As I write this, we have over 30 customers in our training room at our headquarters in Red Wing, MN, attending a seminar on our CenterPoint Accounting and CenterPoint Payroll software. They traveled from as far away as Texas, Ontario, California and Maryland, and as close as an hour away. Some are just getting started with CenterPoint and some have been using our products for close to 30 years.
While their intent is to learn better and more efficient ways to use our software, they also educate our staff on how their businesses operate, which helps us provide better tools for their use. I’ve talked to several people over the years that say they learn a lot from the others that attend the seminars, in addition to the formal instruction that takes place over the three days of the seminar.
In my experience from attending these types of educational sessions over the years, sponsored by other organizations, I have to admit I learn as much from interacting with other attendees as I do in the classes. I’ve mentioned before our belief in the value of continuing education for all our employees, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the knowledge of all the people they come in contact with.
If you haven’t recently attended this sort of educational opportunity, I encourage you to do so. Whether it’s a Red Wing Software Training Seminar, or some other offering in your line of work, I’m confident you will learn some valuable information that will help make your business more successful.
- Ken Hilton, President
Red Wing Software has been like a duck the last few months; floating smooth and calm above the water, and paddling like crazy under the surface. Our latest CenterPoint software products include over two hundred new features. If you haven’t had a chance to download the new versions, please do so soon and take advantage of the new functionality.
In addition to the new enhancements to the products you use, we also recently updated our Web site for a fresh new look. Our Web team worked long and hard to make the site friendlier. Many enhancements were made behind the scenes to make the site faster and more capable. When you get a chance, log into your “My Red Wing Software” account and take a look at the new information available. Also, try out the improved search functionality. The site search now includes information and documents even more pertinent to the criteria you enter.
Everyone in the organization worked hard to provide you with some great new features in CenterPoint. We appreciate the input from all of the customers that contributed to the product updates through new feature requests. With your help, we will continue to make our products provide the information your business needs to be successful.
Be prepared and have a plan. The last few weeks have had some excellent and unfortunate examples of the importance of being prepared and having a plan. The recent weather tragedies around the country, especially in the south central United States, are perfect examples of how critical it can be if you’re not prepared for the possibility of severe weather events. Many people’s lives were saved because of severe weather warnings, and their own individual preparedness with storm shelters or evacuation plans.
Even the less severe weather events that have been prevalent throughout the central and upper Midwest with the late, wet spring and farmers’ inability to get field work done as early as normal, required contingency plans for the rest of the season.
Closer to home, we had a customer recently lose over two years of financial information because of a problem with his main computer. He had religiously backed up his data, only to discover his backups were not going to the correct location, and when his computer had a problem, he found that his last good backup was two years old.
These conditions give us a good wake-up call on the importance of being prepared and having a plan for the unexpected. Whether dealing with weather, economic conditions, or technology problems, we all need to think about what our plan is to recover from unexpected and uncontrollable situations.
“Creating the Best Management Software Experience” is our vision at Red Wing Software. Now, we don’t pretend that we are perfect in every way, but we do try hard to reach this vision every day. Even if our software was completely error free, there is much more in creating the best “experience.”
The experience that our (and your) customers get when they deal with us (you) involves the entire organization. When you think about every contact point a customer has with any company, you start to see the importance of the experience. For example, at Red Wing Software, these contact points include; printed sales and marketing materials, salesperson conversations, Web site, front desk personnel, support people, the invoice the customer receives, the packaging of the product, and all of these experiences can take place before they even see the software.
So, when we think about the “experience,” we look at every function and process in the company that can affect a customer’s opinion of us. Most importantly, the only way we can improve on this experience is to get feedback from our -customers. So, please let us know whenever you feel there is something we can do to improve your “experience” working with us.
- Ken Hilton, President
It’s that time of year again, time for us in the United States to calculate what we owe in taxes to our Federal and State treasuries. Whether you choose to do your own tax returns or hire another professional to help, you should have a good and complete accounting of the financial information you need to complete the task.
At Red Wing Software, we believe that you should keep records for your own business analysis. You need this information more than any other person or entity to ensure you have a firm grasp on the profitability of your business. On the plus side, it also allows you to easily prepare your taxes. If you keep good records for yourself, information for your accountant, banker, consultant, or anyone else should be an easily extracted by-product of those records.
If your records aren’t complete, you should seriously take a look at the process you use to keep these records. Since most of you reading this are likely using some Red Wing Software accounting product, you have the foundation to keep accurate, detailed, and complete records.
While I’m certain most of us don’t want to pay more taxes than we owe, we need to remember that taxes are the rent we pay for the privilege of living in this great country.
On a topic closer to all of us at Red Wing Software, this month marks the end of an era. Long-time co-worker and mentor Jon Isackson has decided to retire. Jon has been with the company since the beginning. You can only imagine the number of hats a person can wear over a career that spans more than three decades. Jon has had a huge impact on making the company what it is today, and his vast knowledge, history, and leadership will be missed. Knowing Jon, he won’t be slowing down, and will likely look back and try to figure out how he ever had time to work. We certainly wish Jon the best in his well deserved retirement.