ALX Development Corp. was formed in 1983 to exploit the combination of
artificial intelligence and proprietary methodology in bank financial analysis.
The company has evolved into a personal service organization which employs the
original technology as a productivity tool.
ALX Development Corp. was founded by John R. Segerstrom, a graduate of San Jose
University and Harvard Business School. His company serves banks (about 90% of the
customer base), banking consultants and regulatory agencies helping in the areas
of risk management and problem anticipation. The ALX System was awarded the 1991
Award for Innovation by the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.
Although ALX Development Corp. provided excellent customer service and was
recognized for their technical expertise, they had failed to achieve significant
market penetration. Bootstrapping their way to profitability (1991 was the first
consistently profitable year), management decided they needed some help to
determine how to allocate newly available financial resources. Because of their
familiarity with the benefits of expert systems they turned to Business Insight.
They answered Business Insight's questions regarding products, prospects and
resources and then reviewed the recommended strategies. Mr. Segerstrom says,
"We simply would not have been able to perform this analysis ourselves, it
isn't our area of expertise." Using the Business Insight analyses, ALX
Development Corp. embarked on a focused marketing program. Today, "Our
revenue growth is beginning to strain our service resources, the problem we have
dreamed of having and which we are eager to solve. The marketing effort has been
supplemented by professionals in areas where we are weak and Business Insight has
dramatically reduced the risk by providing standards which allow us to direct and
measure their efforts. However, the program is basically driven by ALX Development
Corp. staff and is therefore culturally integrated into the company from the
start. An important fact is that very little of the company's recent expenditure
for marketing has been wasted due to mistakes or failures. This is not trivial,
as most of our previous efforts have been thus classified."
"Our experience has been that our expert system could say things about a
bank that no one in the bank itself dared say, and get away with it! Business
Insight has performed this function for ALX Development Corp. Having addressed the
marketing program, we then turned to control and finance (areas in which we
consider ourselves experts). Business Insight's comments caused us to realize we
had been suppressing some fundamental disagreements in the interest of
organizational harmony, which had resulted in several real weaknesses. These are
now being discussed and, solutions being attempted, in an atmosphere of greatly
improved communication, as the result of the acquisition and use of Business
"No one sees everything. No one is good at everything. Business Insight
is a tool to expand vision, to provide context and structure to complex business
relationships. There is no business that couldn't benefit from Business Insight.
Even in the rare case in which a business meets all the Business Insight tests,
valuable information has been gained."