When you work at a company like ours, the word “process” gets thrown around a lot around. But what does process mean? And how is it important for a company to succeed? At Spud Software we believe that having the right processes in place allows for a successful business to flourish. So what is a business process? Well, a business process can be any sort of structured tasks that a group of individuals follow in order to produce a specific service.
Define. Design. Develop. Deliver. These four values make up the foundation of our process here at Spud Software. Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these aspects in order to gain a deeper understanding of how our process is used to benefit our clients.
The first part of a process sets the tone for the rest of the steps. “Define” is the most important part of our process. This is our chance to learn all we can about your business goals and objectives. The more we learn about your business and goals, the better we can serve you. During this time, we come up with the formula for success of your project when we deliver and well into the future.
Once we have a solid understanding of your business needs, we can get started on our design. During this step, we will stay in contact with you, as we don’t want to begin any project without your review and input. We’ll use our expertise and creativity to design a project to meet your user requirements, timing and budget. As needed, we create flowcharts, wireframes and documentation explaining the specifics of each release.
Now it’s time for us to get to work. As with the other steps, communication is still key, and this is your chance to get involved. We want your honesty and feedback so that your idea becomes a reality. You can talk with your development team throughout and ask them to make a little change “here” and a little tweak “there.” Our client’s success is our success, so we want you to be completely satisfied with the results.
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your vision become something tangible. While this is the last step of our process, our work doesn’t end here. We’ll make sure that everyone involved understands what is going on and what is expected of them. If training is required, we can handle that as well. Even if it’s the final release, we understand that additional support or updates may be needed.
We’re your team. We’re here to make sure you succeed. Spud Software is here for our clients.
This proven process has evolved with us and has worked with clients of all sizes and industries. We’d love to discuss our process with you further. Give us a call for an open and honest discussion about our practices and how we can help your business.
The effect of a stellar new hire orientation can mean all the difference when it comes to creating a long-lasting impact on your employees. According to The Wynhurst Group, “22% of staff turnover occurs in the first forty-five days of employment and a report from the Center for American Progress found that turnover can cost organizations anywhere from 16% to 213% of the lost employee’s salary. What these statistics demonstrate is that, from an employee orientation perspective, failure to instill a positive first impression can be damaging for an employee’s long-term interest in the company. With that in mind, the level of interest your new hire garners from orientation can be the cornerstone from which they build their motivation on.
Will your new hire work tirelessly because they believe that the company they work for is worth pouring their complete effort into? Having a great new employee orientation can offer you the chance to set the tone for the new employee. Perhaps they’re going into the first day with the mindset of this just being another “stepping stone” on their way to bigger and better things. The orientation process is your chance to make the new hire excited about their future work and might even cement the thought that perhaps this company will provide them with EXACTLY what they need to further their career path so long as they dedicate themselves and show quality work.
New hire orientations just can’t be about completing the basic employee orientation checklist like in previous years. Yes, having new employees fill out forms and signing policies is important; however, today onboarding activities must be well-designed and cohesive programs that allow for your new employee to get a sense for what the company is like. Most new hires will have a certain level of nervousness on their first week of the job, regardless of their perception of the job itself. As the boss, it’s your job to make sure they feel welcome into their new environment. With the right encouragement and direction new employees can easily learn the processes, systems, and culture of your business. This is also why it’s important to be sure that the employee has a go-to person that can assist them with any questions during their first few days.
If the new hire has a positive experience with the people they meet during their onboarding experience they might be more inclined to work harder, knowing that their job will positively support people that they like. So the question at this point ought to be, “who should do the onboarding?” While HR has an important role, it turns out that new hires want a mix of people involved. Management is the most important. It is no surprise that employees want to know what leaders of the business expect of them in their new job. Perhaps even consider allowing some of your senior staff to get involved as it would provide the new hire with some positive insight on the company from their perspective.
One of the worst experiences a new employee can have is starting the new job without knowing how to use the equipment necessary. The orientation process will allow you the opportunity to introduce the software, as well as other tools, relevant to the job at hand. Don’t be shy about leveraging technology to facilitate your orientation program. Thanks to a tech-savvy workforce, organizations are using technology as an integral part of their new hire orientation programs. After each training session/learning experience, give employees a task that requires them to use what they’ve learned. It will help cement the learning and will show you exactly where they need to improve.
Your software should be intuitive and fit your business needs. If it’s difficult for a new hire to learn on the job, this may negatively affect their view of the company. Also keep in mind that they’ll likely hear employees’ candid opinions of the software and processes during the onboarding period. Allow us to help you create software to fit your business needs and avoid frustrations within the office. We work with companies of all sizes and in just about every industry. Our well-rounded experience and development team are the best and will make sure your vision becomes a reality. Learn more about our process and give us a call when you’re ready to have an open and honest discussion about how our company can help.
At Spud Software it’s no secret that we LOVE animals of all shapes and sizes. While many of our employees enjoy the company of their pets at home it’s also widely encouraged for them to participate in supporting animal conservationist and rescue facilities, such as Lucky Day Animal Rescue, whenever they can.
That’s why, with the upcoming holiday festivities ensuing, it is important for us to make sure that everyone is taking the proper precautions to keep their furry friends safe. Fireworks, cookouts, and travel are great fun for humans, but many animals find our revelries to be frightening and in some situations, it may even become a dangerous experience in more ways than one. Holiday foods can be unhealthy; summer heat and travel can be dangerous; and potentially hazardous debris can end up lying on the ground where pets can eat or play with. Most commonly, however, noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away. In fact, July 4th sees more missing pets than any other major US holiday. Whether you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration or if you’re traveling to one, it’s important to take these precautions to keep your pets safe during and after your 4th of July festivities.
Preparing in advance:
Safety during July 4 celebrations:
After the celebrations:
Far too often is the word "custom" associated with increased monetary value when it comes to finding the right service that fits your needs, without having placed much thought into why the increased value is so important in the first place. Sure, a custom suit is more expensive than a suit off the rack, but which item comes completely tailored to your every need?
Instead, "custom" services should be treated as an investment. When you trust that the experts are skilled enough to satisfy your needs, you will find that the product is invaluable. That's where we come in. Our custom software is designed to fit your needs rather than forcing you to change in order to fit the program’s limitations. An investment in custom software can save you time, money and a lot of headaches.
How much time is your company wasting on multiple-software solutions?
Time equals money. And no matter where you’re getting your software, it’s going to be quite the purchase. The problem with acquiring existing software might come in a situation when a department is using various platforms to create one report. There may be cases where one program just doesn’t have every capability you need it to have. If this is true for you, then that means both time and money are at stake. With the money you’ve wasted on inferior products you could have invested in a single software that suites all of your needs. With the proper software, your team can use better processes and have access to superior data. With custom software, you’re involved in the design. At Spud Software, we design your project to meet your user requirements, timing and budget.
How unique is your business?
Over the past decade we’ve seen an increase in businesses that specialize in multiple practices rather than have an individual specialization. These companies concentrate on a variety of services and may even be in the process of exploring new options to expand their repertoire. With this in mind it could be very possible that your company is wholly unique and that there just simply isn’t any type of software that completely benefits a business like yours.
Your business is unique. Your software should be too. We can design software to fit your company so you don’t have to spend time finding solutions to work around other programs.
How much support do you need?
When we complete a project, we make sure that everyone involved understands what is going on, what is expected of them and if there is training required we can handle that as well. We also understand that additional support may be needed after completion so don’t worry, Spud is always there for its clients when they need assistance.
If you think your company may need a custom solution, allow us to be your custom software experts. We’ve worked with many businesses in almost every industry, so you know we have the experience and expertise to preform above all expectations. Give us a call to find out how we can craft the right solution for your business.
Using Google as their model, many businesses are developing their own ways to increase office morale, which in turn, can create more efficient business. After all, happy employees are more likely to be hardworking and honest. It can speak volumes on the company’s values if they celebrate birthdays or go on fun field trips. In fact, many companies use these extracurriculars as incentive to apply. Nevertheless, an Office Manager can spend hours making a fun environment for employees, but is that what’s really preventing employees from leaving?
This brings us to the most important item for morale: Business processes. This may not be as exciting or glamorous as hitting a homerun for the office softball team, but ultimately more rewarding. Do your employees know what steps they need to take throughout a project? Or are most of them just winging it? Are different people doing different things to achieve the same outcome? Nothing is more frustrating as an employee than a lack of guidance or understanding of how to prove their hard work.
To run successfully, every company must set goals and acquire accurate data to track progress. With these goals and objectives in mind, we can bring your vision to life and help prevent the nightmare of high turnover. Custom software can provide a solution to ensuring business processes are in place and followed. With this solution, employees will have a better understanding of their role in the company and perhaps less anxiety about coming into work.
Give us a call today for an honest and unconditional discussion on what custom software could do for your business.
The use of dashboards can be advantageous in multiple aspects, so there are a number of benefits of dashboard reporting. Here are the top six features and benefits dashboards can provide:
Data transparency – Data is any company’s most important asset. However, it doesn’t do much good if no one can understand or access it. A well-designed dashboard provides on-demand access of all of your most important metrics.
Access to data – As the name implies, a dashboard gathers multiple data sources, including Excel, into a single interface. That means you can immediately see a detailed overview of your business in one quick glance. Better yet, it reduces the amount of time it takes to compile reports, saving you time.
Better decision making – Dashboards provide an unbiased view not only of the company’s performance overall, but each department as well. If each department is able to access the dashboard, it can offer a foundation for further dialogue and great decision making. For example, the sales and marketing department can align their data and experiences to increase customer acquisitions and improve demand generation. Business dashboards provide a good starting point for these decisions, which is one of the biggest advantages of dashboards.
Accountability – While it’s always nice to see what you’re doing right, you also need to see and understand what can be improved upon in order to increase your performance. Business dashboards can show you exactly where your trouble areas are and arm you with the information you need to improve. Also, by making the dashboards visible throughout the company, they can hold different departments accountable for both the ups and downs.
Interactivity – Some of the best dashboards provide a dynamic experience. Rather than providing static information, you and your users can filter data, interact with charts to see changes over time, and even allow for an ad-hoc component for on-the-fly. That means you can get as much or as little detail on specific metrics as you want.
Gamification – Your metrics, whether traffic to your website or products sold, are the key numbers you want to continuously improve upon. The top businesses have managed to gamify certain business metrics to increase the likelihood of customer retention. If you’re considering gamification, business dashboards can track the success of your efforts.
The ability to access information from multiple data sources in real time is an important component of your business structure. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
Most businesses thrive today with some sort of mobile application. However, development usually exceeds the internal capabilities of most organizations. Outsourcing can be an effective solution for budget or technical concerns. Here are a few tips to remember when considering the development of a Mobile Application:
Define your requirements
It's important to know what you want out of an app. Parameters should be clearly outlined. Some questions to consider:
- What is the purpose?
- Who are the clients?
- What are the main features?
- Is it a free or paid app?
Identifying the right partner
You should spend a lot of time researching a trusted outsourcing company. They should have experience with creating mobile applications. Ask questions, check references and review their portfolio.
Communication is the most important part of collaboration. You shouldn't be afraid to ask questions. If you avoid communication, it can create conflicts, mistakes and ultimately costs.
Clearly define payment terms, requirements, revisions and processes. Without understanding parameters, problems will occur.
A simple project plan contains top level tasks and helps avoid mistakes.
It's important to discuss thoughts, opinions and suggestions on strategies. This helps avoid unnecessary features. Working together inspires motivation and involvement.
Finally, it's important to understand this simple rule - if you want your program to succeed, you must be involved. A clear and defined objective is the key to achieving goals.
In budgetary terms, the cost of duplicate data is alarming. In simple terms, imagine the wasted costs of sending multiple catalogs to one person. In addition to the money spent on duplicate print and postage costs, there is also the potential negative effect on response rates and the overall ROI of your marketing activity.
To help reduce costs, businesses need to identify and prevent duplicate records from being entered into their database. This will provide the best position to maintain a healthy database and save money by minimizing wasted income on things like marketing costs and stopgap data cleansing solutions.
Lack of Single Customer View
It is difficult to view an accurate picture of customers and their behavior with multiple records for the same contact. With each interaction documented against different records it is challenging to view what communication has taken place and to determine any outstanding actions.
Poor Customer Service
Duplicated and inaccurate data affects every aspect of a customer relationship from service conversations to marketing and sales messaging. It is extremely difficult to understand a customer issue if there are multiple records and differing notes for each.
Decreased User Adoption
Poor quality data is one of the most common causes of low user adoption. Data confidence plays a key role in how employees use CRM business systems. Bad data affects morale because it is frustrating and inefficient.
Inefficient Business Processes
When employees lose confidence in the CRM because of inaccurate data, they can revert to using alternative methods. Using inefficient business processes limits growth.
Inaccurate Reporting = Less Informed Decisions
Decisions based on poor quality data are no more reliable and accurate as those made on assumptions. A database with poor data will impact your ability to make informed judgements about the state and future of your business.
The ability to effectively manage data and access information is an important component of your business structure. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
Spud Software welcomed contestants to the Coder Challenge Saturday, May 11 for a day of competitive activity. The competition hosted 21 participants over the age of 18 with no full-time programming experience. Every registered contestant received a free commemorative t-shirt and enjoyed pizza and soft drinks throughout the afternoon. The event started at 10:30am and by 3:00pm, the top three were awarded prizes; including $1,000 for first place, a second-place prize of $500 and a $250 third place prize
The purpose for the Spud Coder Challenge is to engage entry-level software developers with problem-solving and basic coding abilities and assess their suitability for the industry. The competition included multiple programming tasks, with each question testing contestants critical thinking skills and code writing talents. At 2:00pm, the leaderboard was published allowing the participants to see their standings. This provided some insight for the contestants, allowing them to gauge their placement and plan a strategy for their final run at the prize money.
Taking the first-place check of $1,000.00 with a total score of 47, was Sydney Havens from Clarkston, Michigan. A senior at Clarkston High School, Sydney plans to attend the University of Michigan in the fall. In second place, with a total score of 36, receiving a check for $500, was Dillon Buessing and the $250 third place prize was awarded to James Lynott, from St. Clair, totaling 23 points.
"We were excited to host this event and look forward to having similar competitions in the future.” said Derek Sommer, Owner and CEO of Spud Software. "Spud is passionate about growing a community of eager developers who want to be involved in the next generation of technology, and this is a great opportunity for them to start."
Of course, the event would not be possible without collaborating support from local businesses; these contributing partners understand the importance of promoting the growth of technical talent in the community. Their sponsorship provided an essential portion of the program.
In today’s competitive environment, businesses must continuously improve their processes. Failure to do so is likely to result in higher costs, lower revenues, less motivated employees and fewer satisfied customers.
Business Process Management (BPM) is a powerful tool to keep all aspects of operations running optimally. For those considering investing in it to drive process improvement, here’s a brief overview of why an organization needs business process management.
What is BPM?
Business Process Management is a discipline that improves corporate performance by driving operational efficiency and business agility. Think of a business as an engine and BPM as a tool to fine-tune each component to achieve maximum performance.
What does BPM do?
Within every organization there are common business processes designed to meet specific objectives. However, for any number of reasons some of these processes may be slow, inefficient, unreliable and redundant. A BPM puts all of these processes under fresh scrutiny, using models, metrics and analysis to make evaluations and identify improvements that produce better performance.
What are the main benefits of BPM?
A BPM program enables companies to process more with higher quality, less waste and reduced effort. This is particularly advantageous for startups and companies faced with tight budgets that need to reach profitability quickly.
These benefits can be categorized into three main areas:
Efficiency – One of the first benefits seen upon implementing a BPM program is increased efficiency. Since many processes are wasteful due to a number of factors, shedding a light on these systems helps companies recognize and eliminate these inefficiencies.
Effectiveness – Once a process becomes more efficient, BPM can then make that process more effective. Among the benefits of greater process effectiveness are the ability to handle exceptions faster, make better, more informed decisions, and execute consistently. When all processes are running effectively and are aligned with corporate strategies and objectives, companies become more profitable and competitive.
Agility – The need for organizations to be agile is more critical than ever. In fact, companies whose processes are inflexible to change are going to get left behind. New opportunities may necessitate change in order to capitalize on them. Business partners, customers or even State, Federal and International regulations that may require change.
Thanks to BPM programs, companies have the platform they need to change their existing processes or implement new ones faster, smoother, and more efficiently than they could ever do with any other option. This ability to stay flexible and quickly adapt in the face of changes both foreseen and unexpected is a powerful driver of competitive advantage for every company.
A comprehensive software reporting solution is an important component of your business structure. Spud Software can provide these features, plus so much more. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.