With the relatively recent heavy rain storms and flooding in the southern and eastern United States, and the wildfires in the west, it is a reminder of how important it is to be prepared for a disaster. I sincerely hope all of our customers are getting through the unexpected events and/or recovering from the effects safely.
I have previously mentioned the importance of having your business information protected by storing data backups off-site and in places the data would be available to restore if the need arises. In the event of a disaster, Red Wing Software will do everything we can to help get your business back up and running by helping reload programs, etc., but we can’t help recover your financial information if you don’t have access to a good backup. Please don’t hesitate to call on us when you need disaster recovery assistance. One way to eliminate worrying about storing data backups off-site is to use the Red Wing Cloud Service which gives you access to your CenterPoint program and financial information in the cloud so it can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
I’ve heard the recent “Brexit” vote described as an “Independence Day”. As we enjoy Independence Day in the United States, and Canada Day in Canada, we wish the best of outcomes for our friends and allies in Europe. Please celebrate safely.
This month I had a number of topics for this newsletter floating around in my head, but, after this weekend, only one seemed important.
On behalf of myself and the entire staff at Red Wing Software, I have a short and sincere message to all the men and women who have served, do serve, or will serve their country in the defense of freedom: Thank You.
Mark, our New Business Development Manager, was talking to me the other day about a customer that had stopped using our software in favor of another company’s software. It seems this customer was in need of some new functionality, so he started looking for software that had those capabilities. He found new software, made the switch, and proceeded to set up and re-enter a lot of the data that had already been entered into the Red Wing Software product.
As you can imagine, starting over with new software is a very large task. Once he got started, he discovered he was missing much of the functionality he was taking advantage of in the Red Wing Software product previously used. So, he called Mark and wondered what it would take to move back to Red Wing Software, and mentioned the reason for the original switch. Mark explained that the functionality he was looking for was actually already available in the Red Wing Software product, and could have easily been implemented with a quick call to our staff.
This is just one example of a case when it is a good idea to talk to your current supplier when you are looking for something that is related to a product you are using and already comfortable with. This happens to be a software example, but it could apply to almost any product or service. Keep in mind you have been working with this supplier for some time, likely trust their opinion, and if what you are looking for is not available, your current supplier might be able to help you find a solution.
Spring is here, at least on the calendar, and it’s a great time to do a little spring cleaning of your financial records. You are likely either going through the data for your 2015 tax return, or have recently completed it, so all of the information should be fresh in your mind. What a perfect time to review those things that took a little longer to figure out than they should, and fine-tune your system to make it easier for next year.
Maybe it’s a tweak to your chart of accounts. For instance, let’s say you have information spread across multiple accounts, and you now realize they could be combined into one account. Did you know there is a function in CenterPoint that will combine one or more accounts and all of the history into one account?
Or just a small change in the way you collect information or enter transactions could greatly reduce the time it takes to maintain the detail you need for reporting. In any event, take a few minutes and maybe even talk to others in your organization who deal with financial and other important data, and look at ways to make your business more efficient and profitable.
- Ken Hilton, President
With all the political noise dominating the airwaves, many people may not realize the Summer Olympics take place later this year in Brazil. How would your business team do in the Olympics? I am not asking if you have a great pole vaulter, sprinter, or golfer. I mean: is your team trained, do they practice, and do they have the right equipment to be the best at what they do?
As with any great team, the most important thing is to start with the right people and make sure they are in the right positions. Just like a great sumo wrestler wouldn’t make the best relay anchor, a great sales person won’t necessarily make the best accounting manager.
Once you get the right people on the team, it is important to ensure that all players are encouraged to learn all they can about their position on the team. Just like professional athletes are always learning about the latest workout techniques to fine tune their game, everyone on your business team needs to regularly receive continuing education and stay apprised of the latest technologies and tools of their trade. This can be as simple as providing them with trade journals, attending local networking opportunities, or hiring good coaches (business consultants).
Finally, you must make sure your team is playing with the best equipment. You can’t expect a world-class golfer to be using 20-year-old clubs, or a world-class programmer to be using a 1990’s era computer. Don’t give away the gold by making your team play with inadequate equipment.
While striving for the gold medal, we must also remember that bronze is still a great accomplishment. I’m always amused when sports commentators, who have likely never played the game, negatively comment on the effort put forth by a competitor that stumbled during the performance. These are Olympic athletes--the best in the world. It was still a great performance, even though it wasn’t what some might consider to be perfect.
The bottom line is: hire great people, give them the knowledge to succeed and the equipment to perform, and when they stumble, encourage them to get back up, finish the performance, learn from their mistake, and go for the gold.
- Ken Hilton, President