor is continually processing the change, he says he is focused on living up to Improving’s expectations by leveling up his execution as president at Code Authority. Taylor said Improving's enterprise modeling encourages each enterprise to run as its own enterprise, which means “it’s up to the president to decide how to optimize execution and cost."
He plans to do so by enhancing and enforcing business-improvement policies and procedures. From community activism to speaking engagements, President Jason Taylor will be even more involved in entrepreneurial activities around the city of Frisco.
Furthermore, as one of the Improving enterprises, Code Authority will also be implementing more of Improving’s organizational intelligence as time progresses. Plus, we’ll be offering more services to our clients!
“Our organizational service delivery intelligence we have to lean on is much bigger than just me and my leadership here,” said Taylor. “Before, we were on an island. Now is the time to merge so we can reach higher goals at a faster rate.”
As for CodeLaunch, the potential for the event to grow and expand into an event that happens multiple times per year throughout numerous North American cities is greater than ever.
“I think that the chance that CodeLaunch can really make waves on the map or forefront of entrepreneurism – and be an event that is widely considered to be a unique and exceptional idea – is only possible now that we’re a part of Improving,” said Taylor.
CodeLaunch has successfully helped startup entrepreneurs along their business journeys for seven years. The eighth annual event will take place in Frisco, Texas at Comerica Center on September 10, 2020.
To stay in-the-know regarding CodeLaunch’s application openings and deadlines, exciting announcements, and more, visit the CodeLaunch social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Jason W. Taylor is ready to prove that merging with Improving was one of the greatest business decisions of his career. Code Authority has joined Improving, and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds. To learn more about Improving, please visit Improving's website.