Now that summer has come to its conclusion, it’s that time of year once again to enjoy the annual PGA Tour proceedings. Luckily for us, we just so happen to have such an event right in our own neighborhood! It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since The Ally Challenge was brought into the fold, but since its inclusion it has already become a highly sought-out event in the Grand Blanc area. As a yearly PGA Tour Champions event that started in September of 2018, The Ally Challenge, finds its home at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, just down the road from Spud Software!
The event made its debut in September of 2018 and though it hasn’t been around for long, it’s already become the premier golfing event in the area. Of course that’s not to say the country club is at all inexperienced when it comes to hosting a PGA Tour event. Many individuals might remember the Buick Open was previously held at the same location from 1958 through 2009, as one of the six former PGA Tour sites hosting PGA Tour Champions events.
This period of absence from the professional golfing world was not made idle, however, as the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club sought out a replacement PGA Tour Champions event as early as the conclusion of the Buick Open. Though it took some time to find a title sponsor, today we have the Detroit-based, Ally Financial to thank for, not only becoming the title sponsor of the event, but for bringing the PGA back to Grand Blanc as well.
Everyone at Spud Software is especially excited for the tournament, as we will have several of our employees attending and volunteering at the event. If you happen to spot any of us enjoying the festivities, come give us a friendly hello!
If vacations are supposed to be a time of relaxation, then why can they feel so stressful at times? It can take a lot of effort to prepare, especially if you want to get the most out your time off from work. While it is important to plan for the basics like what to pack, the itinerary, or who’s taking care of the family pet, these issues can be flexible and pertain more towards your enjoyment of the overall vacation. When it comes to addressing your work, however, it might feel a little more complicated to figure out how to handle prepping for your absence. That’s why it’s crucial that you address important items from work early on otherwise you risk a number of issues occurring. Whether your plans are to hop on a plane to a new city or to relax at home, you will want to make sure all your affairs at work are in order. Follow these simple suggestions and your next vacation will be off to a great start.
The Right People
So just who are the right people? It’s simple enough to think about the on goings of your day-to-day, but figuring out just who should carry the weight of your workload can be a tricky situation and will vary depending on the workplace. For instance, it could be an individual co-worker who carries out your duties, but an important thing to consider is that, in this situation, they will have to add your various duties to their own, leaving them less time to do either. This isn’t ideal (especially if you’re leaving a lot of work) but sometimes your employer might not have any other options due to a lack of employees who have your specific skill set. You should talk to your supervisor as early as possible to discuss just who will carry on your work during your absence. Additionally, the workplace shouldn’t rely on this one person for smooth operations. Consider cross-training employees so that operations don’t crumble when another person leaves for a week.
With the right processes in place and, most importantly, followed, the transition between work, vacation and return should be fairly seamless. Be sure your week’s replacement understands your work processes prior to your departure. Summarize the work that will need to be completed in your absence on a list and include important details like its current status, deadlines, and the necessary resources they may need. Don’t let this be a guessing game. The more informed they are, the easier it will be for them to complete, which means a less likely chance that you’ll return from vacation with a pile of work on your desk.
Often it’s not enough to simply hand someone the instructions and let them run with it. If the person dedicated to your tasks forgets a step in your processes, they might be left unable to continue the work if no one else is there to help. Therefore, you might want to consider guiding your temporary replacement through your processes to make sure they have your duties figured out. When you think they have a solid grasp, let them do a test run to see if they can do your work without help. Practice makes perfect, so let them repeat the motions until they are confident that they can complete the work properly.
Apply to Employees
Only 24% of the business owners claim they have never felt any larger issues stem from work-related stress. While your employees may not feel the same stress of a business owner, they certainly feel the pressure. Getting time to take time away from work is vital for one’s mental health, creativity and productivity. Be sure to have the right people and processes in place so that your employees can enjoy a vacation as well. As mentioned above, consider cross training your employees to avoid issues should someone go on vacation or even have some sort of emergency to address.
An escalation plan is a set of procedures in place that prepare for potential problems that might occur. Make sure the individual(s) covering for you are aware of the chain of command should something go wrong. This means informing them of who you usually go to in the case of any issues with your work. You should also make sure to include problems that might occur and provide clear instructions on how to handle them, which can be included with your list of processes.
With the right processes in place, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about work while you’re on vacation or if an emergency comes up. Give us a call today for an honest and unconditional conversation about how Spud Software can help you so that you can spend more time picking out luggage than worrying about work.
Roadblocks are any barrier preventing you from accomplishing your business goals and more. With only one-third of businesses keeping their doors open for 10 years or more, it’s important to look within before blaming outside forces, as many harmful roadblocks are entirely mental. Before you blame your company’s problems on any one thing you should take a step back and answer these simple questions:
1. Is management focused on the day-to-day rather than looking ahead?
2. Is the sales team not hitting goals?
3. Are employees easily distracted by…SQUIRREL!...other ideas?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your business has fallen victim to business growth roadblocks. Fear not, you’re not alone, and there are various ways to overcome these roadblocks, some of which can be fixed by simply shifting mindsets or offering more guidance as the experienced business owner or manager. Having been in business for over 20 years, these simple tricks have helped us out time and again.
1. Look ahead
Wake up, get dressed, drive to work, work, go home, repeat. It’s easy to fall into this routine of “work” instead of doing actual business. Business is more than “work” and therefore more than routine. While it’s important to have some routine in business, it’s just as important to be working toward something, which will be covered more in the next roadblock. Emphasize the importance of the big picture so that employees aren’t just clocking in at 9, checking off their to-do lists, and clocking out at 5. Cultivate an environment where your employees are comfortable enough to bring forth new ideas. While you may not use all ideas, feeling like they’re contributing can keep employees active within the company. Engaged employees are 59% less likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, so it’s important to foster a good employee than fill a seat.
2. Work toward something
In business, occasional lulls are inevitable. Use this as an opportunity to try different tactics in sales or new approaches to your business. However, if your team is never hitting goals, you may have more of an issue than a lull. Perhaps your team doesn’t completely understand all the steps needed to take to hit those goals. Don’t be afraid to take an active role and show them how to achieve the goal rather than just assigning tasks to be completed.
If that doesn’t work, they may not be a good fit for that particular position and maybe it’s time to reorganize. Listen to your employees and don’t be afraid to mix up their roles as needed.
3. Stay focused
Simply keep all squirrels off your premises by getting a fence. Jokes aside, it’s important that each employee (including yourself) stays focused. If you find that your employees are going down rabbit holes or that they aren’t actually finishing a project, it’s possible they’re not sure what their role entails. Be sure to clearly define your expectations and again, take an active role by showing them what needs to be done. By setting goals and working toward them as a team, it’s easier to accomplish the task at hand.
With these tools to overcome roadblocks, business growth will come. If you’re considering custom software to help your business grow, we can help. We’ll sit down and help come up with a plan that works best for your business.
We’re your team. We’re here to make sure you succeed. Spud Software is here for our clients.
Well it’s that time of year once again! The sun is shining and while most people might be winding down their summer plans, every gearhead around is prepping their ride for this year’s Back to the Bricks celebration. Spud Software is always ready to help promote local festivities, especially ones that have such an impact on the whole community. After all, Back to the Bricks is one of the largest events that occurs in the Genesee County area.
What was once a single day throwback to the cruising culture of the 80’s has now exploded into a week-long collection of events and festivities which thus far, has done a phenomenal job bringing people of all ages together for the enjoyment of cars. The main cruising that occurs, in fact, takes place on Saginaw Street where most teen hangouts in the area were once found, and this communal aspect is very much so reflected in the core fundamental values the event seeks to promote. Long gone are the days when teens used to drive from hangout to hangout in order to meet up with their friends, Back to the Bricks helps us to remember a simpler time when all a teen needed was his car and some friends.
The sheer variety of vehicles you will find during the event is astounding. Vehicles can span as far back as the Model-T or be as new as 2019 Camaro. Perhaps what’s even more impressive is the amount of passion and creativity people are willing to pour into their cars. In its early years, for the most part, the event would have beautifully restored vehicles and there are still plenty of those at the event now. But as the years have gone by there have been more unconventional restorations. Of course there are the classic Hot-Rods, perhaps the most common modified cars, but you’ll also find Rat-Rods, Hydraulic Vehicles, Kit Cars and much more.
There are many employees at Spud Software who love going to Back to the Bricks. During the event you might find some of us sitting along Saginaw watching the cars drive by or even see us in our own cars enjoying the cruise. Whichever way you enjoy the festivities, if you notice someone from Spud Software at the event, don’t forget to say hi!
At Spud Software, it is our mission to continue providing our employees with the best possible work life experience. Not only do we have great health benefits, 401k, true flex time, above average pay, and an amazing culture, we will now provide the convenience and health benefits of our very own Spud Café. Chef Jeff will focus on organic, healthy options for our employees, providing them with various healthy breakfast, lunch and take-home meals throughout the week. We’re also very eager for him to show off his skills to our clients at events and meetings.
Originally from Michigan, Chef Jeff lived in Connecticut for 12 years where he got married and started his family. With his recent move back to his old stomping grounds, he was drawn to this position because it allowed for him to utilize all of his skills in a unique environment, that being a “business” setting. Very passionate about nutrition, he is planning to use this love to help everyone stay healthy, especially those of us whose jobs require being deskbound for long periods of time. In his 20 years of experience, he has cooked for Bobby Flay, David Chan, Thomas Keller, Jacques Pepin. As the boss of his own kitchen, Chef Jeff is excited to treat everyone at Spud with delicious healthy meals, tasty coffee and tacos!
Outside of the kitchen, Chef Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, riding and racing bicycles, coaching, and putting his nutritionist skills to work by helping people finish Ironmans, Ultra Marthons and even the Leadville 100 MTB and Run. You can try to catch him on August 26 in Auburn Hills as he takes on the Annual Debaets-Devos Pro-Am Bicycle Race.
Stay tuned for shameless “foodie” pictures. We're already enjoying great food and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us!
Thank you for bringing a chef to Spud! Wow what a treat. Looking forward to seeing what he offers for the take home meals. It is great to work for a company that helps to enrich our personal lives while being valued at work.
- Denice Febbraro, Project Manager
At Spud Software, we often refer to ourselves as “your local software company,” which is a phrase we do not say lightly. Time and again we encourage our employees to attend events outside of work because it’s important to all of us that we become active members of our community. Attending community events is especially encouraged to our employees if the event will help to promote healthy living and, better yet, if the event’s proceeds go toward a good cause. Just this past week, in fact, our team had both sponsored and participated in the 2nd Annual London Strong “Set Your Dreams” 5K, which dedicates itself to raising funds and creating awareness for various heart conditions, along with emphasizing the importance of CPR and AED.
Bringing the Spud Software employees together for this occasion was a great way to build up our team’s comradery as goals were set and challenges were made! Spud employees brought their families (fur babies included) to join in on the fun as well and there were plenty of activities to have fun with before and after the race.
We also got to meet up with our friends from Lucky Day Animal Rescue to help them set up their venue. Lucky Day Animal Rescue is an organization of passionate individuals who are dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of unwanted, abandoned, and suffering animals. While at the event, LDAR had a few of their fur friends in attendance that visitors were encouraged to meet!
With an emphasis on work/life balance, our hardworking team is still able to maintain lives outside of the office. It’s important to us that they can spend time with their families or fur babies, explore new hobbies and volunteer as they please. Our team loves keeping it local and staying involved with the community. Spud Software will also be sponsoring the upcoming 4th Annual HSGC Golf Outing this weekend, which will help benefit the Humane Society of Genesee County.
We’re looking forward to more events to enjoy as a team and hope to see you too! How do you stay involved in your community? Let us know, as we’re always looking for new ideas to get involved. Learn more about our team and our values at spudsoftware.com/about-spud
At Spud Software, we are always actively seeking new ways we can keep our employees engaged in team building events, especially when such doings can be beneficial for others as well! Because of this, we jumped at the opportunity to participate in the 2nd annual London Strong 5K, which dedicates its inspiration to the late London, who sadly passed away in 2018. The London Strong Foundation’s purpose is to bring awareness to heart conditions and to help increase chances of survival by emphasizing the importance of CPR/AED.
Spud Software is a proud sponsor of the London Strong “Set Your Dreams” 5K Run/Walk. Since many of us are also participating in the 5K this week, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our favorite 5K tips.
Bring a friend
Accountability is a great way to keep on track with fitness or training. If you have a 5K buddy, you are probably more likely to train for the upcoming event. And it’s always nice to have someone to talk to during a run or walk!
Get there on time
Pay attention to the 5K’s site or Facebook event for details on when to arrive so you don’t miss the race! Keep in mind you’ll likely have to pick up your packet either the day before or day of, so be sure to pencil that time into your schedule.
Dehydration is a runner’s nightmare. Even if it doesn’t affect you during the race, dehydration can sneak up on you later. The combination of dehydration and exercise can lead to those awful Charley Horses. Be sure to drink up plenty of water, especially before and after the race.
Don’t fret over time
Whether this is your first 5K or 500th, remember every race will be different. You’ll have some races that leave you feeling you could have done better, but those make the good ones more rewarding.
Create or choose a good playlist
If you’re not pacing with a friend, make yourself a playlist of songs that motivate you. This is a great way to help time go by if running isn’t necessarily your favorite.
If you don’t have fun, you might not want to do it again. Be proud of your accomplishment of getting over the finish line.
If you’re in the Grand Blanc area, it’s not too late to register for the London Strong “Set Your Dreams” Run/Walk. If you don’t want to run or walk, there will be vendors on site. Be sure to stop by the Lucky Day Animal Rescue table to meet some adoptable cats and learn more about their mission. If you happen to spot any of us, strike up a conversation: We love getting to know our neighbors!
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: