A few days ago was Administrative Professionals Day. At Red Wing Software, we are fortunate to have a dedicated front-office staff that takes care of our customers and the back-office functions for the company. It’s not often you can call a company and the same people that have helped you for over two decades continue to help you. Thanks to Roxie, Pam, Melissa, and Carole for taking care of us and our customers with dedication and professionalism, and to Stephanie and Cindy for stepping out of their marketing roles and providing backup when the need arises.
A few years ago we needed to fill a full-time position in our front office, but only for a few weeks while one of our full-time staff was going to be out. One of the primary responsibilities for this person was to answer phones and direct callers to the appropriate individual or team. We often use a staffing company to help with hiring and we contacted them to help find the right person for the job. The staffing company does a good job of prescreening applicants to make sure they fit our requirements and help us save time in the process.
After interviewing a number of applicants (eight in all) that we didn’t feel were the right fit, the staffing company was concerned. It was important to us that we didn’t settle, we wanted to make sure the new hire represented our business well. Remember, the person that answers the phone for your company has one of the most important roles in the organization. To the customer calling in, the voice answering the phone is the voice of the company. It is important to have that voice represent what your company is all about. In this particular case, that “temporary” position turned into full-time, and we were glad we took the time to hire the right person.
- Ken Hilton, President
Data security and privacy is an important topic at Red Wing Software. We understand whenever data is shared with us, or any other trusted advisor, you expect and deserve complete confidence that your information is protected from inappropriate use.
On a number of occasions, and as a regular part of our customer service, customers give us access to their private/personal information by providing us access to their computers using a support tool. Sometimes, when our support staff is helping troubleshoot an issue, they will take control of your computer, and step through processes that help you find mistakes in data or help interpret information on reports. This can only be done by you initiating the process on your end so we can access your computer, and only works for that individual session.
We also provide data migration services for people moving from a legacy Red Wing product to our newer technology. This usually involves the customer sending their financial data files to us over a secure internet connection, so we can move their information from the old product to the new one. Then, we use the secure connection to send the new data back to the customer.
We have policies in place for how customer data is handled and how it can be received from the customer and returned or removed from our computers. We have a team created that meets regularly to ensure that these policies are always followed and we are using the latest technology for securely handling our own, and our customers’ personal/private information. Please rest assured that your information is safe with us.
- Ken Hilton, President
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, January was extremely busy in the office. Well, February seemed to be just as busy outside of the office. We had staff at several trade shows, and other staff taking our product training on the road. Among the venues that we attended included one of the largest trade shows under one roof. It was nearly a mile from one end to the other and included thousands of exhibitors. Check our web site for locations where we will be displaying or teaching our products, we would love to see you at one of the locations.
We had a chance to talk to many current and potential customers, and communicate the latest in what’s available in financial management software. One of the most interesting things I heard at the conference that I attended last week was the number of attendees that are still using outdated, obsolete, or antique hardware and software technology. (Yes, in some cases, systems that are over 20 years old.) That observation reinforced my belief in the importance of our role in keeping our customers informed about the latest technologies, and the importance of helping them keep their systems up-to-date.
One of our staff members made the comment; “Because of old technology, many people are just one computer burp away from losing all of their financial data history.” If you are in need of a technology checkup, please give us a call and let us help with your go-forward plans.
- Ken Hilton, President
February 4, 2015 2:00 PM by khilton
It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of cold weather, so I’m sure it will surprise many people to know that I love January. No, not because I like to spend as little time as possible outside, and not because I like to drive around in a car that always needs to be washed. It’s because I get to witness the best software team on the planet shine.
I don’t like to brag about our team (that’s a lie, I do it all the time), but if you ever get a chance to visit our office, you too can see a group of people that truly enjoy working hard at answering customers’ questions. When I wander into our support area, the entire team is quietly focused on dealing with the issue at hand, call after call. It’s kind of like watching ducks on a still pond. As they gracefully and effortlessly move across the water, you just know they are paddling like crazy under the surface. To use another duck analogy, our entire team is always flying in formation. A call might originate at the front desk and may not need to go any farther. If others need to be involved, one team member may take the initial lead on a problem, and then pass it on to another for additional research or analysis, and then it may move through the Quality Assurance department, and on to our programming staff as they help take some load off the front-line support team, and so on. Rarely do I hear any of our team members quack. That’s probably because we also have the best customers on the planet.
A few years ago, we set a goal to answer at least 80% of our support calls as they come in, as opposed to having to call a customer back. We review that metric weekly, and for the past few years, it is rare that we attain lower than 89%. This January our call volume was up more than 10% over last year. We were still able to maintain our high standards, and rarely did any customer have to wait a long time on hold.
As you walk into our Red Wing office, you’ll see our vision painted on the wall under the Red Wing Software logo. It reads, “Creating the Best Management Software Experience”. Our entire organization makes every attempt to live up to that vision.
- Ken Hilton, President
January 5, 2015 12:25 PM by khilton
As you are likely aware, this is an extremely busy time of year at Red Wing Software. In addition to the normal support calls we receive as our clients finish their year-end transactions and get ready for the New Year with payroll tax table and forms updates, our representatives in Washington, DC threw a couple new items onto our list.
Anticipated legislation was passed that restored the Section 179 expenses to their previous level for the remainder of 2014 (with a few caveats), and then revert back again on the first of 2015. This, of course, caused a last minute change to our CenterPoint Depreciation program that needed to be released before the end of 2014.
Also, 2015 brings in some new requirements for the Affordable Care Act for most of our clients. There is new data that needs to be tracked for 2015, and then reported at the beginning of 2016. Even though this information is not really payroll data, but rather Human Resource information, we decided to add functionality to our CenterPoint Payroll program to capture this information and provide it for the new 1095C and 1094C forms, as well as the employee W-2 form. This functionally will be released in the second quarter of 2015, and will cover the entire year so you can complete the new forms in 2016.
In addition, there are several customers using two of our legacy products (Perception and AgCHEK), and are now migrating to our newer CenterPoint Accounting program as we will stop support of those products on March 31, 2015. As our customers begin using these new-to-them products, we anticipate receiving a few more calls than usual at this time of year.
And finally, we just released a brand new product, Red Wing Tax Forms. This program allows employers and service bureaus that do not already use our accounting and/or payroll products to manually enter year-to-date payroll and other information for easily completing and eFiling many forms including W-2, 941, 943, and several 1099s. You can check our web site or contact a sales consultant for more information on this new offering.
All of us at Red Wing Software hope you had a pleasant holiday season and enjoy a safe and profitable New Year.
- Ken Hilton, President