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Red Wing Software - Notes from the President

clock October 6, 2014 10:24 AM by author khilton
Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

If you’ve read this column for any length of time, you know I like to share experiences I’ve had in customer service. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. And, if you read the column two months ago about word-of-mouth marketing and how I virtually promoted someone’s product, and then read this one, you’ll think I’m being paid to promote other companies. But, I have to, again, share an experience I had recently.

I was in Wichita, KS, last week and my brother took me to a restaurant called the Redrock Canyon Grill. It must be a small chain, as I learned there is one in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa, as well. The building looked like many average priced restaurants, and the menu prices were average, too. But, that’s where average stopped.

The food was excellent, and even if the food had been mediocre, I would go back just for the service. Of course, we had our regular waitress that was assigned to our table when we arrived, but everyone else that worked there seemed to know exactly what was going on at our table. When our food arrived, delivered by someone that we hadn’t seen before, she knew who ordered what and where to set each plate. Another person noticed an empty beverage glass and offered to bring another, then when our regular server passed by a few seconds later, she said “that beverage will be out right away”.

When we started a conversation with the person clearing the plates when we were finished, another person noticed the conversation, took the plates, and finished clearing the table so the first person could continue talking to us. They understood that talking to their clients and making them feel like guests was important to securing repeat business.

I was so impressed with the efficiency in this place I wanted to go back the next night just to see if I could figure out how they do it. Wouldn’t it be nice if the service in every one of our companies was so good that, even if our product was average, people wanted to continue to do business with us just to get great service? Now, put a quality product with that service and you will have people telling all their friends about your business.

- Ken Hilton, President



Notes from the President

clock July 2, 2014 3:38 PM by author khilton
Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

As I write this, we are approaching a very important date in the history of the United States. This may sound a little strange at first, but I choose not to celebrate the 4th of July. Don’t get me wrong, our offices will be closed and I will be taking the day off. However, I will be celebrating Independence Day, it happens to be on July 4th.

I feel we have developed a tendency to recognize, observe, and celebrate dates rather than the events that made the dates important to us. So, while I think it is important to remember the special events that happened on a date, it is even more important to recognize why that date is important.

These thoughts can carry into your business management, as well. Every day, week, month, and year we run a variety of financial reports to track how our business is operating. We look at a Balance Sheet and get a snapshot of the financial health of our business, but do we dig into it and determine what actually caused the changes on this report? We run an Income Statement, P&L, Statement of Farming Activities, or Statement of Revenue and Expenditures (depending on your type of organization), but do we take the time to drill down and determine why the business is heading in the direction it is?

Every country and business has events and reports that they recognize and review at certain times of the year. Let’s make it a point to remember the reason we are running these reports, and especially the reason we are celebrating these dates.

- Ken Hilton, President



Notes from the President

clock May 12, 2014 10:14 AM by author khilton
Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

Seeing the recent severe weather devastation throughout the central United States has a tendency to put things into perspective. Our thoughts and prayers go to all those affected by the disaster. It sure makes Minnesota winters easier to handle.

We know that some of our valued customers were directly affected by the tornadoes. As a company, we at Red Wing Software will do what we can to help our clients who were affected by the storms get back to business and resume some sort of normal operations.

If you are subjected to a disaster of any kind, we will do whatever we can to help minimize the impact on your business recordkeeping tasks. Please call on us if replacement software is needed, help is needed re-installing programs or backups, or for any other task that our support staff can assist with.

This is a good time to remind everyone about the importance of data backups and disaster recovery plans. We can help with the replacement of your programs, but it’s up to you to have current copies of your data. Please count on the staff at Red Wing Software to help in any way we can.

- Ken Hilton, President



Notes from the President

clock April 3, 2014 10:05 AM by author khilton
Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

You may not be able to tell by looking out the window, but the calendar says spring is here. This would be a good time to do some spring cleaning of your financial data.

Do you have some customers or vendors in the list of names in your database that no longer exist? Maybe you have some accounts that just don’t apply to your business anymore. These items are just making lists longer and harder to filter through to get to the information that you may be looking for.

Here are a few things you can do to spruce up you data. First, before you do anything that you haven’t done before, or may be uncomfortable with, make a backup of your data.

Depending on the software you are using, you may be able to mark unused list items as “inactive”. This could significantly reduce the size of these lists, and make finding useful information easier. It is often not possible to just “delete” these items, as they may have been used in transactions and they need to be available for historical reports.

You also may be able to “combine” items in a list. For instance, it is easy to accidently create two different names in a list just because you didn’t think the item was there. Combining the two names will make your reports more accurate and concise.

How long has it been since you checked to make sure your inventory is up-to-date? Several minor mistakes in inventory quantities or values can make a big difference, and your financial statements may not be accurate because of these issues.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to make sure all of your systems are providing you with the most valuable information for the management of your business, but if you haven’t spent a little time keeping up with these tasks, it might be a good time for some spring cleaning.

- Ken Hilton, President



Notes from the President

clock March 25, 2014 1:27 PM by author khilton
Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

Some things never change; the sky is blue, the world is round, and it’s cold in Minnesota. However, some things are always changing, like the technology you use to keep your business running and profitable.

Have you recently checked how current the hardware and software you are using to manage your business is? I know, it’s running fine, and if it works, why fix it? Well, if you ask any of our knowledgeable support staff, they can recite from memory some real horror stories of people that felt that same way and wound up losing valuable information. Maybe the computer crashed and the backup wouldn’t restore on the new computer because the operating system couldn’t read the old format, or there wasn’t even a device in the new computer to insert the backup into. Or, the old software couldn’t transfer the data into the new program.

Red Wing Software is continuously updating our products with new technology to ensure that our customers don’t fall into the trap of losing information because of system crashes or outdated hardware. However, this requires users of our software to stay current with their Red Wing Software products, and transfer their data to new programs when they are available. We occasionally “sunset” a product, which means we stop updating and supporting that program. When we do that, we always provide a way to get most, and usually all, of your historical data into the new, replacement product.

If you receive notification that one or more of your products is about to “sunset,” it is important to contact us to learn about your options for moving your data forward and making sure you maintain and secure your important financial information.

- Ken Hilton, President



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