I have just three short notes for you this month:
First, I hope everyone had a joyous holiday season.
Second, January is historically the busiest month here at Red Wing Software. With everyone closing their 2013 books, beginning 2014, and making sure their payroll information is up-to-date, our support lines light up. We have prepared internally for this by getting everyone in the organization ready to answer your calls. You can help us ensure that you get a smooth transition to the New Year by reviewing the documents recently sent to our Customer Care Members that answer frequently asked questions about your software. You can also get lots of additional information by visiting our Web site’s product support area.
Finally, all of us at Red Wing Software wish you a happy, prosperous, and safe New Year.
- Ken Hilton, President
I hope everyone had a nice and fulfilling Thanksgiving. On behalf of Red Wing Software, I want to thank all the brave men and women that are dedicated to keeping us safe and free.
This is a special time of year for many people around the world. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a prosperous New Year to our customers, employees, partners, and suppliers. Thank you for your generous support and hard work that makes Red Wing Software “the friendliest software company on the planet and the kind of place you always wanted to work”.
- Ken Hilton, President
We are fast approaching the end of 2013, and I want to use my space this month to communicate some important information that needs to be considered before year-end, or shortly after the beginning of a new year.
Whether your company operates according to a calendar year, or a fiscal year, there are a few things that need to be considered to prepare for the new calendar year:
- How is your budgeting process going for the new year? Will next year be the same as this year, or should you be planning some much needed changes to make it better?
- Have you installed all of the latest versions of your software? You don’t need to wait until after the first of the year to get up-to-date. Doing it now saves pressure later.
- How about benefit changes? With the new health care laws, you may need to pay more attention to your insurance plans. How about retirement plans, and other items important to you and your employees? It is harder now than ever to find good employees, and we need to remain competitive in the marketplace to keep them.
- It is a good time to remind employees to update their W-4 information for changes that have occurred during the year like getting married, having children, buying a house, or anything else that might change their withholding needs.
- How is your budgeting process going? Oh, did I already mention that? I read once that “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you already are.” Is it time for a change?
So, update that important technology today; review procedures and policies, help employees be better managers of their information, and plan for the New Year.
How do you know if you’re doing something the best way if you only know one way to do it? Take a look at any important process in your organization and think about a way to change it. You might be surprised to find out the way you’ve been doing that process isn’t the best way. Try taking a different street to work. Maybe the distance is not as short, but might be faster. At least you’ll see different scenery.
You may ask someone (or yourself) to do something faster, more efficiently, at a lower cost, or with fewer errors, but is the system they are working in allowing them to accomplish any of these results? Trying one or more alternatives to a given process might produce the results you’re looking for.
At Red Wing Software, we never assume that there is only one way to accomplish a task. We constantly challenge our staff to find ways to improve what we do; make our software faster, easier to use, have fewer errors, etc. Sometimes we need to think outside the box and try some ideas that seem a little obscure. Quite often this exercise yields a result that no-one would have thought of without a group of us throwing out ideas and hammering through to a conclusion.
Try it. You might be surprised. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but a wise customer told me once, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you already are.”
- Ken Hilton, President
Apparently, my number was up. No…..not that number. The number that means it’s time to get a new computer. You see, Larry, our Computer Wizard (his official title is IT Manager) keeps track of every employee’s computer, and has a schedule that determines when they should be replaced. With Larry, you don’t have a choice. When your number is up, your computer WILL get replaced.
As scary as this sounds, it is really a good idea. By upgrading our computers on a predetermined schedule, he makes sure that there are virtually no hardware failures, (no down time, lost data, or lost productivity) and everyone is working with relatively new technology.
With a new computer, sometimes comes a new operating system. My new computer came with the Microsoft® Windows® 8 operating system which, at first, was a little annoying because it was something that I was unfamiliar with. I quickly learned how to use the new features in Windows 8, and how to get the functionality that I didn’t like, out of the way. In just a few hours, I actually liked my new business tool.
How old is the computer you’re using? Is it running on borrowed time? Is its number up? Don’t wait until you have